Santa Barbara Zoo
On a 30-acre (12-hectare plot overlooking the ocean, Santa Barbara Zoo is home to over 140 different species, which live in habitats designed to mirror their native environments. Adults and children will both find plenty to enjoy here.
Visitors to Santa Barbara Zoo can take a journey around the world in the company of animals. From the gorillas of the Congo to lions of the savannah, from Australian koalas to gibbons out of Asian rain forests, the zoo offers the chance to observe a wide variety of wildlife up close. Children will love watching the playful antics of the Humboldt penguins, native to the southern regions of Chile. Interactive exhibits, including giraffe feeding and a petting farm, plus a climbing wall and the charming zoo train, keep the fun going all day.
The zoo is also home to the California condor—the largest land bird in North America and a highly endangered species. Visitors can learn more about the conservation of this rare creature and ongoing efforts to save the species.
Things to know before you go
- Maximize your time at the zoo by purchasing tickets in advance.
- The zoo is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are available to rent on site.
- There are two on-site restaurants plus vending carts around the zoo.
How to get there
Santa Barbara Zoo is located at 500 Ninos Drive in Santa Barbara. It’s accessible on public transport via the waterfront shuttle trolley car. The trolley connects the zoo with Santa Barbara’s Amtrak station for connections to other cities in California. Visitors can also drive to the zoo—there’s paid parking on site.
When to get there
The zoo is open every day of the year but closes early on Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Eve (December 24), and Christmas Day (December 25). The parking lot fills up quickly on summer days and at weekends, so plan to get there early if you are driving.
Visit the Santa Barbara Waterfront
For a taste of the California coast, take a stroll or hop on your bike and explore the Santa Barbara Waterfront. With three beaches at your disposal, aquatic adventures including guided kayak tours and stand-up paddleboard, and a kid-friendly aquarium, waterfront restaurants, and more, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy.
- Things to do in California
- Things to do in Pismo Beach
- Things to do in Santa Monica
- Things to do in Los Angeles
- Things to do in San Luis Obispo
- Things to do in Long Beach
- Things to do in Paso Robles
- Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park
- Things to do in La Jolla
- Things to do in Palm Springs
- Things to do in San Diego
- Things to do in Yosemite National Park
- Things to do in Sausalito
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Arizona
- Funk Zone
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center
- Stearns Wharf
- Leadbetter Beach
- Santa Barbara Cruise Port
- Santa Barbara Waterfront
- Santa Barbara County Courthouse
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA)
- Shoreline Park
- Old Mission Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
- Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG)
- State Street