All the years I have driven to and through Santa Barbara, I have always wondered about the highway sign pointing towards the city zoo. This past week, having an event to attend the beautiful seaside California town and some time to kill, I decided to finally give it a look.
Nestled between the 101 freeway and the beach, the zoo is at the southern tip of the city.
the land is well manicured and has some beautiful landscaping like this cactus garden
pincushion protea - one of my favorite flowers
beautiful spot for a picnic
they have a thing for macaws at this zoo - they are everywhere.
elephants getting a great view of the Santa Barbara mountains
cali condors showing off
can I take you home?
giraffes are hooked up with a killer view
capybarra - world's largest rodent.. and kinda cute
macaw all by his lonesome
can I just sqeeze you?
stingrays! wish I could touch 'em
aww... so loving
There's more to see. It's a pleasant enough diversion for a few hours and a beautiful spot for a picnic.
The keepers are friendly and gregarious. They'll engage you to ask anything you might be curious about.
Admission is $11 for adults and $9 for children and seniors. Parking is $4 though they have an odd way of enforcing that (they ask for it at the admission gate and I guess ask you to show proof on exit though there was no one checking as we left). There is a train that runs along the zoo's perimeter and although the cost to ride is a bit steep for what you get ($3.50) it's hard to balk when the proceeds go directly to the zoo. There is also giraffe feeding at $4 per person which we missed but I have participated in before and that is an experience worth the price.