Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Niños Drive
Santa Barbara, CA

Explore the wonders of the natural world at the Santa Barbara Zoo, where the beauty of the wildlife is matched only by the lush grounds and sweeping views. Located just two miles from State Street, this 30-acre park is home to more than 146 species, including mammals, reptiles, birds and insects, exhibited in open, naturalistic habitats overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Ynez Mountains. Some of the Zoo’s most famous residents include penguins, giraffes, anteaters, gorillas, and a flock of native California condors.  

The Zoo can be toured in about two hours, but you’ll likely be tempted to linger longer. Described by the Food Network as “the Audrey Hepburn of zoos—petite, charming and beautiful,” it’s a must-see Santa Barbara attraction, especially for families with kids. Meet the Zoo’s tallest creatures during giraffe feeding time, get a bird’s-eye view from the 26-foot rock climbing wall, search for treasures in Tiny’s Mining Camp or take a relaxing ride around the park on the Zoo Train. Don’t miss the Ridley-Tree Animal Kitchen, where you can observe the impressive food-prep process for the Zoo’s 500+ animals.  

Zoo Hours, Admission & Parking

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by online reservation only. The Zoo occasionally closes early for special events.

Admission is $19.95 for adults (age 13+) and $14.95 for children (age 2–12). Admission is free for children under two years old. (The Zoo Train, giraffe feeding, and other attractions are an additional cost.) Parking is $11/vehicle.

Tips for Your Visit

Note that on summer days and weekends, the parking lot fills early. You may be able to find parking outside the Zoo, or consider taking alternative transportation, such as the trolley or Santa Barbara MTD Waterfront shuttle. The Santa Barbara Amtrak station is also located within walking distance of the Zoo. Find more Santa Barbara Car Free transportation information here.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Wheelchairs and electronic convenience vehicles (ECV) are available for rent at the main gift store. The ECV supply is limited, so call 805-962-5339 before your visit to make a reservation. Parking for the disabled is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 The Zoo offers many delicious dining options, including the Ridley-Tree House Restaurant, the Wave café and several seasonal specialty food carts and vending machines throughout the park. Beer and wine are available at both the Ridley-Tree House and the Wave.

Need a break? Stop by the Kallman Family Play Area across from the Zoo Train station and let the little ones run wild. They can hide inside of kid-sized dinosaur eggs, make like a spider crawling across the rope web or slide down the giant ant hill.

Not only is the Zoo a great place for a family excursion, it’s also a unique place to host a special event. The scenic seaside hilltop is ideal for weddings and company picnics, and indoor event spaces include the beautiful, state-of-the art Discovery Pavilion. Find information about hosting a private event at the Santa Barbara Zoo here.

Health & Safety Standards

Please be aware, several changes have been made for your safety, and the safety of our staff and animals. We look forward seeing you during your visit and providing you with a great experience.

Hours of Operation: The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., by online reservation only.

Timed Entry: Upon the purchase of your ticket, you will select an entry time.

Safety Guidelines: Any guest that has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of arrival should not enter the Zoo. If you have purchased a ticket, please contact the Santa Barbara Zoo's guest relations department.

Re-Entry: For the safety of all guests and staff, there will be no re-entry to the park. Please ensure that you have everything needed before entering and exiting.

Early/Late Arrivals: Guests arriving more than 10 minutes before their entry time, should wait in their vehicles. If you miss your arrival time please contact guest relations.

Hours of Operation

Monday 9:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday 9:30am - 5pm
Friday 9:30am - 5pm
Saturday 9:30am - 5pm
Sunday 9:30am - 5pm
Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Niños Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

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Special Events

- / Recurring daily
Conservation Summer Camp
Location: Santa Barbara Zoo

Zoo campers during the summer get involved in Zoo field work that centers around the preservation of ecosystems and specifically climate…