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Address: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number:
+1 805-962-5339
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Description:

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,053 reviews
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  • 566
    Excellent
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    Terrible
Lovely small zoo

We went here on a visit to Santa Barbara and had a great time! The zoo is lovely, clean and pleasant. It's mostly small animals but it's beautifully laid out and perfect for... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Mtdubs
,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
via mobile
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1,053 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,003: English reviews
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We went here on a visit to Santa Barbara and had a great time! The zoo is lovely, clean and pleasant. It's mostly small animals but it's beautifully laid out and perfect for young children. They had a fun dinosaur show while we were there that my two year old granddaughter loved. Most of all, she loved going down a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mtdubs
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Feeding the Giraffe's is a great experience and one my children like to do every year. As Zoo's go, we find this one to be the perfect size, fairly easy to navigate around and plenty of kids activities to let them let off steam.

Helpful?
Thank PurdieParks
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, PurdieParks! Yes, you can 'do the zoo' in about 90 minutes or two hours with little ones. See you next year! More 

Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Loved this little zoo! Great animals. Love the history of the elephants, they've been together since '72. Lots of picnic space.

Helpful?
2 Thank TriciaG530
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the nice note. I'll relay your compliments to Sujatha and Little Mac. You might want to check out the videos of the two elephants we have on our Santa Barbara Zoo Youtube Channel. They're big music fans. More 

Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Santa Barbara Zoo is the perfect zoo for the whole family big enough but not to big it will keep you entertained. With interactive attractions this zoo is a lot of fun. There is a small food place to get a bite. With animals that you do not always see at other zoos making this great for adults as well... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jessica B
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Jessica. Our gardens are especially lush and green these days thanks to all the recent rain. More 

livermore, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is the perfect size zoo. Small enough for a toddler's attention span but has enough to keep adults interested too. The play areas are spaced just where you need them for wiggle breaks. We took our children here 30 years ago on vacation and now our toddler grandchild lives in the area.

Helpful?
Thank 317valeries
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, 317 Values. We pride ourselves on being just the right size for little ones. Thanks for the nice note! More 

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2017

One of the smallest zoos in the country but worth the visit. Took our one year old and three year old grandkids. Apes, lions, giraffes, elephants, penguins, were some of the animals that we never get to see at the Anchorage Zoo that we usually visit. Friendly staff highly recommended the ten minute train ride but didn't get a chance... More 

Helpful?
Thank SaraD656
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the review, Sara! We have some wonderful videos on our Youtube Channel that you might enjoy. Our elephants really enjoy music. More 

Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2017

We went here with my 1 year old Grandson. Some of the exhibits were tired looking and a bit boring. However the interactive parts were real fun. Feeding the Giraffe as very cool and feeding the goats and sheep kept him giggling almost constantly. It was also fun to find the penguins names and follow them around the pool. There... More 

Helpful?
Thank verifind
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2017

Just loved the grounds, animals and train-ride. We went with our grand-kids and it was very enjoyable:))

Helpful?
Thank Mitra B
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for bringing the grand-kids! Unlike most zoos, we are a private non-profit. We wouldn't exist without support from community members like you! More 

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
94 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2017

I recently had to be in Santa Barbara for a wedding during the New Year holiday and was told that the zoo is a good place for children. A few things to point out: This is not a large zoo. This is not like the San Diego Zoo where you have tons and tons of animals. However, that being said... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jill O
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks for the visit, Jill! If you ever come back during the summer, don't forget that the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo is right across the street from the beach (and you can leave your car in our lot!). More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2017

This zoo is a nice 2-3 hr visit. They have a nice variety of animals to view but its small. We visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and pay half the price for a larger zoo with huge safari exhibits.

Helpful?
1 Thank Palemke
Richard B, CEO at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Zoo during your time in Santa Barbara. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a great zoo and it continues to make many wonderful improvements that benefit the animals and their 800,000+ visitors. It is important to understand that the Chaffee Zoo's additional 11 acres and the price of admissions are not the... More 

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Encino, United States
Torrance, California
over a year ago
10 months ago
Lagos State, Nigeria

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