Santa Barbara, California – Santa Barbara Zoo is the perfect family day trip

Flamingos at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, California.If there is one place that children always like to visit it is the zoo. No matter how small or large, any zoo is a cool place for children. Animals are just very interesting for children. However, if on top of that you add the ocean and a wonderful sunny climate then you get the greatest place for children to visit. Well, there is such a place and it’s called the Santa Barbara, Zoo. This is arguably my favorite family destination of all the Southern California day trip destinations.

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Tourist attractions at the Santa Barbara Zoo

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  • If you plan on visiting more than twice in a year, it is really worth buying the family pass. It goes for less than one hundred dollars and you can come as many times as you want in a year. We save a lot of money with the pass.
  • Take your kids on the little train that goes around the park. There’s nothing fancy about this train but kids just love this thing. And you get to see some animals that are hard to see on the regular visitor path. You just see things from the back sort of.
  • If it’s sunny (which is most of the times) it’s really cool to bring a picnic basked with food and have lunch on top of the hill. There are quite a few open spaces at this zoo. My favorite one is right after the lion’s exibit. You get to see the ocean too…so it makes lunch more enjoyable.
  • Take a walk on the beach…well you can’t do that while in the zoo, but since you’re in Santa Barbara and so close to the ocean make sure you take the opportunity to visit the beach. Just park anywhere on Cabrillo boulevard ( if you find a space) and enjoy the ocean.

Santa Barbara Zoo is a great place for small children

The greatest thing about Santa Barbara Zoo is that it is small. You can visit the whole park in two hours if you want to. So you can stay just a few hours and have plenty of time to relax and see the animals in the same time. Kids can see everything and not get totally tired. Well, they will get tired and they will fall asleep in the car…guaranteed :)

Gorilla at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara California.
Gorilla at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara California.
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There are plenty of animals to see at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Well, at least that’s what my daughter says everytime we go visit. She keeps talking about all the animals she has seen: crocodile, elephant, lion, monkeys and of course the gorilla. While children will definitely be busy, adults can relax and just walk around. The grounds are very well kept the the place is just very clean and enjoyable.

Elephant at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, California
Elephant at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, California
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Don’t forget you’re in Santa Barbara and don’t forget the sunset

Santa Barbara is just a gorgeous place to visit. So, if you plan to visit the zoo in the morning, make sure you get to see the sunset from the Santa Barbara pier.

The marina at sunset in Santa Barbara, California
The marina at sunset in Santa Barbara, California
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How to get to Santa Barbara Zoo

Well, it’s simple. Just drive on the 101 freeway going north and exit Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara. Take a left as you exit and follow the road until Los Ninos and take a right. Los Ninos will take you right to the Zoo. If you get lost, just ask around, everyone knows where it is. It’s the easiest place to get to.

Map of Santa Barbara Zoo and surrounding area.

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