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Address: 500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3798
Phone Number: 805-962-5339
Website
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 977 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 528
    Excellent
  • 314
    Very good
  • 78
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Beyond Expectations

Absolutely loved this zoo! So many incredible animals to see, my favourite was the polar bear who we stumbled across just after feeding time so he was very lively. Would recommend... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Fiona L
via mobile
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977 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 930: English reviews
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Absolutely loved this zoo! So many incredible animals to see, my favourite was the polar bear who we stumbled across just after feeding time so he was very lively. Would recommend buying a refillable drink at the very beginning of the day. My husband and I went to buy lunch and a single drink was $5+!

Helpful?
Thank Fiona L
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Feed the giraffes at the cutest zoo on the planet. great for short trips or all day events. I love the grounds and friendly staff.

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

Thanks, Lyz! More 

North Hills, CA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Wonderful zoo, though quite small. Very kid friendly; nice park areas for kids to romp around in and/or have picnics.

Helpful?
Thank Richard521
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Richard. Don't forget you can take the train up from LA and then ride over on the Waterfront Shuttle. More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
157 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

SB zoo is small compared to most other zoos we've visited, but we found this to be perfect in order to visit the entire zoo (pushing a baby stroller) in just under 3 hours. The animals were interesting, but more impressive was the impeccable & lush grounds, with beautiful trees, cactii, flowers, plants, hills, winding paths, boardwalks, small fields, and... More 

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

Thanks for the lovely review, GMC. We're quite proud of or horticultural collection. Thanks for mentioning. And, yes, it helps to be young to enjoy the train ride. More 

Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We enjoyed the zoo. It's well laid out and a great selection of animals to see. We saw all...some asleep, but most were active. The $17 per adult price is great for the size of park.

Helpful?
Thank Powder69
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Powder! More 

Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Most of the animals were hiding or sleeping (as someone else has already mentioned before) - the main ones that we were disappointed not to see was the snow leopards and gorilla. high parking charge was a bit unnecessary.

Helpful?
1 Thank Holidays306
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the review, Holidays306. Don't forget, you can walk over to East Beach and leave your car in our parking lot after a day at the beach. More 

Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Just gorgeous surrounding acres of beautifully tendered gardens you almost forget it is part of this lovely Zoo. Animals look as though they are looked after really well.

Helpful?
Thank Radioman280
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Radioman! More 

1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Many of the animals were hiding or sleeping. Hard to get a good look at any of them. No hands on interaction exhibits. Kids were rather bored. It's ok for a quick last minute half day activity.

Helpful?
Thank Trenton J
Redlands, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I really enjoyed visiting the Santa Barbara zoo. I loved watching the river otters, their curiosity and antics were very amusing! I was surprised at the variety and number of animals. I was pleased to see all the informative plaques telling visitors about the animals native habitats and what we could do to help preserve that animals habitat on or... More 

Helpful?
Thank AndreaL6
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Andrea. We concur that you don't need children to enjoy the SBZ. We are considered by many to be one of the 'most romantic places in Santa Barbara.' More 

San Diego, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Visited the zoo this past weekend while in Santa Barbara. I beautiful location close to the ocean and very nice resorts and residential area nearby. They did a great job on the grounds (plants, trees, hillsides, etc.) but were quite disappointed in how few animals in the zoo. Maybe its because am from San Diego and our zoo is fantastic... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kevin O

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Questions & Answers

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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?