Locals and visitors alike enjoyed a warm and breezy day at Stearns Wharf on Sunday.
While the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center remained shuttered because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there were plenty of other things to do and see.
Foot traffic on the wharf was moderate, but Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Char West and Moby Dick all had their outdoor dining areas full.
Visitors also stopped for ice cream at The Great Pacific Ice Cream Company and looked for shells, jewelry and other novelties at Nature’s Own Gallery.
At the end of the wharf, families came from all over the state to cast their fishing lines into the sea and enjoy the mild temperature day outdoors.
Dozens of fishing lines draped over the wharf’s guardrail, but only a few groups actually reeled up a wrigley mackerel or a bigger catch. Most seemed content to lounge in the warm sun and enjoy the day.
National Weather Service meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie said the high in Santa Barbara was 78 degrees on Sunday with five mph winds.
That forecast was a far cry from the 103 degree high at Jesus Velasquez’s home in Porterville.
“We’re just fishing and walking around, enjoying Santa Barbara,” Mr. Velasquez said as he chopped up fishing bait with his family.
The Velasquezes caught a couple mackerel and a small halibut during their trip.
“I grew up here, so we came down just for the weekend,” Mr. Velasquez said.
Redondo Beach resident Esang also took her kids fishing for the day.
“We’re just going fishing, walking around having fun. This is the second time we’ve been here, we came here last year,” Ms. Esang said. Her family enjoyed a picnic lunch as they manned their fishing poles.
Santa Barbara was also a popular pit stop for Southern Californians traveling to Monterrey.
Carlos Catano stopped at the wharf to grab lunch with his wife and children during their trip north.
“We might go sightseeing, drive the 17-Mile. This is our first time here (in Santa Barbara) and our first stop. The last time we were in Monterrey was a couple of years ago,” Mr. Catano said.
Le Nguyen of Orange County said he and another family were also on their way to Monterrey.
“This is just a stop. We have a hotel up there and we’re just gonna go to the wharf, go to the beach and drive the 17-Mile,” Mr. Nguyen said.
Los Angeles resident Mike Ashmore said he brought his daughter to Santa Barbara for the day.
“Basically, we’re just gonna walk around and have lunch. We’ll probably end up on State Street, maybe go to the mission and walk around there,” Mr. Ashmore said.
Lou Peters of Santa Barbara celebrated his 82nd birthday with his wife Mary at Char West. The couple enjoyed their lunch at a table at the edge of the pier.
“We’re pretty much staying at home,” Mrs. Peters said. She added that the couple planned to drive around town after lunch then have dinner at home with their son.
“We’re having GrubHub. Thank god for GrubHub, I tell ya,” Mrs. Peters laughed.