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“Charming”
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 June 1, 2013

Easy to get around, and a merry go round for the little ones, beautiful views of the oceans. Finish with the train ride when you're ready to leave

Thank Ruby49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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824 - 828 of 1,162 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

We visit the zoo every year with our family. There were two new additions this month. Two baby giraffes!!

Thank sbtakaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is a small, beautiful zoo. You can easily see everything in about 1.5-2 hours. Lots of unusual animals - capybara, anteater, etc. and a really cool exhibit of birds of asia. You go into the enclosure and there is a sign with the different birds. We easily found all of the beautiful birds. The highlight for my kids was spending $6 each to feed lettuce to a giraffe. Pricey, yes, but the zookeepers were great, giving each kid plenty of time with the giraffe. The zookeepers and volunteers everywhere were exceptional knowledgeable and helpful. We also saw the elephants getting their baths.

1  Thank Pat909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

As a Early Childhood Education professional, I just wanted to comment about this "attraction" from that perspective. While this small zoo is quite beautiful, does have areas designed for children to be active, getting through the zoo and actually seeing the animals in their enclosures must be difficult from a small person's perspective, as many of the animals are below you. After entering, to get to the heart of the park, you have to walk up a pretty substantial hill. For people with walking, breathing, etc., challenges this takes quite alot out of you almost immediately. We went with my mom, who is 75, and she had to sit at the top! For children, this could be quite tiring, as well. You also still have tol walk abit to see more animals (you see the black swans upon entering!). There are two food stands at opposite ends of the park, so bring water with you.

2  Thank ckori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard B, CEO at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded June 5, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Zoo and for sharing some thoughts about your experience in May. It was helpful to hear from an educator and quite timely as we move closer to the completion of our Discovery Pavilion project, a new 9,500 square foot education center. When the center opens early in 2014, the Zoo will have new classrooms for school groups, a space for evening adult education programs, a view into our animal diet kitchen that's accessible by all Zoo guests, and a modest changing exhibit gallery. Accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are integral parts of all our projects. The new pathways designed around the Discovery Pavilion will be open to guests by mid-June 2013, ensuring that all of our visitors will have easy access from the street in front of the Zoo (Ninos Drive) to the hilltop in the center of the Zoo. This will definitely make walks around the Zoo much easier for everyone. With 20% of our Zoo guests being age five and younger, all of our newer exhibits are designed to provide good experiences and viewing opportunities for this important part of our audience. I hope you will return for another visit once the new pathways and the Discovery Pavilion are open to see if we are successful in creating quality personal experiences that bring people and animals together.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

This is a manageable size place to take young kids. We have taken our friends kids there, and they love it. If you have kids, I wouldn't miss this place when in town.

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

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