Santa Barbara Zoo

#4 in Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Zoo picture1 of 2
Santa Barbara Zoo2 of 2
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Key Info

500 Ninos Dr.

Price & Hours

$17 for adults; $10 for kids 2-12
10 a.m.-3:30 or 5:30 p.m. daily

Details

Parks and Gardens, Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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 said 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 endangered Amur leopards. Despite the zoo's small size, many visitors praise the diversity of the animals. Many also reported visiting for more than just the creatures and praised the live stage shows, the play area and the barnyard. Others were pleased with the facility's manageable size, saying it was perfect for small children.

The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 or 5 p.m. every day, depending on the season. Admission costs $18 for adults and $11 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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More Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara

East Beach1 of 14
Old Mission Santa Barbara2 of 14
Type
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. 

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