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Lotusland

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Address: Cold Springs Road, Montecito, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Phone Number: +1 805-969-9990
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Hours:
Wed - Sat 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Description:

Lotusland is a globally renowned 37-acre estate and botanic garden situated...

Lotusland is a globally renowned 37-acre estate and botanic garden situated in the foothills of Montecito, California. It  is home to 3,200 different types of plants from around the world. The estate gardens were created by Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941 until her death in 1984. The fascinating life and career of Madame Ganna Walska culminated with 43 years of designing unusual display gardens with exotic plants. In her writings she described herself as "an enemy of the average" - truly a woman of unique accomplishments, philosophies and imagination. Lotusland  is home to several extraordinary collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. Additional gardens feature ferns, aloes, lotuses, water lilies, bromeliads and cactus garden with more than 300 species.Lotusland's  philosophies addresses the ecology of the garden, employing management practices that promote the health of the individual plants and the garden as a whole. Reservations are required to visit.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 326 reviews
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  • 263
    Excellent
  • 48
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
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  • 1
    Terrible
Not a Flower Garden

If you're into cacti, this is the place for you. Exotic varieties grown to gigantic heights are on display here. The 34 acre estate is an over-the-top, operatic show piece that... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
MacinMac
,
McMinnville, Oregon

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326 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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McMinnville, Oregon
Level Contributor
153 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

If you're into cacti, this is the place for you. Exotic varieties grown to gigantic heights are on display here. The 34 acre estate is an over-the-top, operatic show piece that never for a moment stops shouting money. And you may not look by yourself but must be part of a 2hr docent tour. Our guide was excellent!

Helpful?
Thank MacinMac
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I live in Santa Barbara and often bring visitors to Lotusland. It's a very special place with an astonishing diverse plant collection. Even "plants are pretty boring" people can't help but be impressed. The cactus garden is a jaw-dropper. Price is pretty high and reservations are required in the limited hours it is open.

Helpful?
1 Thank Mary W
Snoqualmie, Washington
Level Contributor
183 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2015

Lotus Land was the accumulated obsession of several different owners, but perfected by Madame who had six husbands once, so it is said, richer than the next. She used this money to make a grand scale specimen garden that swings from ancient palms to a staggeringly packed cactus tableau/ The docent, an older man who had retired from his work... More 

Helpful?
4 Thank couplessPS
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2015

We were in Santa Barbara for my nieces UCSB graduation and decided to stop here on our way back to Los Angeles, so glad we did! This secluded, lavishly landscaped 37-acre estate is renowned for exotic plants and mysterious garden paths. Named for the estate's vivacious European-born mistress and the romantic, lotus-filled ponds in her gardens, the estate reflects the... More 

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4 Thank CheersToLife
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

We came to Santa Barbara primarily to see Lotusland and we were richly rewarded for having done so. Lotusland really is a not to be missed experience. The plantings are amazing as is the landscaping of the property. If I lived in Santa Barbara, I would be there every few weeks.

Helpful?
1 Thank LukeGGardner
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
234 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2015

Of course, all of Lotusland was over the top, as the founder, a true diva (she actually sang opera in the 1920's), had quite a vision. If you're looking for flowers, it's not that type of garden. Mostly there are huge rare plants such as cycads, cacti, succulents and topiaries. I love cacti, and this was the most impressive display... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank divefan
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2015

Not only is this a spectacular botanic garden with an abundance of landscape inspiration and awe but it's also a historic treasure. Ganna Valska the woman who is to thank for the garden has a fantastic story and is truly of an era of Santa Barbara glam. The number of people able to enter each year is limited due to... More 

Helpful?
Thank AshleighSB
Southern California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2015

You need a reservation and it is docent led, they don't let you wander and tend to push you along a little, the docent tells you about the history etc. Our docent did let us cover all the gardens and it was over two hours. This is not a flower garden it's heavy on cactus and succulents but has a... More 

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2 Thank _MTJ_99
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2015

It's difficult to rate Lotusland because as a garden attraction it is excellent, but the admission price is very high ($47). The guides at Lotusland are excellent and guests learn a lot about Ganna Walska. Hearing about Madame Walska is at least half of what makes the tour so enjoyable. The unusual gardens, including some rare plants, are equally as... More 

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Thank GenXMommy
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2015 via mobile

I'd like to return on a better day. It was very hot and bright today so it was difficult to hang in there for the whole two hours. The history of the property is interesting, the history of the woman who built the gardens is fascinating and the collections reflect her exuberance and affection for the exotic and dramatic. Wear... More 

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Thank Taradancer

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