Founded in 1926, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in California dedicated to the study, conservation and display of native flora. The Garden is a place of beauty and serenity, of education, research and conservation, of history and stewardship.
The Garden's living collections, including more than 1,000 types of plants, are featured throughout 40 acres accessible by over 5.5 miles of public trails. Accredited by the American Association of Museums as a living museum, the collections are devoted to illustrating the remarkable diversity of California's native flora. Arranged in stunning displays and interpreted through signage and docent-led tours, the living collections capture California's natural beauty and provide endless opportunities for learning, appreciation, and enjoyment.
The Garden's library includes over 15,000 books and journals, representing an important resource for education and research. Special collections include rare books, photos, manuscripts, and horticultural catalogs. The strength of the collection lies in its diversity, representing important botanical and horticultural works on California flora, Mediterranean floras of the world, landscape history, and the disciplines of botany and horticulture.
Composed of over 140,000 specimens of plants, the herbarium represents the region's largest scientific collection of preserved central coast plants. Collectively, the specimens document the ecology and geography of the region's plant diversity.
Open 7 days a week, the Garden is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day and during some special events. Current admission costs as of April 2011 are $8 for adults, $6 for 60+ seniors, ages 13-17, college students and active military, and $4 ages 2 to 12. Current garden hours are 9 am to 6 pm March to October and 9 am to 5 pm November to February.
The Garden Shop has an extensive selection of crafts, nature-related books and gifts for all ages and is open daily. There's also a Garden Growers Nursery open year-round.