Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Highlights: The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is one of the premier native plant gardens in the country, showcasing over 1,000 different taxa of plants that grow naturally in California and the California Floristic Province.  The Garden's 78 acres encompass a variety of living displays as well as stands of natural coast live oak and riparian woodlands.

Presented in a designed landscape, the botanical collections are arranged primarily by plant community such as Canyon Natural Area, Chaparral Section, Desert Section, Meadow Section, and Redwood Forest.  The Garden is especially spectacular in the spring.

Similarities/Differences:  Trails in the Garden are wide and smooth, making them easily accessible for your parents and grandparents.  There are several plant communities not found at Rancho Alegre, such as the desert and redwood forest, and there are 5.5 miles of trails - enough to make repeat visits to the Garden enjoyable.  A fee for admission is charged - see for current admission prices.

Hours:  The Garden is open seven days a week, but closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day, and during some special events.

March - October: 9am to 6pm
November - February: 9am to 5pm

Guided tours are offered weekdays at 2pm and weekends at 11am and 2pm.  Reservations are not necessary for groups of 10 or less.

Directions: From the 101, take the Mission Street exit and turn towards the hills at the off-ramp stop light.   Proceed on Mission Street to Santa Barbara Street.  Look for the brown and white "Botanic Garden" signs.  

Turn left onto Santa Barbara Street, proceed two blocks to the first stop sign at Los Olivos Street.  Turn right onto Los Olivos Street and drive past Mission Santa Barbara.  Continue north toward the mountains to the stop sign at Foothill Road (Highway 192).  Turn right onto Foothill Road and proceed to the stop sign at Mission Canyon Road.

Turn left onto Mission Canyon Road.  Bear right at the fork of Mission Canyon Road and Tunnel Road.  Proceed about 1/2 mile; the Garden is on the left at 1212 Mission Canyon Road (look for a large sign at the entry to the parking lot.)  If you have any difficulty finding the Garden, you may call (805) 682-4726, ext. 101 for assistance.

Credit: The website for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden can be found at

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