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Santa Barbara Zoo

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

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 807 reviews
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  • 442
    Excellent
  • 284
    Very good
  • 70
    Average
  • 10
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  • 1
    Terrible
Santa Barbara Zoo - take a walk with the animals.

The is a small but cute zoo. It is one that can be easily covered in two hours. Not a whole lot of exhibits, but the ones they have are very nice. It wasn't very busy, so you... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Tlhaefele
,
Pioneer, California

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807 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Pioneer, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The is a small but cute zoo. It is one that can be easily covered in two hours. Not a whole lot of exhibits, but the ones they have are very nice. It wasn't very busy, so you were able to walk at your leisure and sit and enjoy watching the animals without a lot of distractions.

Helpful?
Thank Tlhaefele
Costa Mesa, California
Level Contributor
83 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a wonderful activity for a family. The place is located near the downtown area and it has outstanding ocean views. It is not a very big zoo, but the personnel are very well prepare to spend time helping you learn about animals and their conservation. Your Hotel may provide a coupon for a discounted entrance rate. Definitely do... More 

Helpful?
Thank DorisV660
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Doris! More 

california
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

It been about 20 years for my wife and I have been here. What a change they have made. It is nicer and has made great improvements to the grounds. Good job. It being smaller it makes great day to walk around.

Helpful?
Thank bowman99
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the kind words! Over the past ten or so years we've put in a new elephant exhibit, new lion and fox exhibit, our Discovery Pavilion, popular new puppet shows and our California Trails exhibit which features endangered animals from the Golden State (including local favorite, California condors). We are a community zoo that doesn't get any regular government... More 

Ojai, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We would recommend this for families with children. Really enjoyed watching the orangutan move about.

Helpful?
Thank funnygermangirl
Richard B, CEO at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

We are so pleased you took the time to visit the Zoo and recommended it as a good destination for families with children. It is important to note for Trip Advisor followers who read your review that we do not have orangutans at the Zoo. We have two lowland gorillas (half-brothers who are now about 24 years old) and a... More 

Chino Hills, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

One of the best zoos to visit. Not only is it located across the beach, but it's the perfect size. It's nice to see how all the animals exhibits are nicely kept. We had the pleasure to visit when it first opened for the day and all the animals where active and moving around, even the lionesses, which I have... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lauramaldonado34
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thank you for the lovely review, Laura! More 

Sacramento CA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great Zoo for kids. A nice variety of animals in reasonably sized enclosures. The famous astroturf hill is a favorite of kids with cardboard. The Zoo participates in many conservation programs including CA condors, and channel Island foxes. Nice way to spend the afternoon. Parking is $7 for the day - can visit the Zoo (additional admission cost) and walk... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Hiker-7
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Definitely a fun zoo to go to if you have an hour or so to kill. They have a lot of activities for the kids. It is relatively small but you can get around the entire park in about an hour and half if you're taking your time.

Helpful?
1 Thank Mishelle B
Wuhan, China
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was a prime reason for our family's weekend visit to Santa Barbara. We did San Diego Zoo on Thanksgiving weekend, so the bar was raised HIGH from that... This zoo is best for families with younger children (ours is 2) and people who don't like walking 45mins to see an elephant or lion (SDZ is huge by comparison). The... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Bamadrifter
Westlake Village, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Perfect for small children. Not too overwhelming and close to the beach. Nice picnic area also nearby park to visit,

Helpful?
Thank Lisa M
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thank you, Lisa! More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We loved this zoo. It was small enough to see everything in a couple of hours but had a lot of large mammals. We picnicked on the Hilltop enjoying the California sunshine and ocean views. The kids (7,6 and 4) had a blast playing in the kids area. Lots of things to climb on and slide down. They even provided... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kate P

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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
10 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?