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Address: 500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3798
Phone Number: +1 805-962-5339
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Description:

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea...

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea merchant; now it's the lush domain of more than 500 animals representing 160 species. The pink stucco mansion that once presided over manicured lawns and gardens is gone—replaced by open-air habitats built for the less refined but still exacting tastes of giraffes, elephants, gibbons, snow leopards and gorillas. What hasn't changed is the surrounding scenery; the Pacific and Santa Ynez Mountains are just as spectacular as they were back when this was the setting for civilized galas instead of the wild antics of monkeys and meerkats.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,022 reviews
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  • 553
    Excellent
  • 329
    Very good
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    Average
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  • 2
    Terrible
Impressive Small Zoo!

One of the best zoos I've been to, despite its small size. They are very customer-oriented, with great signage, lots of activities, lots of little tidbits to add seasoning to the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Robert R
,
Charlottesville, Virginia
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1,022 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 974: English reviews
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

One of the best zoos I've been to, despite its small size. They are very customer-oriented, with great signage, lots of activities, lots of little tidbits to add seasoning to the experience. Most zoos, it's "Here are the gorillas... here are the elephants.. here are the snakes..." At the SB Zoo, we were able (for a few extra bucks) to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert R
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I recently moved to Santa Barbara and my children (5 & 13) and I love this zoo. I bought a yearly pass and try to go there once a month. We have been to many in other cities but this one is beautiful and easy to walk through in 3 hours. My kids love the elephants and giraffes the most.... More 

Helpful?
Thank RM1031
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

We are a private non-profit that receives no regular government support and rely on parents like you to keep our mission going. Thank you, RM!! More 

Rialto, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited the Santa Barbara Zoo while on a cruise. We had planned on taking a taxi from the harbor, but found a local trolley for 50 cents instead. We easily explored the zoo and returned to the ship via trolley. It was a great, inexpensive excursion The zoo is relatively small and the animals were close and easy to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Diane C
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Diane. Yes, you can take the waterfront shuttle to the zoo for only fifty cents and the ride along the beach is photo worthy in-and-of-itself. More 

Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Small, clean, manageable and the animals actually seem happy. Great little zoo. The train is so much fun.

Helpful?
Thank psymphony8
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

My daughter calls this an "animal spa". A beautiful place with no cages. Beautiful grounds and many interactive features. Worth visiting.

Helpful?
Thank JonSCalifornia
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

I'll relay the compliment to our zoo keepers. Please tell you daughter she's very perceptive! More 

Farmington, New Mexico
Level Contributor
156 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

the grounds are really nice and the animals are well cared for. It is a small zoo but worth the time. It is a little pricey, especially if you and your family take the train

Helpful?
Thank Dougnnm
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Doug! More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A beautiful setting for a lovely zoo, loved the penguins, elephants, lion and giraffes. The playground is a nice place for a brake and the train ride is great. My grandson (2 yrs old) had a good time!

Helpful?
Thank romaniangirlamerican
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

We look forward to seeing you (and your grandson) again! More 

Honolulu
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We always try and see every zoo when we travel. SB Zoo is a good medium size zoo with nice free roaming exhibits for their animals. The open area is filled with botanical native plants and playgrounds, it's not a crowded zoo where you feel overwhelmed to go from exhibit to exhibit to get it all in. Bring a lunch... More 

Helpful?
Thank Linda M
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Linda. We hope to see you again soon! More 

HB
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Great place to visit for an afternoon, my Not big but animals are well taken care of and A fun adventure for all ages

Helpful?
Thank HBLocal23
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thank you, HB Local! More 

Elk Grove, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Fun little zoo! We could walk there from the Hyatt. Worth the price. I liked that they had large animals.

Helpful?
Thank Erica M
Dean N, Public Relations Manager at Santa Barbara Zoo, responded to this review

Thanks, Erica. Thanksgiving at the zoo is one of our favorite days, too. More 

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Santa Barbara Zoo and other visitors
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Encino, United States
Torrance, California
over a year ago
7 months ago
Lagos State, Nigeria

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?