The Santa Barbara Harbor is a perfect place to cap off the day as the water changes color after the sun sets.
The marina is full of fishing boats and pleasure boats alike. A water taxi can take you over to Stearn's Wharf. You can charter a yacht or rent a kayak.
You can walk out to the end where the breakwater is and sometimes see parasailing or windsurfing. Lean over the railing and see starfish and crabs on the rocks below.
The harbor boasts a Maritime Museum and a Visitor's Center. The museum shows high def films as well.
There are a few restaurants to choose from at the harbor, mostly seafood. Some are a bit pricey because of the location. For fresh seafood in a fun atmosphere at reasonable prices, you can't go wrong with Brophy Bros. Clam Bar and Restaurant. It's barely noticeable from the outside, because it's upstairs and very small. Just listen for the hubbub of happy customers. It's crowded and the tables are small and close together, but the service was excellent when I was there, as was the food. You can get fresh clams, crab, oysters, mussels and other seafood served in a variety of ways. The full service bar stretches the length of the room, with open windows facing out on the harbor. A wrap around deck provides outdoor seating with a view.
There is a pay lot in front of the harbor, but just before the gate is a smaller lot which offers free parking for the first 90 minutes, if you can find a space.