Santa Barbara Adventure: Alice Keck Memorial Gardens

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We recently took a little family trip to our local Alice Keck Memorial Gardens. It’s such an easy outing on a foggy morning, which is the summer norm in Santa Barbara. It’s always refreshing to be out exploring in nature with the kids, no ploy to buy something, no lines or waiting for waitresses—just us getting lost in a botanical oasis.

My oldest daughter has a thing for turtles and the manmade koi pond is chock-full of them. As if turtle nirvana wasn’t enough, the ducks and ducklings glided across the water in beautiful synchronization. So much better than any thirty minutes of tween television!

The gardens cover a dedicated city block and the variety of plant life you find along the pathways is impressive. It’s always inspiring to me to see how the foliage thrives, considering that most are low-water tolerant plants. If you find your way to Santa Barbara, make sure to plan a visit to the gardens; it’s a great little picnic/turtle viewing/adventure/wandering spot.


koi pond


Jacaranda blooming in town right now.

duck and ducklings


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