Visitors walk though the meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Visitors walk though the meadow at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. (Courtesy photo)

Visitors to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden must make reservations in advance beginning on Monday, April 11. For Botanic Garden members, reservations are not required, but are recommended. Members also do not need reservations for the daily members’ hour, 9-10 a.m.

Reservations are available by specific date and time at

“As more and more people realize the benefits of being outside, our visitation is at an all-time high,” said Steve Windhager, Botanic Garden executive director. “Unfortunately, the county has limited our total annual attendance.

“By adding this reservation system, we can ensure we stay within our county-limited capacity, efficiently manage traffic and parking, and continue to provide a great experience for both our members and our guests visiting from across California and beyond.”

The garden is open to the public daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; the last admission time is 4:30 p.m. For members and confirmed reservations, free parking is available in the garden’s parking lot but not allowed along Mission Canyon Road or on Tunnel Road.

In 2021, 120,000 people visited the 78-acre Botanic Garden, which focuses solely on California native plants and habitats. The garden requested a one-time variance for 2021 due to COVID for its Santa Barbara County conditional use permit, which allows for a total of 110,000 visitors per year (255 at any one time in December through April; 205 during fire season from May through November).

“During the spring, the garden often reaches capacity limits and, unfortunately, we have to turn away guests,” said Windhager. “This is always heartbreaking, especially for families who have traveled far or have gathered to enjoy the garden.

“We invested in this new system to ensure no one has to make an unnecessary trip up Mission Canyon; every reservation is guaranteed entry.”

Garden admissions is $16 for adults, $12 for military and seniors, $10 for students with ID, $8 for youth (ages 3-12), free for children ages two and under. Leashed dogs are allowed and have free admission.

Reservations can be purchased online in advance by specific date and time for both general admission and members at Once the reservation is complete, visitors receive a confirmation email with digital tickets attached that can be printed at home if needed.

Due to limited parking at the garden, carpooling is suggested. Upon arrival, guests must show their confirmation or proof of membership to the parking lot attendant before being directed to park. 

For general questions about advance and group reservations (eight or more in one party), contact or 805-682-4726 ext. 119. For membership-related questions, contact or 805-682-4726 ext.110.