A woodland paradise just minutes from downtown Santa Barbara..
Perched on 65 acres of land overlooking the Channel Islands, the Botanic Gardens boasts meadows, canyons, redwood trees, deserts and ridges, all strung together by five miles of well-kept dirt trails. Throughout eight habitats representing specific plant communities, there are plenty of peaceful spots to sneak away for a picnic or quiet conversation. Or have a seat anywhere and savor the clean, comforting scent of untarnished nature. Founded in 1926, the Botanic Gardens is a nonprofit institution designed to advance visitors' appreciation of Southern California's native plant life. In addition to walking paths and naturalist-led talks, there are horticultural displays and a garden shop containing information about more than 1,000 species of indigenous SoCal plants. An herbarium--the largest on the Central Coast--houses specimens of the region's rare and endangered plant life, as well as the most extensive collection of California island plants in the world.