Can you honestly say you know the difference between a cactus and a euphorbia? A trip to Lotusland, Santa Barbara might give you a fighting chance.
Featuring varieties of cacti, euphorbias, palms, bromeliads, aloes, eucalyptus, cycads, and many rare and precious plants, Lotusland is a lush 37-acre estate and botanical garden tucked away in the foothills of Montecito, California. Additional gardens feature ferns, aloes, lotuses, water lilies, bromeliads and cactus garden with more than 300 species and the space is home to 3,200 different types of plants from all over the world.
The founder Madame Ganna Walska owned the property from 1941 until the end of her life in 1984, marking the culmination of an intriguing career of 43 years of designing unusual display gardens with exotic plants. Describing herself as ‘an enemy of the average,’ she was a woman of originality and an offbeat disposition with truly unique philosophies. Lotusland’s prioritises the ecology of the garden, by employing management practices that pay special attention to the health of each individual plantas well as the garden as a whole.
Make sure you make a reservation as only a limited number of cars are allowed in per day and you wouldn’t want to waste a trip here! Lotusland is slightly pricey as far as botanical gardens go, but rest assured it is unlikely that you’ll come across a garden that measures up to this one, especially with the docent-led tours. For botany enthusiasts, plan your trip in such a way so that you try reading up a little about botany to go during a certain time of the year if you’re interested in seeing a particular flower bloom – such as summer for lotuses.
Albeit not the ideal place for very young kids, this garden is bound to capture your imagination and set you experimenting with your own plants at home. Wrap up the trip with a short drive to Montecito for a bite.
Lotusland Travel Tips
- Wear walking shoes, you will be walking for about two hours to complete a tour of the place.
- In the summer, bring sun tan lotion as the tour takes a couple of hours.
- Be sure to book in advance as there are only a limited number of cars allowed in.
- Carry bottled water and get a bite to eat before the trip.
- Directions and parking instructions are included with the tour confirmation.
Entrance Ticket Details For Lotusland
- Tickets for those between the ages of 3 to 18 is $20.
- Tickets for kids under 2 years and under are free.
- You can inform the Visitor Services staff member of any special needs you might require when you make your reservation.
- Regular tours are suited for everyone above 10 years of age.
- Separate Family Tours are available for younger guests and their parents and are approximately one and one half hours long.
- Guided tours are available at 10AM and 1:30PM between February 15 and November 15.
- Pane E Vino
- Via Vai Trattoria Pizzeria
- Panino 4
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37.15% of people who visit Santa Barbara include Lotusland in their plan
10 AM - 11 AM
64% of people start their Lotusland visit around 10 AM - 11 AM
People usually take around 30 Minutes to see Lotusland
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Lotusland
Lotusland Reviews & Ratings
GORGEOUS Botanical garden. A must see on your visit to Santa Barbara. The cactus gardens are unbelievable. The seashell pool is truly a gem. The docent we had was not only extremely informative but a lovely, lovely woman. Such a pleasure to have as our guide and to chat with. Lotusland is not to be missed.
If you love botanical gardens you will be in Heaven... Huge property with numerous rare and unusual items. Highly recommend for all you plant lovers!!!
Visited when lotuses were in full bloom this time and it was a photographer's dream come true. The guided tours are always enlightening with a quick stop at the gift shop to check out the wares to bring home. Highly recommend reservations to enjoy this hidden jem in Montecito. If you love nature this is a treat for the soul that you can enjoy again and again.
Always something new to see, and each tour is different depending on your guide. Beautiful place full of history.
I've lived near Lotusland for 20+ years and this was my first visit. The grounds are amazing. The volunteer docent that lead our tour was very knowledgable and passionate.
What is the difference between the 1 1/2 hour tour and the 2 hour tour? Is the Japanese Garden included in the 1 1/2 hour tour?Answer Report Abuse
The official website of Lotusland mentions only one tour which is approximately two hours long. To know what all is included in this tour, you must get in touch with the authorities of the garden. You may call on 805.969.9990.Report Abuse
I use a wheelchair. My husband wheels me in it. Does LotusLand accomodate Wheelchairs.Answer Report Abuse
Yes, Lotusland is wheelchair accessible. You will have to inform a Visitor Services staff member about it while scheduling your tour.Report Abuse