This appealing garden, situated on the hilly east side of town focuses on the state’s diverse native plants. But here, you don’t just look and see, you do too. The calendar is packed with guided walks, bird-watching sessions, book signings, lectures, and workshops on painting and photography. Kids love the chance to see and learn about an authentic Japanese tea ceremony at the tea house, open the second Saturday of each month from noon to 2 p.m. (Tea house closed in May.)
Of course, it’s perfectly fine to just hang out and enjoy the view. More than five miles of paths loop around the 78-acre property, and it’s a fabulous place to take in vistas of the handsome Santa Ynez Mountains to the north and east, as well as the Channel Islands, surrounded by Pacific blue.