Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara

Take a soul-satisfying jaunt around this 40-acre botanic garden, devoted to California’s native flora. Miles of partly wheelchair-accessible trails meander past cacti, redwoods and wildflowers and by the old mission dam, originally built by Chumash tribespeople to irrigate the mission’s fields. Guided tours (included with admission) depart at 11am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 2pm on Monday. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome.

If you’re driving, head north from the mission to Foothill Blvd/Hwy 192, turn right and then left to continue on Mission Canyon Rd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santa Barbara attractions

2. Old Mission Santa Barbara

1.31 MILES

California's ‘Queen of the Missions’ reigns above the city on a hilltop perch more than a mile north of downtown. Its imposing Ionic facade, an…

3. Santa Barbara County Courthouse

2.27 MILES

Built in Spanish-Moorish Revival style in 1929, the courthouse features hand-painted ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers and tiles from Tunisia and Spain…

4. Santa Barbara Museum of Art

2.31 MILES

This thoughtfully curated, bite-sized art museum displays European and American masters – including Monet, Van Gogh and Degas – along with photography,…

5. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

2.36 MILES

Stuffed with a hodgepodge of historical written artifacts, this detour is for history nerds and book and literature lovers. One of a dozen Karpeles…

7. Santa Barbara Historical Museum

2.52 MILES

Embracing a romantic cloistered adobe courtyard, this peaceful little museum tells the story of Santa Barbara. Its endlessly fascinating collection of…

8. Casa de la Guerra

2.57 MILES

This grand 19th-century colonial adobe home displays Spanish, Mexican and California heritage exhibits. Dating back two centuries, it's been authentically…