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Santa Barbara Zoo

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number: 805-962-5339
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea...

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea merchant; now it's the lush domain of more than 500 animals representing 160 species. The pink stucco mansion that once presided over manicured lawns and gardens is gone—replaced by open-air habitats built for the less refined but still exacting tastes of giraffes, elephants, gibbons, snow leopards and gorillas. What hasn't changed is the surrounding scenery; the Pacific and Santa Ynez Mountains are just as spectacular as they were back when this was the setting for civilized galas instead of the wild antics of monkeys and meerkats.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 771 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 424
  • 269
    Very good
  • 67
  • 10
  • 1
Charming Zoo

The santa Barbara Zoo has grown enormously over the past 30 years, adding and updating exhibits. The variety of wildlife is impressive for a small zoo, and the amenities are very... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Sam M
Manila, Philippines

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English first
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
56 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The santa Barbara Zoo has grown enormously over the past 30 years, adding and updating exhibits. The variety of wildlife is impressive for a small zoo, and the amenities are very nice (food concessions, rest rooms, gift shop). There are open spaces for children and families, a play area near the petting zoo, and a beautiful small-gauge Zoo train, which... More 

Thank Sam M
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
70 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

If you are in the area and have about an hour, stop by and see this zoo. It's not far from the beach and an easy walk from the shops downtown. The zoo is accessible via bike if you take the bike path along the beach and follow the signs up into the hill a very short way. It's not... More 

Thank EZGoingTraveler10001
Fillmore, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a must see for the entire family. Its small enough to easily get around but big enough to have some of the large animals the kids love to see. There are large grass areas to picnic or just relax. There are also a few places for food and snacks. The food is more reasonable compared... More 

2 Thank David T
Paso Robles, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is such a great zoo for kids, there is so much to see n do! Feed giraffes, ride a train, play on a playground, slide down hills on card board, watch a dinosaur show the list goes on! If u visit Santa Barbara it's definitely a place to visit!

1 Thank R_selena5
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago credit card Amex Card Member Review

A bit on the small side, but with a good variance of animals and lots of greenspace to sit and have your kids run around.

Thank Matthew C
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
3,248 reviews
2,107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,866 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went to the Santa Barbara Zoo on a very warm October day. We first had hamburgers at the zoo's cafe - the Ridley Tree. We then explored the Zoo. Since it was warm, many of the animals were in good view but were taking their afternoon nap. The monkeys, lion, foxes were sleeping. The elephants, giraffes, and baby giraffes... More 

1 Thank mini
Level Contributor
53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This zoo is small but has a few unique exhibits. I love the gorilla exhibit. The vegetation and of course the location is wonderful. The white rhino was also impressive. My children enjoyed it even though the day was fairly hot for Santa Barbara.

Thank ustravelermom
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My husband and I toured the entire zoo. The lay out is great it was an extremely hot day and the hills were a bit much, but there are plenty of places to sit and rest. The gift shop is a little high priced. Then again how often do you get to the Zoo?

Thank cree2021
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Although not a huge zoo with many exhibits, this zoo was easy to walk and had plenty to see. Really enjoyed the train ride around the perimeter.

Thank June Giltner G
Goshen, Indiana
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

You can do this zoo in an hour if you don't have children with you, otherwise you may want to take some more time. We loved the gorilla enclosure and the giraffes. Beautiful landscaping and right near downtown! LOVED IT

1 Thank Kendra C

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Santa Barbara Zoo and other visitors
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Encino, United States
Torrance, California
8 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?