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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 957 reviews
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  • 518
    Excellent
  • 309
    Very good
  • 74
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Great little zoo

We absolutely loved the Santa Barbara Zoo! It's the perfect size to spend a relaxing day. There are plenty of fun animals to see and learn about. We thought it was great how... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
We3luv2travel
,
Big Bear Region, California
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957 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 910: English reviews
Big Bear Region, California
Level Contributor
166 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We absolutely loved the Santa Barbara Zoo! It's the perfect size to spend a relaxing day. There are plenty of fun animals to see and learn about. We thought it was great how they gave advice at each exhibit on ways to protect the different species and their habitats in the wild. One of the highlights for us was seeing... More 

Helpful?
Thank We3luv2travel
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thank you, We Luv 2 Travel. The snow leopards are my favorites, too! More 

Snyder, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This is a beautiful small zoo. Little children thru adults love it. I've been to big zoos where you walk all day and still don't see everything. This zoo is just the right size and has places to stop and rest and places for the kids to play. Of course, the surrounding scenery is fantastic.

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

Thanks, Debi. Glad you had fun! More 

Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

If you are ever in a bind to take the kids to a zoo without making it a daylong excursion the Santa Barbara Zoo is the place to go. The ocean views do not hurt either.

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

Thank you, So CalBroker. Yes, parents frequently comment on our 'manageable size.' You can see most of the zoo in 90 minutes or so ... but we hope the gardens and scenery will tempt you to linger longer. More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We have taken out kids and now grand children to this wonderful zoo for years and the kids always love it. It is a world class small zoo, that will not disappoint!

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

Thanks for your long-time support, Mick! More 

Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Don't be fooled, Brooklyn, San Diego, Chicago all have world famous Zoos. I wouldn't trade a free trip to any of those over a stroll through the Santa Barbara Zoo. This cozy little haven of the wild kingdom is jam packed with wonderful furry friends and is located in just about the most scenic place on planet earth. Believe me,... More 

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

THANKS, MARTIN!!! Unlike most accredited zoos, we are a private non-profit and wouldn't be here without the support of proud 'locals' like you! More 

RDU
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great local zoo with pretty scenes of the coast and great play areas for kids. Even my teen enjoyed hanging out in the play structures. Don't miss the mini lectures with zookeepers as advertised on the daily boards.

Helpful?
Thank 2047K
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, 2047K. Yes, our 'keeper talks' are posted daily down at the front. More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Splendid Saturday afternoon at the SB Zoo. Everyone on display, many sleeping in view. The lions slept near the fence and gave the train passengers a ride to remember. The newly added Discovery Pavilion gives an inside view of the animals and you can watch zoo chefs create meals in The Ridley-Tree Animal Kitchen.

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

Thanks, Rocky. Don't forget, the zoo is right across the street from East Beach if you're looking top off the romantic day with a selfie-worthy sunset shot. More 

Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's a nice little zoo on the coast with great views. Not a lot of animals but the ones they have are easy to view.

Helpful?
Thank 101johnnyboi
Oxnard, California
Level Contributor
153 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The SB Zoo is a wonderful place to take a child 10 or under. It is a relatively small and manageable zoo with a wide range of animals. they offer some teaching experiences and have a cute zoo train. Our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter loves it, especially the elephants.

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

Thanks for the review, Jeff. Many parents I've talked to like the fact that the SB Zoo is "do-able" in 90 minutes to two hours. You'll be tempted to linger by our gardens, but if you need to be back home by nap time you can see most of the park. More 

Benicia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Short drive from our hotel at the Presidio on State Street. This zoo may be small, but it is very clean. The water pools in the animal exhibits are the cleanest I have ever seen. Not murky with leaves and algae. The animals looked healthy and happy. Collected another pressed penny there on this road trip. Two others came from... More 

Helpful?
Thank Oohoohooh

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Questions & Answers

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Encino, United States
Torrance, California
over a year ago
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Lagos State, Nigeria

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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?
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