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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara

3.9
#4 of 17 in Parks in Santa Barbara
Garden Nature / Park
Established in 1926, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden displays California's rare and indigenous plants in their natural setting. Located on 32 hectares (78 acres), this is California's oldest botanic garden, dedicated to research, education, and conservation. You can discover over 1,000 different species by following the garden's network of scenic trails, which stretch for over 9 km (5 mi) and offer sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Don’t miss one of the garden's signature features--an old rock dam--constructed in 1806 by Native Americans. Be sure to walk all the way to the garden's redwood grove, a cool resting place even on the hottest of summer days. Plan your Santa Barbara Botanic Garden visit and explore what else you can see and do in Santa Barbara using our Santa Barbara vacation route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
534 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Very disappointing considering the admission fee - would hardly describe it as a Botanic garden. Didn't appear too well kept - as another reviewer suggested - more like a walk in a state park. Wouldn'...  more »
  • The botanical garden is more like a brief hike in a state park. Many of the areas seemed dry; not a lot of flowers in bloom. It would be ok if it was like $5-$6 per person, but the botanical garden is...  more »
  • I live in Phoenix and my favorite place is the Desert Botanical Garden - which is a typical botanical garden where you walk on concrete and brick paths and look at labeled plants. Even though I love D...  more »
Google
  • Excellent place to visit. Beautiful blossoming flowers native to the area. Lots of natural trails to hike. Suitable for wheelchair access. My niece was able to use her chair over at least 80% of the park. Must see during a visit to Santa Barbara.
  • Really great place to take the family or a date. Great for picnics. Most of the trails are shaded so it's even good on a hot day. The downside is it's $12 for adults and $8 for students. That's a decent amount when there are so many great hikes in Montecito for free. You won't see anywhere near the variety of plant life on those trails though. They have docents that give tours for free but I haven't done it yet. Check it redwoods, dams from to the 1700's, wildlife and flowers, and a Japanese tea garden.
  • Wonderful spot to spend an afternoon. My wife and I did just that on our recent visit. It is more expensive than some gardens in other parts of the country but well worth it!!
  • I have never been so disappointed in a "botanical garden". It should be called a dirty nature trail at best. No flowers visible!
  • It was a beautiful and great atmosphere. Highly recommended for all ages. Its really cheap $5 for adults. The have a huge parking a lot. I live near the area and I never knew this existed, until today.

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Where to stay in Santa Barbara

Blessed with a mild climate and lush location, Santa Barbara remains a playground for the rich and famous, so it's no surprise that accommodations can be extremely expensive here. The priciest hotels are near the water, so before you make your reservations, decide if staying beachside fits into your budget. You can find more affordable rooms at any one of the area's small motels, located just blocks from the beaches. These offer secure parking, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi.
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