Santa Barbara Zoo
Known as one of the world’s most beautiful zoos, the Santa Barbara Zoo is located on 30 acres of lush botanic gardens overlooking the ocean, mountains, and downtown.
Asian elephants, Western lowland gorillas, Humboldt penguins, snow leopards, African lions, meerkats, gibbons, giant anteaters and many more wild creatures are in residence. A pair of Australian “ambassador” koalas are on view through May 2019.
See endangered or threatened species from the Golden State, including rare California condors, island foxes, and bald eagles, among others, in the California Trails complex. Stroll through two enclosed bird aviaries and brave the Eewww! exhibit of creepy crawlies including tarantulas, snakes, spiders, insects, and more.
Hand-feed lettuce to Masai giraffes, scale a 26-foot climbing wall, pan for treasures in Tiny’s Mining Camp, and check out the food prep for more than 500 critters in the Ridley-Tree Animal Kitchen.
The Zoo Train circles the property at least every half-hour, and a live stage show – featuring a giant T. rex named Duncan, a talking grizzly bear named Tiny, and other life-sized characters – is performed daily in the summer and on weekends after Labor Day.
Two restaurants sell food, and two gift stores offer mementoes, toys, books, clothing, and more.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for early closures on holidays and for special events.
Admission is $18 for adults (ages 13–64), $13 for seniors (65+) and $10 for children (ages 2–12). Admission is free for children under two. The Zoo Train, climbing wall, and giraffe feeding are additional. Parking is $11.