The Santa Barbara Zoo is located on 30 acres (12 ha) near the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. It was built on the site of what was known as the Child Estate. The zoo has been ranked numerous times as one of the nation's best small zoos. It has more than 500 animals in numerous exhibits, including capybara and California condors, and is famous for having had a giraffe with a crooked neck. It also features a few non-animal attractions, such as the 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge Zoo Train, complete with a pair of Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotives. The zoo first opened in August 1963.
African Plains or African Veldt, is an african themed habitat that houses giraffes, sulcata tortoises, and meerkats.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
David Norton | Mar 2, 2018
Fantastic yet manageable zoo. Saw the whole thing in an hour and could have spent much more time just enjoying the grounds. Great play area for small kids. My kids are loving the science curriculum. Very pleasant garden like atmosphere and some amazing animals. Condors, bald eagles and gorillas 🦍 were my favorites.
Danielle Scroggs | Dec 27, 2017
This is a great place to bring the entire family regardless of age! There is something for everyone to do. One of the highlights is getting to hand feed the giraffes some treats and getting to ride the train. The staff was friendly and helpful throughout the entire park. There’s a good size play area for young kids that was really neat and a great opportunity for parents to take a seat for a bit! Price was pretty fair given the size of the zoo ($17). The entire zoo is wheelchair accessible including parking, bathrooms, ramps, etc.
Andrea Molina | Feb 9, 2018
This is a great zoo. Perfect for little ones especially. The annual pass is very affordable if you like to go more than once. Staff is nice. Never too crowded. You can see it all in an hour or two.
Blake | Feb 15, 2018
Our family loves the Santa Barbara Zoo. My wife and I went there as kids, and now we have the joy of taking our kids there. Over the years they have done a wonderful job of keeping up the spaces for the animals and have added interesting variety since I was a kid. Tons of fun activities for kids, and you can't beat the scenic location. Absolutely love love love the Santa Barbara Zoo!
Cuddy Ritchason | Jan 21, 2018
Super fun! Great for all ages. It's not a large zoo but there are many awesome things to see and do. Between the animals, shows, and play areas, you can easily get a full day of fun for the whole family. They have some seasonal events that are fantastic! Kudos to the bird team! They are very friendly, knowledgeable, and are doing some fun things with birds.
G Froelich | Apr 14, 2018
This is a charming, very walkable zoo atop a hill that gives great mountain, city and ocean views. The condor exhibit is just about worth the price of admission in itself. There were many young families enjoying the day and taking advantage of the several child oriented activities. Very friendly atmosphere.
Justin Hartwell | Apr 12, 2018
A very nice municipal zoo. Very clean and well taken care of. We were there during a family oriented event and it was quite busy but not so much that we didn't get to see everything. Staff was friendly and helpful whenever we needed something.
Marilyn Meyer | Apr 4, 2018
I love this zoo. It has all the animals and creatures you need in a small enough area that you can see it all in a half day. The food, however, is outrageously overpriced.$5.50 for a single plain hot dog? Really? There is a lot of open grass area for picnics, which would be a smart thing to do. Recommended for all ages. The drive there is beautiful. Pacific Ocean next to you.
Goleta Mom | Apr 11, 2018
The Santa Barbara Zoo is an excellent zoo (especially compared to other towns of a similar size). Favorite animals include giraffes, elephants, island foxes, gibbons and leopards. The play area is a great option (bring cardboard for the hill slide). The train is a good overview of the zoo and take you behind the scenes a little.
Trina | Jun 13, 2018
This is a wonderful little zoo that's beautifully kept and always a pleasure to visit! We bought a membership this year, and it's so worth it- if you plan going more than twice a year, it's a great deal. There's an awesome kids play area that we take our family to regularly, and lots of fun kids crafts and events to attend. Keep in mind this is much, much smaller than the L.A. zoo and can definitely all be done in one day. There's some food available to buy, but not a ton of options, so consider bringing your own. Tip: Buy giraffe feeding tickets when you first arrive at the front gate- you can't buy them at the giraffe area, and you won't feel like walking all the way back!
Christian Charles | Apr 20, 2018
Just a fantastic zoo, great animal enclosures, beautiful setting on a gentle hill, unique flora, worth the visit! This is a true gentleman in Santa Barbara, and a can't miss experience whether you have kids or not! The zoo is strewn carefully across lightly hilly acreage, with beautiful trees, plants and flowers, many native to Cape Town in South Africa due to similar ecology and weather. I like that they don't have too many animals - just the right balance. We brought our own food and enjoyed picnicking on the hill. From the Giraffe's enclosure you can see the Sandy beaches and ocean, quite beautiful. Easy to park and easy to get to, this is a sure win if you're near Santa Barbara!!
Janett Miramontes | May 24, 2018
We went as a family and it was a very nice experience. I have a toddler ( 16 months ) and we have certain days where we go and explore different places in different cities & we happened to come across this place last month. It’s a small zoo but it’s so worth it. It has all the right animals to see, not too expensive and best of all it’s not super crowded. It was a really nice way for us to start our day in Santa Barbara.
Patty Butler | Jun 15, 2018
Great place to spend a day with kids. The day we went all of the animals were very active. We arrived at 10 am. Fairly inexpensive as far as zoos go. You can also bring in your own food and drink. Have a picnic on the grounds. We did!
Joel Ortega | Jun 5, 2018
Very nice, small zoo. A quiet, relaxing place to go for a stroll, with the added benefit of animals to look at. They don't have as many animals as San Diego, or L.A. Zoo, but part of me kind of likes that about it. It feels more relaxed, but that could also be because I came on a Monday afternoon. Felt like I had the whole place to myself.
Amanda Berrier | Jul 5, 2018
For a smaller zoo this place is fantastic. The animals all seem very healthy and happy. The staff is very friendly and also attentive to your questions. The giraffe feeding experience is so neat and informative. The train ride is so much fun for the little ones. The inside park is a must stop and plan to spend some time there because the little ones love the grass slope slide as well as the entertainment arena next to the park. They also recently updated the Gorilla interaction area that is very fun for children 5 and up.
Tara O'Brien | Jul 8, 2018
Family-friendly activity in Santa Barbara located within walking distance of the beach. The grounds are easily walkable and there are plenty of ramps for families with strollers. There is a playground and a barnyard area where kids can feed animals. For an extra price, there is a climbing wall, giraffe feeding experience, and train that circles the zoo. There are two places in the park to sit outside, purchase food, and eat. The prices for food and drinks are expensive. They have dip n dots though! For tickets, children under 2 are free and they have a senior discount. There is no changing table at "the wave" food area restroom, which is a bit inconvenient.
Grayson Hittle | Jun 19, 2018
All rescued, orphaned, injured or born in captivity. As much a charitable, science based, education mission as a place to see cute animals. Geared towards children. Great playground. Well maintained and creative enclosures and living areas for the animals. Exotic birds, flamingos, lions, leopards, otters, koalas, gorillas, giraffes and more! Friendly knowledge staff. My only complaint is they really push the picture package thing on your way in. It's annoying. If you live in town and you have kids, get a membership you won't regret it.
Alecia Murrell | Jul 9, 2018
It's a cute little zoo. The train ride was a nice way to cool off. It is a little annoying that everyone has to pay to feed the giraffe. Like the parents have to pay even if they just want their kids to feed the giraffe. Or if one parent and one child wanted to feed the giraffe but the other parent or partner wanted to go with to take a picture..... they would have to pay too. Definitely not an all day zoo experience.
Wander is a travel search engine that allows you to find the perfect travel destination that fits your budget and preferences.