Thanks to Santa Barbara’s mild, Mediterranean climate, the city is home to some of the most remarkable public gardens in the U.S. In the early 19th century, botanists imported rare species from both Europe, South America and Australia which explains why California is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot with more than 5,500 native plant species. Spending time in a quiet garden, park or other natural environments play a vital role in human health and well-being through providing access to nature. For an Antioch student, the Santa Barbara gardens are the perfect places to go when you need to relax for a moment or you just want a change of environment.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a gorgeous 78-acre garden arranged entirely with California-native plants, is the perfect place to go to relax when you need to get away for a second. At the Botanic Garden, you get to wander among more than 1,000 diverse plants and trees while taking in the breathtaking views of the San Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands. Throughout the 5.5 miles winding path through the Botanic Garden, you will experience different garden sections including redwood, meadow, woodland, canyon, and desert. The Botanic Garden of Santa Barbara may be undiscovered territory to some, but as you wander around the stunning garden, you will notice a wide variety of people who are enjoying the garden in their own ways. People are painting, having a picnic, hosting events or as an Odyssey student, maybe even enjoying the views while writing.
Dogs on-leash are also welcome to the garden.
This gem truly is for everyone!
Ganna Walska Lotusland, recognized as one of the world’s top 10 gardens is located in the hills of Montecito, California. This sanctuary is home to more than 3,000 different plants from around the world. As an Odyssey student who loves photography, this is the place to go when you want to get inspired. Ganna Walska, the lady who once owned Lotusland, purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next 43 years turning the property into this extraordinary garden which today is recognized as one of the world’s best gardens. One of the most popular sites to see are the magnificent Lotus flowers, which are in full bloom during the summer. Lotusland has 25 gardens, featuring fanciful themes such as the Theatre Garden, Blue Garden, and the Japanese Garden. This is more of a place to roam around peacefully, and to protect the health of Lotusland’s gardens, Lotusland has a no-pets policy. (Link) However, Lotusland does allow working service dogs to accompany guests if assistance walking through the garden is necessary. What is important to note about this location is in order to visit Lotusland, advance tour reservations are required because Lotusland is a public garden operating in a private, residential neighborhood.
Located next to one of Santa Barbara’s most famous landmarks, The Mission, you can find one of the most iconic and popular settings in all of Santa Barbara A.C Postel Memorial Rose Garden. What began as a donation of over 500 rose bushes, has now grown to 1,500 different varieties of roses. The rose garden was recognized in the past as the #2 municipal rose garden in the nation. The Rose Garden is a part of the Mission Historical Park, where you can find large grassy areas, perfect for any activities. The beauty of the garden makes this location ideal not only for wedding ceremonies but also for picnics and other family activities. Dogs on-leash are welcome to the garden as well.