Santa Barbara is a breathtakingly beautiful city. Whether your loved one called Santa Barbara home, or simply loved the gorgeous views and vast cultural opportunities in the community, there are many special places in the city to reflect, celebrate, or mourn.
The Santa Barbara Mission is the only mission in California that still has a functioning church. The others are museums, but this one is a Roman Catholic church where people may attend services. It’s also the only mission in California that still has the original roof tiles, ones that were hand-made at the mission. The views from the mission are breathtaking. Visitors can see the ocean and the mountains at the same vista point, making the mission a great place to hold a celebration of life service for your loved one. They can accommodate parties up to 100 guests, but you will need to arrange your own catering or rent a food truck for the evening.
Stearns Wharf is the oldest working wharf in California and one of Santa Barbara’s most popular attractions. If you’re looking for an escape while in town, there are plenty of local shops, great food, and of course, beautiful scenery. The harbor, located just south of Stearns Wharf, is home to many types of marine life including sea lions, harbor seals, an array of fish species, dolphins, whales (blue whales migrate through this area May-October), and many more. If you’re family and friends are looking for a unique way to celebrate the life of a loved one, consider taking a whale watching cruise or a relaxing sunset cruise.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is a cultural and historical tourist spot. Founded in 1916, the museum features exhibits in natural history, archaeology, anthropology, marine biology, and paleontology. The museum features over 3 million specimens, including 4,500-year-old human remains and fossils of the extinct pygmy mammoth. The Ty Warner Sea Center features touch pools where visitors can interact with leopard sharks, sea stars, and sea urchins. The museum also includes a butterfly pavilion that includes more than 20 species of living butterflies flying freely inside a greenhouse that recreates their natural habitat. The Sea Center (located on Stearns Wharf) is typically available for private rentals, and would make a lovely place to gather for a small to medium-sized memorial service for your family and friends. You can contact them directly through the museum’s website.
The city of Santa Barbara is a quiet beachside town with stunning views of the mountains. It offers something for everyone, from history buffs to nature lovers and adventure seekers. And there are plenty of ways to honor and to celebrate the life of a lost loved one here.