outdoor garden path

Santa Barbara and the surrounding hills have a lot of hidden architectural gems. Among all the area’s mansions, and historic mission churches, one of our favorite destinations is a gorgeous garden named Lotusland.

The garden was founded by a late Polish opera singer named Ganna Walska in the 1940s, after she purchased the Victorian-era estate. Tours of the gardens will tell you about her fascinating life that included six husbands, theatrical prestige, and the building of this diverse piece of land. For some more insight, check out our recommendations for what to see at Lotusland.

Lotus Flowers

Mesmerizing circular patterns have long made the lotus flower one of the most intriguing and influential plants out there. There’s a refurbished pool in the back of the garden estate, and surrounding it are gorgeous lotus flowers, and they also stand out in various other gardens.

The Gardens

Lotusland is essentially a vast property with a series of small gardens, each with its own theme, dotted throughout it. You can embrace some beautiful culture at the Japanese Garden. You could see some beautiful fruits and vegetables at the Orchards and the Olive Aleee. There’s also a Theatre Garden, Aloe Garden, Tropical Garden, Fern Garden, Water Garden, and many others.

The Garden Shop

An inventory that complements the natural and spiritual beauty at Lotusland makes its Garden Shop a place worth visiting. There are plenty of gifts that we recommend checking out here for either yourself or a loved one. Among them is a crystal beaded Lotus necklace, slag glass earrings, and some Lotusland books on gardening and horticulture.


One other great thing to check out at Lotusland is its entertaining events calendar. On there you can find information on meetups like morning bird walks, small performing arts gatherings, and exhibit openings. To get a full breakdown, check out the Lotusland Calendar here.

Discover more of Santa Barbara

Planning a visit to the American Riviera? Explore Santa Barbara like a local and discover insider recommendations on the Hotel Milo Santa Barbara blog!