Situated on the hilly east side of town the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden focuses on the state’s diverse native plants.
More than five miles of paths loop around the 78-acre property. Visitors are treated to vistas of the Santa Ynez Mountains rising to the north and east, as well as the Channel Islands. Organized into diverse ecologies, the site includes a Teahouse garden, redwoods, a manzanita section, a meadow, a desert, a canyon and an arroyo.
The Mission Dam, situated on Mission Creek, is one of the unique attractions at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Constructed in 1806-1807 by Chumash Indian neophytes under the direction of the Franciscan padres, this historic dam and aqueduct system helped supply the Santa Barbara Mission with a reliable source of water. Although no longer a functioning dam, the structure has been preserved by the Botanic Garden and can be viewed from above and below.