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Review of Santa Barbara Zoo

Santa Barbara Zoo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 25, 2013

we have a membership and visit often. don't forget to visit the big grass hill (play area) and take a train ride. they have some renovation going on right now but you can still see all the animals

Thank nic e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"train ride"
in 90 reviews
"giraffe feeding"
in 39 reviews
"animals seem"
in 23 reviews
"perfect size"
in 33 reviews
"california condors"
in 17 reviews
"few hours"
in 58 reviews
"ocean view"
in 23 reviews
"all ages"
in 36 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 31 reviews
"bird refuge"
in 13 reviews
"beautiful grounds"
in 24 reviews
"los angeles"
in 15 reviews
"state street"
in 14 reviews
"enclosures"
in 54 reviews
"exhibits"
in 147 reviews
"cardboard"
in 44 reviews
"snow"
in 20 reviews
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910 - 914 of 1,214 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2013

We were in Santa Barbara with our 18 month old for a small function and took a free morning to visit the zoo. The zoo is in a great setting just a few hundred yards from the beach set on a small hill. The animal enclosures are generally well done, modern, and offered great views of the animals with information abounding. Compared to many other zoos, they do a great job of making it feel atypical for a zoo, and I mean that as a compliment because it means that the landscaping was well done, and the concrete, metal, and glass were minimal, which makes for a better overall experience.

The zoo was entirely accessible with a stroller (as you would expect of any ADA facility) and it did so without requiring the stroller to be navigated far out of the way of the normal walking paths.

Thank Jason L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I visited the Santa Barbara Zoo with my boyfriend and his father last winter. I am a Los Angeles native and spent many years volunteering at the Los Angeles Zoo, but had never been to the Santa Barbara Zoo. What a gem!

It's by far, the nicest small zoo that I have ever visited. All of the exhibits are well maintained and the animals look healthy and well cared for, including attention to keeping them entertained and active. Having volunteered in behavioral research, I was really pleased to see so many enrichment items in with the animals.

The highlight was feeding the giraffes. I'm sure everyone writes that in their reviews, but it really was a very cool experience and worth the extra money to do it.

Another highlight was Lucky the Penguin with his shoe!

The zoo is a good size. It's easy to spend a few hours and see it all, without feeling overwhelmed.

I was very impressed with my experience and look forward to many return visits.

Please visit my blog for more trip reports and reviews.

Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

OK this is definitely a minimal zoo and for those of us who believe animals deserve reasonable care, this is not the zoo to take children to. Read tourist trap for those who cannot find enough to do on beautiful beaches.

1  Thank Peregrine1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2013

The high point was feeding the giraffes....very fun. A nice place to spend some time on a nice day. We saw elephants, giraffes, penguins, elephants. Pretty landscaping. Nice views of the ocean.

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

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