Where To Look For Animals In Santa Barbara County: Wildlife Viewing Guide


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Feeding the ostriches at Ostrichland USA in Buellton can be a lot of fun!

With nearly 3,800 square miles of scenic beauty, Santa Barbara County is home an to abundance of wilderness areas and blooming wildlife. From feeding ostriches at an ostrich farm in Buellton, photographing the Santa Barbara Channel’s dancing dolphins – to enjoying the nice mix of wine tasting and observing wild animals. We’ve got you covered for the best Santa Barbara wildlife tour! With the growing interest amongst clientele requesting limos for places such as the Malibu Wine Safari and the Santa Barbara Zoo, we have made our suggestions for some of the best and most popular destinations exclusively for all you animal lovers out there! Being maybe the most biodiverse county in the state, you can find an array of habitats for various species of wildlife.

 

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A giraffe at the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo

First and foremost, no article about “viewing wildlife in Santa Barbara” is complete without a paragraph dedicated to the local city zoo. As we even get LAX sedan calls for clients wanting to head all the way to this particular zoo, it is certainly a must to go by for anyone visiting the American Riviera. Especially fun for the children, this zoo situated in thirty acres of lush gorgeous scenery, also known as the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens. Here you can come by for a day, or check out the family safaris where you can actually camp amongst the park’s lions and zebras! Feeding the giraffes is another favorite for many kids at the zoo. With over 600 animals and nearly 150 unique species, there are everything from Amazon boas, Chinese alligators, Asian elephants, African gorillas, penguins, snow leopards, and more. There are also domestic species such as California condors, American alligators, scorpions, black widows, California tree frogs, opossums, meerkats, and otters amongst others. Many limousine rentals clients love the California Trail show featuring the critically endangered California Vulture, one of the nation’s most seldom encountered animals. Follow up with a dinner at the Ridley Tree House Restaurant or the Wave for some amazing burritos and tacos.

 

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The Channel Island Fox is an endemic species to Santa Cruz Island and the Channel Islands National Park

Prefer seeing animals in their natural habitats? Fear not! Four of the eight California Channel Islands are also parts of the county, featuring maybe the state’s most beautiful natural settings at islands such as Santa Rosa- and Santa Cruz Islands. Contact Island Packers for your trip to the Channel Islands National Park in order to visit the islands. Here you can enjoy some of the whitest sandy beaches all for yourself at Santa Rosa Island, camp in the outback or venture on a hike for the best chance of discovering the many species uniquely endemic to the islands – animals found nowhere else on Earth. We recently transported people from Santa Ynez wine tours directly to the Island Packer Cruises for their short trip across the channel in order to visit Anacapa Island. Not only did they go here for the island’s natural beauty, but also to observe the many birds such as the Western Gull, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Cormorant, and many more. They were also looking forward to seeing sea lions sunbathing and was hoping the experience the wave of Gray Whales when crossing the channel. Whales, sea lions, brown pelicans, seals, dolphins and even sharks are some of the animals our Santa Barbara limo customers experience on crossings of the S.B. Channel. If the California Channel Islands isn’t your first choice, check out the sunset dining cruises with the Santa Barbara Sailing Center!

 

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A whale-watching cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel can be rewarding!

How about actually feeding ostriches at an ostrich farm? Near Buellton is where we find OstrichLand U.S.A. where kids of all ages will love their chance of feeding these rather huge birds. Prefer sea-life over avifauna? Why not go on a whale watching cruise? The Condor Express will take you on an adventure you’re unlikely to forget. The two-deck cruise venture out on the ocean for a couple of hours, offering great chances of experiencing the idyllic California Grey Whale migrations. Other species you’re likely to encounter include numerous species of seals (e.g. Guadalupe Fur Seal, Northern Elephant Seal, Northern Fur Seal, Harbor Seal), sea lions (California Sea Lion, Northern Sea Lion), dolphins (Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, and then other species), and whales such as the Killer Whale and Gray Whale, and sharks such as the Tiger- and Great White Shark. Limos for rent clientele going on Santa Barbara whale cruises have told us about the Island Scrub Jay, a bird species only found on and around Santa Cruz Island: California’s largest island and located in S.B. County. And if you venture across the channel to the national park, remember to go on a look for the native endemic Channel Island Fox – yet another animal found nowhere else on Earth. Perhaps not as exciting, the Island Fence Lizard is also an endemic animal on these windswept Pacific islands.

 

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Prefer something closer to LA? How about a Malibu wine tour safari!?

Santa Barbara limo services so often transport people these days for the butterfly sanctuaries and exhibits at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Here you can enjoy walking amongst free flying colorful butterflies in a beautiful botanical garden. While over thirty species of butterflies can be seen here, an even more popular pick is Pismo State Beach, which has America’s largest number of Monarch butterflies. From November through the month of March, visitors to this beach can enjoy views of as many as 200,000 rather huge Monarch butterflies, filling the trees and making an unbeatable experience. Pismo State Beach also is one of the state’s largest sand dunes, and is a protected area partly due to its abundance of wildlife. We have had LAX sedan callers heading here and telling us about the awesome beavers in Meadow Creek as well as larger numbers of bobcats than most places in California. With over fifty species over birds present year-long, start your adventure here by heading to the Pismo Beach Nature Center at the Oceano Campground. Here limousine rentals clientele can enjoy an outstanding exhibit of park butterfly-, animal-, bird- and fish species.

 

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Many vineyards are often visited by deer and other animals

But why head to San Luis Obispo County for sand dunes, when Santa Barbara County has California’s largest sand dunes at Nipomo Dunes Preserve in Guadalupe? And while Pismo Beach brags 50 species of birds, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 200 bird species! Being a safe-place for endangered animals such as the Snowy Plover, California Red-Legged Frog and the California Tiger Salamander, spotting rare animals here are not rare. The more than 2,500-acre nature preserve is also home to Mountain lions, Bobcats, Foxes, Mule Deer, Eagles, Brown Pelicans, Black-Tailed Deer, and numerous other species of animals. Come here in March for a landscape covered with flowers of all colors. Some winters the beach draws half a million (!) Sooty Sherwaters, which can be quite the view.

Yet another local option is the beautiful Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in the Santa Ynez Valley, a popular destination for through-traveling wine-sippers on various Santa Ynez wine tours. Here you can enjoy the two hour wildlife cruise of the lake, offered by the Santa Barbara County Parks. The Neal Taylor Nature Center here is free of charge and offers exhibits on local fauna, flora, history and more. Having one of California’s largest habitats for Bald Eagles, Lake Cachuma is a great spot for seeing a Bald Eagle in its right element. With over 5 miles of trails, venturing by foot will give you a great chance of seeing one of the area’s many mammals, including bobcats, cougars, foxes, rabbits, deer, and many more. Lovers of reptiles and amphibians will find tours of the lake particularly enjoyable. Limos for rent can be for any occasion. Why not go on a stylish and memorable limousine wildlife tour?

Limo service at Santa Barbara Zoo

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