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“An oasis of calm”

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Ranked #12 of 178 things to do in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: With sweeping views to the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and stunning landscapes, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a great place to explore California's native plant diversity.The Garden's 78 acres encompass a variety of cultivated displays as well as stands of natural coast live oak and riparian woodlands.The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Widely regarded as a model botanic garden, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum and a member of the American Alliance of Museums, dedicated to research, education, and conservation of California native plants. With over 1,000 different taxa of plants on display there is always something new to experience. Stroll the 5.5 miles of paths and discover featured areas within the Garden: the historic Mission Dam and aqueduct built in 1807 to supply water to the Santa Barbara Mission, an authentic Japanese Tea House and Garden, and the spectacular views along the Porter Trail. Experience the quiet cool of the Redwood grove on a hot summer’s day or the knockout punch of the Meadow wildflowers in full bloom in spring.The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden welcomes visitors seven days a week, rain or shine. The Garden is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and during some special events.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Well worth exploring beyond State Street and the beach. Fabulous views of Santa Barbara and ocean from the trail. Japanese tea garden and easy trail by gorgeous plants, trees and waterfalls. Perfect thing to do after dropping your student off at UCSB.

Thank Rachael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 - 355 of 546 reviews

Reviewed August 11, 2013

I wanted to love this garden.... but my experience was very underwhelming! The admission charge here is $8.00. I can walk into the Santa Monica Mountains and see a lot more for free. The gardens at the Huntington Museum and Descanso in the Los Angeles area are far superior. The gardens here suffer a lot from neglect. The park is subdivided into different areas: The meadow area has nothing particularly interesting. The redwood space is the most interesting and the dam that the Missionaries built using Chumash slave labor is noteworthy. The demonstration garden has nothing particularly encouraging. I went there looking for some ideas, but found none. You can walk across the street to the free area and walk up a hill to see a nice view of Santa Barbara and the ocean. This is probably the best part, since you can go there without paying.

Thank glennopp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Any interest in plants and nature? You need to visit. We went here after a 4 mile hike and did some more walking. Very lovely and well kept grounds. Always love to learn things. Another tourist trip off of the list. The gift shop is also very nice.

Thank Carolyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Amazing plants, trees, history and setting. There were very well defined paths with little bridges and some historic relics. Don't miss the gift shop and plants for sale.

1  Thank judygecko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

First off, I'll admit, I have not been to many other Botanic Gardens, so I'm not a real aficionado, but I do like nature/plants/gardening. I'm from the East, so the plants and trees of California are all very interesting and strange to me (like Dr. Seuss drawings!) I thought this place was great. When we arrived around 10:30 AM, the woman at the entrance was super friendly in giving us an overview, providing a map, explaining g about special programs that day and sending us on our way. We took the wandering path past a turtle pond, up a hill with overlook, down through the 100-year-old redwoods, across a creek (currently dry in summer) and finally back up to where we started. This was a great short hike for the kids and I full of tremendous variety of California plant life. I'm so glad we visited the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. For me, it was one of the highlights of our trip.

1  Thank LolaCookies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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