The Santa Barbara Zoo is a wonderful place to get lost in! Situated across the street from the beach, zoo-goers have a wide variety of animals to enjoy with an incredible ocean view backdrop. We go several times a year and have just recently purchased an anual pass, giving us free admission and parking whenever we visit.
160 species and 500+ animals available to view makes this place a hit with everyone. Wether you are into big cats, ant eaters, meerkats, penguins or monkeys you can find them all here. We especially enjoy the "Ewww!" exhibit with an incredible variety of insects, lizzards and snakes.
Bring a picnic lunch and camp out on their expansive lawns, stroll the gardens, ride the train or just plan on hiking the grounds, the zoo can take as little as three hours to see everything fast or as long as 6 hours to get your fill of each exhibit, read all the signs and play with your camera settings....
One thing I should mention is that the grounds are up and down hill, so elderly visitors or those pushing strollers may want to plan to spend extra time or call the zoo ahead of time for handicap options. I personally love the layout, being so enthralled in the exhibits you forget you are getting a nice work out!
Food options I gave a "meh" review score on because all of the stands aren't always open and the healthier options for meals are pretty hard to come by. Standard fare is hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets and ice cream and aren't cheap.
As a zoo, it is one of the niceset and most beautiful I have ever been to and if you are in the SB area, I suggest you check it out!