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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Address: 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone Number: 805-682-4726
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77%
Ranked #20 of 67 Attractions in Santa Barbara
Type: Gardens, Nature & Parks
Activities: Viewing foliage, Hiking
Owner description: With sweeping views to the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and stunning...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Gardens, Nature & Parks
Activities: Viewing foliage, Hiking
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Owner description: With sweeping views to the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and stunning landscapes, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a great place to explore California's native plant diversity.The Garden's 78 acres encompass a variety of cultivated displays as well as stands of natural coast live oak and riparian woodlands.The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Widely regarded as a model botanic garden, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum and a member of the American Alliance of Museums, dedicated to research, education, and conservation of California native plants. With over 1,000 different taxa of plants on display there is always something new to experience. Stroll the 5.5 miles of paths and discover featured areas within the Garden: the historic Mission Dam and aqueduct built in 1807 to supply water to the Santa Barbara Mission, an authentic Japanese Tea House and Garden, and the spectacular views along the Porter Trail. Experience the quiet cool of the Redwood grove on a hot summer’s day or the knockout punch of the Meadow wildflowers in full bloom in spring.The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden welcomes visitors seven days a week, rain or shine. The Garden is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and during some special events.

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272 reviews from our community

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English first
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
283 reviews 283 reviews
236 attraction reviews
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

We had been to the garden before and went back to go on the docent tour. We got there on a Friday before 10 am. The weather was nice. There were more people there than I thought, mostly walking their dogs. We started walking and I had forgotten that it is mostly native California plants. It was a little damp,... More 

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California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015 via mobile

If you think of the admission as a donation, you'll probably feel better about the amount you paid. While it's touted as a living museum, in winter, it's pretty drab. The only notable items are the succulents, which you can also see labeled in a nicer gardening/plant store and the history about how Santa Barbara got it's water system. The... More 

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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
26 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2015

Unlike many botanic gardens, this lovely garden doesn't feel like an exhibition garden. It is unassuming and walking along its self-guided trails feels more like an easy hike than visiting an attraction. A large variety of plants and natural habitats are packed into a well-layer out space with trails and markers. Don't miss the area across the road where there... More 

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Austin, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015

Up in the hills just above the city, this 78 acre botanic garden is a lovely place where you can walk along self-guided trails and learn about numerous species of plants and wildlife. There are lovely places to walk, sit, and marvel at the plants, trees, and spectacular vistas.

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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
22 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2014

May not sound exciting, but go see. You'll be surprised how much beauty, information and fun is packed in this hillside park. Huge variety of plants, habitats, all layer out well, notated extensively, and attended by caring volunteers and employees who make this a showpiece for Santa Barbara. Overwhelm your senses, go here!

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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

Very green and lush with clean air. If you go 45 minutes before closing you may be able to get in for free because it takes about 1hr to do the 1mile trail walk around the vicinity. Great for families and dogs.

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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

Our first visit since the disastrous fire several years ago. It was a flawless, almost summer-like day. There were a few distracting changes--the wildflower meadow is gone, replaced by what looks to be a fledgling native grass expanse, the diminutive desert section looks diminished, the impact of the drought is quite apparent, and the garden's former sense of isolation from... More 

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Costa Mesa, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014

I really liked the gardens! It was absolutely gorgeous! It had a very natural feel and was fairly intimate because there weren't too many other people around. We also spotted a bobcat which totally made my day! Super awesome experience, I highly suggest it!

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Victoria, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

Yes, it's a time of year when there aren't many flowers, and the drought has had a terrible impact. That said, our experience was much better than that of other recent reviewers, perhaps because we started with an excellent docent-led tour. The docent, Susan, talked about the background of the gardens, as well as current projects such as restoring the... More 

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Chatham, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

Fun beautiful winding drive up from State St. but once you get there nothing speical. Nice trail & eucalyptus smells amazing. Redwoods were highlight. Dam history mildly interesting.

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