Popularity forcing Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to move to reservation-only system for most visitors
Garden members won't have to make reservations, but it's still recommended.
A botanic garden on the South Coast has become so popular you’ll soon need advance reservations. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden had the biggest year in its history in 2021, with 120,000 visitors.
Because access is limited by roads, and parking in the residential area, the Santa Barbara County limits the number of garden visitors. The county granted a one-time variance to allow an extra 10,000 visitors last year. It was open when most museums in the region were closed by the pandemic.
During the spring, the 78 acre garden often reaches its daily capacity, and some guests are turned away. So, starting April 11, visitors will need to make reservations online to try to prevent that problem.
Garden members don’t have to make reservations, but they are recommended. Members don’t need to make reservations for their daily members-only hour from 9 to 10 a.m.