Bask in Santa Barbara’s botanical beauty on a visit to Lotusland, a stunning 37-acre Montecito estate once owned by the late Madame Ganna Walska. A well-known opera singer and socialite, she purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next 43 years transforming it into a unique horticultural nirvana now recognized as one of the world’s best gardens. You can experience Madame Walska’s vision firsthand as you tour Lotusland’s 25 gardens, each distinct in design while seamlessly transitioning to the next. Several of the gardens feature fanciful themes, including the Blue Garden, Theatre Garden and Japanese Garden.
Among the enormous array of plants, you’ll spot ferns, aloes, lotuses, water lilies and bromeliads. Lotusland also boasts several extraordinary botanical collections, such as rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. Other must-sees include the classic topiary garden, horticultural clock and Neptune fountain, as well as the garden’s newest additions: a palmetum (palm collection) and insectary garden.
Lotusland is a public garden operating in a private, residential neighborhood, so advance tour reservations are required to visit. The Visitor Entrance of Lotusland has no street address. Do not use a GPS or similar programs to navigate, as they will direct you to the wrong gate. Instead, use the directions included in your tour reservation.