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Address: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number:
+1 805-962-5339
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 1,059 reviews
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  • 570
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    Very good
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    Terrible
Love this little zoo!

First of all, this zoo's location can not be beat. It minutes away from State street, Montecito, the bird refuge lake, and the Southern beaches of SB. Make sure to visit Gemina... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Atlasheld
,
United States
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1,059 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,009: English reviews
United States
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

First of all, this zoo's location can not be beat. It minutes away from State street, Montecito, the bird refuge lake, and the Southern beaches of SB. Make sure to visit Gemina, the crooked neck giraffe!

Helpful?
Thank Atlasheld
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

What a great location for a zoo. The animals are well cared for have nice enclosures and there is great information about them. The staff is great! I love feeding the giraffes and the train.

Helpful?
Thank ExportIng
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The zoo was very nice but the attractions seemed a little limited considering the size of zoo. But the available attractions along with train ride was still a fun experience with friends and family. Prefer to go straight to train ride first thing when you come to park. Long queues form pretty fast.

Helpful?
Thank Abhishek A
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We have become members of the Santa Barbara Zoo because of it's appropriate size for a quick morning or afternoon treat for the grandkids. It's friendly size is just right for small ones, and it's specialized areas of local fauna are a unique look at what's really around you. It'll be hard for you to get the kiddos off the... More 

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

Thank you for becoming SBZ Members, Steven! More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

My expectations of the zoo were not high based on the fact that Santa Barbara is a modestly small community. This beautiful zoo is a pillar of this community. It is clean, kind, beautifully designed, well run and worth every penny of the not-so-modest entrance fee.

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

Thank you, LCB. We appreciate the review. FYI, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a private non-profit. This means that we receive no regular government funding (most US zoos and aquariums are municipal institutions). We would not exist without the support of people in our community (like you!). More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a beautiful little gem. It's just the right size and the grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean are the perfect place for a picnic. Don't miss feeding the giraffes! Fun for everyone from little children to adults.

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

Thanks for the lovely review, JT. FYI, a portion of each giraffe feeding goes to support giraffes in Africa. More 

Mukilteo, Washington
Level Contributor
80 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A relatively small zoo with a big-zoo admission price. The lack of space really affects the number of exhibits. I found the small size of the elephant enclosure particularly troubling. Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo closed their elephant exhibit and it was much larger than Santa Barbara's. Even with only 2 elephants it simply isn't big enough. I'm not a PETA... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank namsman
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Having grown up going to the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park, I tend to expect a lot from a zoo. The Santa Barbara Zoo is in a beautiful location with gorgeous views. It's not big and can be finished in a couple of hours. Most importantly though, every animal care giver we met, truly seems to love... More 

Helpful?
Thank dknable2017
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the lovely review, DK. Granted we're biased but we think we have one the best animal care teams on the planet! We have a full time animal nutritionist who gauges the nutritional value of all the straw and alfalfa that comes through, two full time vets, two full time vet techs and a super dedicated team of zoo... More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I do not like zoos, but the one in Santa Barbara is family oriented and fun to spend the day. The best part would be to feed some of the animals!Then you can take a stroll by the ocean and finish the day at a fish restaurant.

Helpful?
Thank thefrenchpro
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

After much rain, we were eager to see the sunshine and visit the zoo. Our party of 12 (3 families) quickly found parking spots, got our tickets and began our visit. There were no crowds and with sunshine and temps in the high 50's, we had a great visit. Lots of room for kids to run around and explore and... More 

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

Thanks for the visit. The grounds are particularly lush and beautiful after the rains. More 

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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?
  • How should I dress for this tour?