Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG)
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG) is a beautiful natural conservatory featuring over 78 acres (31.5 hectares) of lush greenery, with over 1,000 species of rare and indigenous plants. Guided tours are free, and a walk among the oaks, boulders, and dusty trails makes for an enjoyable dive into California flora.
While plant life takes center stage at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, there are also plenty of other attractions on the property, including an aqueduct dating to 1807 and an authentic Japanese teahouse. The site also features around 5.5 miles of hiking trails offering views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and the historic Mission Dam or escape into the calm serenity of the Redwood Grove.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a must-visit for anyone interested in local plant life.
Families with kids will find plenty of room to run around here, plus regular events and activities for kids.
Parts of the gardens are wheelchair-accessible, and there's an accessible restroom behind the entrance kiosk.
How to Get There
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is situated in the beautiful hills above Santa Barbara's Mission Canyon, about a 10-minute drive north (and largely uphill) from downtown Santa Barbara. Visitors will need to either rent a car (or hire an expensive taxi) to get here or join an organized tour, as it’s not easy to reach the garden via public transportation.
When to Get There
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is open daily from 9am to 5pm November through February and until 6pm March through October. Free tours are held on weekends at 11am and on weekends and Mondays at 2pm. It's a year-round attraction, though cooler winter temperatures are more ideal for those wanting to hike the trails here; summer visitors may want to come earlier in the day to avoid high temperatures.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden features an unusually large number of events, from botany-focused field trips and lectures to art classes. Other activities here include monthly bird walks and yoga classes, garden-design workshops, and herbal medicine classes that focus on using native California plants to create tinctures and remedies.
- 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
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
- Old Mission Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA)
- Santa Barbara County Courthouse
- Leadbetter Beach
- Funk Zone
- State Street
- Stearns Wharf
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center
- Santa Barbara Zoo
- Santa Barbara Cruise Port
- Santa Barbara Waterfront
- Shoreline Park