a turtle swimming at alice keck memorial gardens.

5 of the Best Things to do at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

With more than 75 tree and plant species, Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is a naturalist’s paradise. This 4.6 acre memorial garden occupies an entire city block in downtown Santa Barbara. Filled with walking paths, picnic areas, and gazebos,  you will find plenty to explore in this flowering paradise.

5 of the Best Things to do at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

Wander the Walking Paths

If you are searching to escape the hustle and bustle of some of Santa Barbara’s more touristy places, then take a walk down the paths of Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. As you wander down the paths, you will discover countless impressive gardens. One of our favorite gardens to explore is the succulent garden quadrant. You will find aloe, agave, dyckia, and more!

Visit the Sensory Garden

The sensory garden welcomes you with the warm scents of honeysuckle and vanilla. This garden enjoys interpretive Braille signs for visually impaired visitors. You will find a variety of scents and sounds in this garden. In addition, the foliage of the plans installed here offer an abundance of textural variation.

Plan a Picnic

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is ideal for afternoon picnics. You will find plenty of shade under the many plants and trees! Gazebo structures also offer relief from the sun, making it the perfect place to people-watch and watch the time go by.

Relax by the Pond

Watch the fish swim, and admire the turtles as they sun themselves on the large lily leaves. The Koi Pond is a relaxing destination with plenty of wildlife photo opportunities. Avid birders will love the abundance of bird species, even ducks!  

Explore the Alice Keck History

When the El Mirasol Hotel was demolished in the 1960s, the remaining land was purchased and donated to the city of Santa Barbara. Alice Keck Memorial Gardens began as an anonymous gift. This gift included funds for the land’s conversion into gardens. The donor’s identity long remained a mystery. However, two years after her death, the anonymous donor was revealed to be Alice Keck Park. In 1980, Santa Barbara named the garden in Park’s honor.

Where to Stay

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is a 10 minute walk away from the Cheshire Cat Inn. After a day of exploring Alice Keck’s beautiful gardens, head to our inn for a well-deserved social hour. Relax and enjoy the evening with wine from Santa Barbara Winery and evening hors d’oeuvres. Our covered patio is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful weather and surroundings of Santa Barbara, California.  

The Woodford Cottage is one of our most popular accommodations. This cottage features a private patio, private entrance, and more. We are booking up quickly for spring and summer, so check out availability today! We can’t wait to host you at the Cheshire Cat Inn!


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Cheshire Cat Inn & Cottages

36 West Valerio Street
Santa Barbara, California
93101 United States
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