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Lotusland, Montecito

(380+ reviews on the web)
Garden
Discover a world of exotic plants at Lotusland, created by famed opera singer and garden enthusiast Ganna Walska. Purchased in 1941 and intended to serve as a retreat for Tibetan monks, the estate consumed Walska's private time for most of her life. The singer spent over four decades designing and improving the sprawling property, eventually creating over a dozen distinct gardens. The 15 hectare (37 acre) gardens contain over 3,000 different species of plants, including ferns, aloes, lotuses, cycads, cacti, palms, bromeliads, and euphorbias. If you would like a tour of the gardens, be sure to call ahead of time to make reservations; the estate is open to the public by advance notice only. Tours happen twice a day in season and last approximately two hours. To visit Lotusland on your trip to Montecito, use our Montecito family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • How is it that this garden is the work of a somewhat original Polish opera singer during the last war is not better known, and does not even appear in some travel guides? Divided into 23 separate sections on 20 hectares in the city of Santa Barbara, the garden which is a private foundation can be visited by appointment in small groups with guides amateur botanists and volunteers passionate by their subject and able to communicate their passion. The tour lasts two hours and we see time! In absence of the Japanese garden being total rehabilitation, the most spectacular parties are the incredible garden of cacti and Euphorbia with more than 300 species from around the world, the garden of cycads from another world with 1000 different species, the amazing set of ferns including the giant New Zealand Antartica who 10 meters high, the rose garden whose flowers had not yet hatched at the time of our visit , and a garden of over 200 species of Aloe. It is also these giant trees of the Brazilian forest, Argentina and Australia, not to mention a famous collection of Palm trees from both hemispheres with not less than 60 specimen of 'Jubilea' monumental of the Chile to smooth trunks which we have only a few copies in Europe. To conclude, because it is one of the highlights of the garden, a unique collection of aerial bromeliads that do not need land to push... This place is a delight with extremely rare or endangered plants which are all perfectly labeled with their country of origin their plant family in English and latin. Whether botanist or amateur like me, don't miss a visit to Lotusland under any circumstances when you pass in the Santa Barbara area.
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  • This is indeed a world class garden...so many specimens and types of gardens spread out over 24 acres. 17 full time gardeners keep this collection looking it's best. Clivias were going crazy this time...  more »
  • If you love gardens, botany or just are intrigued by unusual personal histories, Lotusland should be on your MUST do list. I found out about the garden when Googling 'gardens in Santa Barbara'. The st...  more »
Google
  • Awesome experience. Plantings are spectacular. Like no other botanical garden. Prepare to be amazed. Catch the morning tour - 10-12 - so refreshing and good for the spirit. *****************
  • Huge and spectacular botanical garden. Worth a couple of hours if you're in Santa Barbara/Montecito and like shrubbery and/or spectacular excess.
  • It's expensive to get in, but the garden itself is huge and staffed with people who seem to truly care about the plants there. As a normal member, you are not allowed to freely walk in the garden, but to follow a tour guide that may drag on at times going a bit too in-depth about certain plants. However the scale of the garden was hard to believe, and there are a huge variety of plants to see.
  • Although I haven't yet been there I wanted to give Lotusland 5 starts for Excellent Customer Service. I had booked (and paid for) myself and 7 friends to visit last week and the day before the tour/visit I came down with a nasty cold and didn't think I'd be up for the 2 hour walk. I figured I had just lost my $45 deposit until I received a call from Sarah a few days later asking me if I wanted to use the money I already spent toward admittance later in the season. I'm so excited that now I'll be able to experience the beauty that my friends talked about and not feel like I' missed out on this hidden gem in Ventura County's Montecito.
  • Highly recommended place to visit! Whether you are romantic or not you will be astonished by the beauty of colors you see here!