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Santa Barbara Zoo

Address 500 Niños Drive Santa Barbara CA
How to Find it: The Zoo is located in Santa Barbara, CA, approximately 90 miles north of Los Angeles, 25 minutes north of Ventura, and 40 miles south of Solvang. From the South on U.S. 101: Take the Hot Springs/Cabrillo Boulevard exit. Turn left on Cabrillo and continue to the first stop light. Turn right on Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields. Note: If you miss your exit, you can use the Milpas Street exit and follow the directions below after going left on Milpas Street (go around the roundabout). From the North on U.S. 101: Take the Milpas Street exit. Turn right on Milpas Street and turn left on Cabrillo Boulevard. Turn left at the first light, which is Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields
Open: Open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. every day except Christmas, and 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 on Thanksgiving
Prices: Adults 13-59: $11 Children 2-12/Seniors 60+: $8 Children under 2: Free Parking: $4 (free with SB Zoo Membership)
Area: 30 acres
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
Click here for a Link to the Zoo’s own Web Pages
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This critique last updated:  Mar 2008

Official Description

The Beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo


Often referred to as, “The World’s Most Beautiful Zoo,” we are Santa Barbara’s #1 visitor attraction.    Situated on the grounds of a former estate built in 1896, the Santa Barbara Zoological Park and Gardens comprises 30 lush hilltop acres across the street from Santa Barbara’s most popular beach adjacent an estuary nature preserve with an unimpeded view of the mountains. 


The Zoo’s elegant grounds and central location make it one of Santa Barbara’s most popular wedding and event venues; and, we are frequently featured on film and television. 


The Santa Barbara Zoo is a world-class, medium-size venue now celebrating 42 years of operation.  We maintain a collection of 500 animals from 130 species.  We are a private, non-profit institution which receives no public funding.  We are treasured intergenerational park with strong nostalgic appeal.  Parents and grandparents enjoy introducing subsequent generations to the park they enjoyed as children.

Visitor Reviews

Review submitted by Peter Kovalick July 2006

I have been to Santa Barbara Zoo a number of times, excellent place a number

of great species,fun place for the kids and you ,within a

couple of blocks of the beach,an excellent place. 



Frommer's Review

When you're driving around the bend on Cabrillo Boulevard, look up — you might spot the head of a giraffe poking up through the palms. This zoo is a thoroughly charming, pint-size place, where all 500 animals can be seen in about 30 minutes. Most of the animals live in natural, open settings. There are also a children's Discovery Area, a miniature train ride, and a small carousel. The picnic areas (complete with barbecue pits) are underutilized and especially recommended


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