Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

#9 in Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden picture
bpperry/Getty Images

Key Info

1212 Mission Canyon Road

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.7scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

North of downtown, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a refuge for bored beachgoers and nature enthusiasts alike. Visitors walk on unpaved paths through what, at times, looks like unremarkable brush. However, what you see here is carefully designed. According to the official website, the garden is committed to protecting plants unique to central California's coastal region — indifferent to their individual beauty. And it's this diversity (along with Santa Barbara's stunning mountain views), which differentiates this botanical park from others.

"Wows await you as you walk the easy paths. The sounds of the trees swaying, the birds singing, the chameleons running around, the mountain views combine for a refreshing interlude away from the city," offered one TripAdvisor

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November to February and until 6 p.m. the rest of the year. Admission costs $12 for adults, with discounts for seniors, children and students available. Free guided tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the weekends and 2 p.m. on Mondays. Visit the garden's website for further details.

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More Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara

State Street
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 8
#1 State Street

Santa Barbara's most famous avenue, State Street cuts through downtown and leads right onto Stearns Wharf. It's nearly impossible to miss with its shops, art galleries, theaters and museums like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. You can grab a ride on the electric shuttle for 50 cents, but most travelers and locals recommend you walk to truly appreciate the ambiance.

After a few hours of shopping — with more than 300 shops and stores — visitors usually slide into a chair at one of the 160 local restaurants to refuel.

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