Zoos

Santa Barbara Zoo Santa Barbara

Where is it at?

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Santa Barbara Zoo
500 Ninos Drive
Santa Barbara
CA
93103
Tel: 805 962 5339

Directions

From the South on U.S. 101: Take the Hot Springs/Cabrillo Boulevard exit. Turn left on Cabrillo and continue to the first stop light. Turn right on Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields. From the North on U.S. 101: Take the Milpas Street exit. Turn right on Milpas Street and turn left on Cabrillo Boulevard. Turn left at the first light, which is Niños Drive. The entrance is on the right side across from the playing fields.

Where are we going today?

With 30 acres and over 400 animals we've got one great zoo! An average Zoo visit lasts 2.5 hours; but many guests spend a half day meandering the grounds, taking in the Pacific Ocean views, and enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner after visiting the animals.

California Trails multi-exhibit complex includes Condor Country, home of four juvenile California condors, Channel Island fox, Rattlesnake Canyon, home to endangered reptiles and amphibians, bald eagles, and desert tortoises. Other popular exhibits: Baringo giraffes, Amur leopard, African lions, Humboldt penguins, Asian elephants, Western lowland gorillas, Gibbon Island, snow leopard, Goeldi's and Titi monkeys, and much much more!

Attractions: Giraffe feeding ($4 per person); Barnyard ($1 per cup, free to visit); Carousel featuring hand-carved exotic animals ($1 for children up to 48" tall); Zoo train ($2.50 to $3.50, free for children under 2); Kallman family play area (free).

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$14
  • Children$10
  • Free Under: 2 years.
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

10am to 5pm. Everyday except Christmas.

I'm Hungry!

The Ridley-Tree House Restaurant serves delicious grilled items, sandwiches, salads, and other tasty delights. Relax in our garden courtyard while you eat. Hot food is served until 4:30 p.m. Visit our brand-new restaurant, The Wave, at the Zoo's hilltop! Enjoy beautiful ocean views while eating South American-style meals with choices of chicken, beef, or sustainable salmon & shrimp. There are also several specialty food carts (seasonal) and vending machines throughout the Zoo. .

Healthy Eating!

The menu at The Wave features a mix of informal Mexican-inspired dishes. Tacos and quesadillas are offered with a choice of grilled chicken, steak or shrimp and optional sides of sour cream and guacamole. Caesar and mixed green salads are served with a choice of grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon. Kids Meals are chicken and steak tacos plus cheese quesadillas..

Any Top Tips?

They do not allow barbeques, skateboards, roller skates, bicycles, or pets in the Zoo. Barbeques, RV's, and pets are not allowed in the Zoo parking lot..

Doing our bit

Views of Pacific Ocean and East Beach, Andree Clark Bird Refuge, Santa Ynez mountains, and the cities of Santa Barbara and Montecito..

Need a little extra help?

The Zoo is fully accessible to the disabled, and wheelchairs are available for rental ($6) at the Gift Shop. Limited parking for the disabled is available on a first-come, first-served basis..

Can I get one of those?

The Zoo’s main gift shop is located near the entrance and is an exotic emporium of toys, books, and unique souvenirs. Stroller, wagon, and wheelchair rentals available here. The new Explore Store, our eco-friendly shop, is located by the barnyard in the new California Trails area of the Zoo. Find gifts, make your own “wild” animals from Animaland, or buy food for the barnyard animals here. We also offer themed merchandise at the train station and gift carts around the Zoo. .

More information

The Zoo does provide parking for $6 per vehicle: however, on summer days and weekends the lot fills early. Auxiliary parking may be found outside the Zoo..

What people are saying?

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    THE BIRD SPECIES ARE WONDERFUL AND UNUSUAL. I miss the walk through aviary. Before that was modified, I would have given the zoo a five star rating. There also used to be a zigzag-necked giraffe, who was quite charming. The zoo is unexpectedly nice! We have always enjoyed seeing the capeberi too!

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    My fiance and I took our two grandchildren to the zoo last Sunday.
    I am a member of many animal rights groups and I am not generally happy about zoos, although I understand the concept. When people can see, touch, and feel an animal they are much more likely to advocate for it, contribute to saving the species, and object to any harm to other animals like it.
    I was very pleasantly surprised to see a plant based diet being suggested in the gorilla exhibit.
    I was thrilled to see the environmental suggestions on almost every animal's display.
    The...Read More

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    One can view the entire zoo in a day. They have all of the typical animals in a zoo: lions, monkeys, elephants and giraffes. The terrain is not very hilly. The eateries and bathrooms accommodate children by having low seats and vanities. Overall it's a great place to take a young family to.

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    Very family friendly. Our kids (2-7yrs.old) had fun in various areas of the park. A next day visit would have still given the kids more fun moments.

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    Wonderful small zoo - great for a half day outing with kids near Santa Barbara. Ride the train and feed the giraffes!

Submit a review

by Deborah Wilson

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My fiance and I took our two grandchildren to the zoo last Sunday.
I am a member of many animal rights groups and I am not generally happy about zoos, although I understand the concept. When people can see, touch, and feel an animal they are much more likely to advocate for it, contribute to saving the species, and object to any harm to other animals like it.
I was very pleasantly surprised to see a plant based diet being suggested in the gorilla exhibit.
I was thrilled to see the environmental suggestions on almost every animal's display.
The trip to the zoo was educational to all of us and I commend all involved for their consciousness and animal advocacy.
The only negative was the guy working at the train who announced that on the 4th of July his family ate "half a cow".
Tell me, what is the difference between the penguin, the elephant, the lion, the flamingo and the cow he ate half of?

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