If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, you’ve probably heard of the Santa Barbara Zoo, a 30-acre park on the coast. Once the site of the Child Estate, the zoo is one of the nation’s top small zoos. Its dedication to conservation, education, and animal care has earned it national recognition. But did you know that there’s more to this park than meets the eye? Here are five reasons why Santa Barbara Zoo is an amazing place to visit.
If you’re planning a family outing or a company picnic, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a wonderful place to spend the day. With a picturesque seaside setting, the zoo makes an excellent location for all kinds of events. The zoo also offers a state-of-the-art event space, the Discovery Pavilion. You can also reserve private event space on the grounds.
There’s plenty to see at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Featuring more than 500 species, this park is home to over 100 mammals and birds. The zoo’s habitats are designed to replicate the animals’ native habitats. It’s a fantastic place to take kids to see some exotic animals. It’s a great place to learn about endangered species and get up close to these magnificent creatures.
The anteaters’ powerful claws are great for breaking apart termite mounds and using their 18-24-inch tongue to suck insects. The anteaters can eat up to 35,000 ants in one day in the wild, so the Santa Barbara Zoo has developed a specially formulated insectivore diet for them. When they’re ready to eat, they ripen avocados and break open the shells with their long, sharp claws.
Several animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo are AZA-accredited and participate in the Species Survival Plan for Masai giraffes. A giraffe calf at the Santa Barbara Zoo is especially significant for maintaining the species’ health and diversity. Gemina, a giraffe born in Santa Barbara Zoo, is a rare case. She was a devoted mother and gave birth to a male calf at 1:55 AM on January 19, and the zoo’s sponsors named the calf Raymie. Raymie is 157.6 pounds and stands 5 feet, nine inches tall.
There are also permanent residents. These include anteaters, gorillas, penguins, and leopards. Among the biggest celebrities at the Santa Barbara Zoo are the critically endangered California condors and the endangered Amur leopards. Many visitors laud the diversity of animals, the animal encounters, and the manageable size of the zoo. However, they do not like the fact that the animals are constantly in danger of extinction.
For a more up-close look at the world below, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History offers two campuses. The Mission Canyon campus, nestled in oak woodland along Mission Creek, features a 72-foot-long blue whale skeleton. It’s a great place to visit before heading out on a whale watching trip. And don’t miss the Sea Center at Stearns Wharf!
If you’re a family with children, it’s worth investing in a family pass for your entire family. It costs less than $100 and gives you unlimited visits throughout the year. You can also take the kids for a ride on the electric convenience vehicles, which are available for rent. However, reservations are required, so book ahead of time to avoid having to wait in line. And don’t forget about the zoo’s gift shop!
For a truly unique Santa Barbara experience, consider visiting the Santa Barbara Art Museum. Founded in 1872, it was once the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Today, it is an iconic tourist attraction, offering a variety of art and crafts shops and a delicious seafood lunch. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits and a children’s gallery. Its first Thursday of each month is free!
Another reason to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo is its museum of science and technology, MOXI. This museum opened in early 2017 and features three floors of exhibits organized by theme. The Innovation Workshop shows how 3D printers work, while the Interactive Media Workshop lets you play with interactive media. You can even make your own race car or mosaic! It’s all part of the fun! So why wait? You can spend a day here with your family.