Santa Barbara Zoo 4.6 (reviews)

Santa Barbara, CA Zoos & Wildlife Unclaimed
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About Santa Barbara Zoo

Something WILD is headed your way in Santa Barbara, and that might be a day filled with animal fun at Santa Barbara Zoo!

With 30 acres and over 500 animals representing 146 species, so it certainly will be a day of animals interactions, learning, and creating amazing memories! 

An average Zoo visit lasts 2 1/2 hours, but many families spend a half day meandering the grounds, taking in the Pacific Ocean views, and enjoying a picnic lunch or dinner after visiting the animals. It's YOUR day, so do what you like with it!

Santa Barbara Zoo offers naturalistic habitats for the animals to call home, so kids can witness them acting close to how they would in the wild. 

From Africa, to Asia, and even Down Under, kids can meet animals from ALL over the world! There are the adorable river otters who love to play, and the impressive Asian elephants with their charming faces. Kids can marvel at how tall giraffes really are, and of course they can see those grand African lions with their own eyes. 

Santa Barbara Zoo also houses rare and endangered species including the Amur Leopard, offering kids an invaluable learning experience all about conservation, and why it's so important for us to care for the animals on the planet, and their homes!

Don't miss the California Trails multi-exhibit complex including Condor Country, home of four juvenile California condors, Channel Island fox, Rattlesnake Canyon, home to endangered reptiles and amphibians, bald eagles, and desert tortoises. 

As well as the animals, Santa Barbara Zoo also offers a number of fun attractions and experiences that you can enjoy for a small additional fee, including the giraffe feeding, barnyard visit, carousel ride, zoo trail and family play area!

Are you excited to enjoy an animal-tastic day out in one of the most beautiful parts of California? Great! Let's get WILD!

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How much does it cost?

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Adults $18

Children $10 (Ages 2-12)

Free Under 2 years.

Last Update 2022

Discount Senior discounts

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Santa Barbara Zoo FAQ’s

Doing our bit

The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the 220+ accredited zoos and aquariums that participate in Species Survival Plans (SSP), a cooperative conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). More than 200 different species are managed, aimed at maintaining genetic diversity within captive populations, sustaining these captive populations, and guarding against extinction.

I’m Hungry! Can I get food at Santa Barbara Zoo?

The Ridley-Tree House Restaurant serves delicious grilled items, sandwiches, salads, and other tasty delights. There is also 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.

Any top tips when visiting?

There are additional experiences and attractions that you can enjoy for an extra fee, ranging from the train rides to giraffe experiences and a 26ft climbing wall!

Does Santa Barbara Zoo have a gift shop?

The Zoo’s main gift shop is located near the entrance and is an exotic emporium of toys, books, and unique souvenirs.

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.

They also offer themed merchandise at the train station and gift carts around the Zoo.

Teachers corner

Kids can enjoy Zoo School, as well as Kids Clubs, Zoo Camp and so many ore educational experiences, including field trips!

Does Santa Barbara Zoo have healthy eating or Vegan options?

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.

Is Santa Barbara Zoo fully accessible?

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

Any additonal information?

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