Ganna Walska Lotusland

#12 in Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara
Ganna Walska Lotusland picture1 of 3
Ganna Walska Lotusland2 of 3
Photo by Lotusland, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Key Info

695 Ashley Rd.

Price & Hours

$50 for adults; $25 for kids 3-17
Seasonal guided tours only


Parks and Gardens, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Lotusland is the former home of Polish opera singer Ganna Walska, who spent 40 years transforming her 37-acre estate into a garden wonderland. Upon her death in 1984, she left it to her foundation, which opened it to the public in 1993. The gardens are home to more than 3,000 plants from all over the world, including its namesake lotus flowers.

On a two-hour tour, the only way to visit, you'll see bromeliad and fern gardens, cactus and succulent gardens, a Japanese garden, an aloe garden and whimsical statuary. You'll also spot a 25-foot round horticultural clock featuring the signs of the zodiac and a collection of rare cycads, an unusual plant genus that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. 

Recent visitors said that while the entrance fee is high, it is well worth the price of admission to see the gorgeous gardens. Others praised the knowledgeable docents and variety of plant life.

The garden sits about 4 miles east of downtown Santa Barbara in Montecito. Lotusland is open mid-February through mid-November for guided tours only. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and must be booked in advance. Tickets cost $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 to 17. For more information, visit the garden's website.

See all Hotels in Santa Barbara »

More Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara

East Beach1 of 14
Old Mission Santa Barbara2 of 14
Time to Spend
#1 East Beach

There are three major beaches in Santa Barbara: Leadbetter, West and East. While Leadbetter has the harbor and West Beach is home to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, East Beach is the best stretch to catch some rays without being mobbed by crowds. 

The shoreline may still fill up more on the weekends, but East Beach is a bit more removed from State Street and the downtown area than the other beaches, offering more space to stretch out or take a walk along the sandy shores. You may have to protect yourself from the occasional rogue volleyball though, as there are more than a dozen sandy courts here. 

Read more
Geri Lavrov/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara »

Explore More of Santa Barbara

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019