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Santa Barbara Zoo

#4 of 177 things to do in Santa Barbara Features Animals
500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3798
+1 805-962-5339
Review Highlights
Charming and Intimate

Though Santa Barbara's zoo doesn't rank with the giant zoos in San Diego, Los Angeles or the Bronx... read more

Reviewed January 12, 2016
Marc M
Los Angeles, California
Small but nice

Wanted to see the kappa berras, but they been replaced by aunt eaters. Small but pleasant venue... read more

Reviewed January 11, 2016
Vancouver, WA
Read all 1,133 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good33%
  • Average8%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“train ride” (85 reviews)
“perfect size” (31 reviews)
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All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3798
+1 805-962-5339
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Reviews (1,133)
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331 - 340 of 1,080 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2016

Though Santa Barbara's zoo doesn't rank with the giant zoos in San Diego, Los Angeles or the Bronx, it is a must-see destination, nonetheless. The Santa Barbara Zoo maximizes its limitations, keying in on beautiful habitats and paths that offer an intimate encounter with animals...More

1  Thank Marc M
Reviewed January 11, 2016

Wanted to see the kappa berras, but they been replaced by aunt eaters. Small but pleasant venue, although I was unhappy about how the elephants were housed.

Thank CaroleMac
Reviewed January 10, 2016 via mobile

Having visited many of the world's finest zoos, I wasn't expecting much but this was a gem. Manageable for those who are disabled, with friendly, helpful staff, and a great location. Go to the hilltop for lunch and enjoy the harbor and Channel Island views...More

Thank twinsaround
Reviewed January 7, 2016

This isn't a large zoo, but it has everything that larger zoos have - a good variety of animals, nice enclosures, good food, very attractive grounds, good interpretive signs, friendly staff and a nice interactive program. It was a cool day, so most of the...More

Thank Paul B
Reviewed January 4, 2016

We came very late so we had only an hour to closing, Yet we managed to see almost all the animals + playing time for litle ones in the zoo's playground, which was a nice addition. There is also a train ride that we didn't...More

Thank adiisetzi
Reviewed December 30, 2015 via mobile

Beautiful grounds good variety of animal exhibits with informative signage. We missed some of the scheduled presentation but the keepers were very friendly and willing to answer our questions.More

Thank dafesq
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2016

Thanks for the response and the wonderful suggestion. The Santa Barbara Zoo is right off the picturesque beach-side bike path that runs from the Andre Clark Bird Refuge up to the Harbor. If you take AMTRAK to Santa Barbara, you can load on a bicycle...More

Reviewed December 29, 2015 via mobile

Hard to give an "A" rating after growing up in San Diego and going to the zoo there, but the Santa Barbara Zoo turned out to be a nice way to spend the morning. Too bad we forgot to use our Axxess card for the...More

1  Thank janad63
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2016

Yes, the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo is a different 'flavor' from the World-Famous San Diego Zoo: smaller, more picturesque and (we hope) more interactive. Thanks for the review!

Reviewed December 28, 2015

We spent about 3.5 hours at the Santa Barbara zoo with two kids under 4 years old. We saw all the animals and rode the train. We had to wait in line to ride the train which runs every 30 minutes (they ran out of...More

1  Thank Theresa B
Reviewed December 23, 2015

What a special zoo we have in Santa Barbara! It is child friendly with a little red train that takes you on a tour around the edges of the zoo. This zoo is built on a beautiful old estate with a view of the Pacific...More

Thank Grammyjane2015
Reviewed December 21, 2015 via mobile

This zoo is located in Santa Barbara and is relatively small in compared to other zoos. It's great for family's and kids. When you enter look for the schedule of the day and you can see when the different animals are being fed, you can...More

1  Thank Bentecotter
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
July 31, 2016|
AnswerShow all 12 answers
Response from Dean N | Property representative |
Hello, EC: You might want to google the link to the bus system. There's lots of good info above. See you at the Zoo!
Gwendalyn B
April 30, 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Christy W | Reviewed this property |
You can bring food in the park and there are some really nice grassy areas in the back of the park to set up a picnic and let the kids run around.
Damilola E
March 25, 2016|
Response from Richard B | Property representative |
Thank you for considering a visit to the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo! Admission for adults (13-64) is $17; children (2-12) is $10; seniors (65+) is $13; and children under 2 are free. Parking is $7, but there is ample... More