Travel Rankings & Advice

Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Ninos Drive | Santa Barbara, CA | Official website
Santa Barbara Zoo Photo info
playfulphoto/Getty Images
  • Type: Parks and Gardens, Zoos and Aquariums
  • Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Overall Rating: 4.0 (4.2)
Value: 4.0 (4.0)
Facilities: 5.0 (5.0)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

Neighboring the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in the east part of downtown, the Santa Barbara Zoo gives visitors a taste of the exotic just a block from the sandy shore. Recent visitors say the small zoo packs a lot of entertaining creatures into a clean, well-designed property. The zoo also features attractions like a 26-foot rock climbing wall and the animal kitchen where visitors can observe animal food preparation. 

Permanent residents of the zoo include anteaters, leopards, gorillas and penguins. But the biggest celebrities here are the native California condors and rare snow leopards. Despite the zoo's small size, many visitors praise the diversity of the animals. But they come for more than just the creatures.

"This zoo might not be the largest in California, but it might be the most loved and maintained. We were constantly impressed with the immaculate habitats, well cared for animals and helpful staff," one TripAdvisor users noted.

The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Christmas. Admission costs $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 to 12. There are additional costs for parking, the Zoo Train, the carousel and feeding animals like giraffes and sheep. For more details, check out the zoo's website.

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