Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

To preview other Botanic Gardens in the West, go here.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden meadow
California poppies in full bloom in the meadow!

The meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden bursts into bloom with native California flowers in March and April every year. 

Near the entrance to the garden is the meadow–a field of native grasses and flowers including California poppies, Eschscholzia californica.  Also near the entrance is a small desert garden with signature plants from both the Mojave and Sonora desert regions.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden slope
Drought-tolerant plants line the path that starts in the meadow and winds through the entire garden.


On the east side of the meadow is the beginning of the mile long trail which winds through the gardens. Be forewarned that the gradual, paved path gives way to long sections that are rocky and have stairs.

The mission of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is to show plants from all California ecosystems–from the islands offshore to the high desert to the redwoods of the northern coast.  And they do it well in just 80 acres.


steep steps Santa Barbara botanic garden
Some parts of the garden have steps and rocky paths.


While the meadow area is relatively flat much of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is in a steep narrow canyon filled with oak trees and winding dirt trails.

The wildfire in 2009 which swept through part of the garden, spared the redwood grove.  It is a cool, refreshing haven on hot summer days.

redwoods santa barbara botanic gardenAs the trail continues, you will cross an old stone dam, built by native Americans as part of the water system for the Santa Barbara mission, which is about one mile down the canyon.Tea house Santa Barbara Botanic garden

Located near the lower end of the garden is a Japanese tea house.  During warmer months tea is served on Tuesday afternoons, but be sure to call ahead to confirm. 

To preview other Botanic Gardens in the West, go here.


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