Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, Santa Barbara

#8 of 27 in Parks in Santa Barbara
Garden · Hidden Gem · Park
Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden is a park located in Santa Barbara, California. It consists of one entire city block, bounded by Santa Barbara, Micheltorena, Garden and Arrellaga Streets. It is across Santa Barbara Street from the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and across Micheltorena Street from Alameda Park.
The property, formerly the site of artist Albert Herter's El Mirasol Hotel (demolished 1960s), was purchased and donated to the city in 1975. The anonymous gift included funds for the land's conversion into gardens, and an endowment for their maintenance. The donor's identity remained a mystery until her death, two years later, when it was revealed to have been Alice Keck Park (1918–1977). Park was the daughter of William Myron Keck, the founder of Superior Oil Company. Park had a family connection to the Herters and the site – W. M. Keck's sister Caroline (Alice's aunt) had been the widow of Herter's son Everit, who died in World War I. The City dedicated the gardens in 1980, and named them in Park's honor.

The garden features a man-made pond stocked with turtles and koi, as well as a gazebo and many meandering walkways and paths. All the plants in the garden, some native and some ornamental, are chosen specifically to be tolerant of the low-water nature of the Santa Barbara climate. In addition, there is an area regarded as a sensory garden for the visually impaired.

The Arbor Area of Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden is a popular venue for weddings. It is beautifully maintained and also public property, making it one of the best valued, budget-conscious wedding venues in Santa Barbara.
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Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens reviews

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80 reviews
  • Great park. Perfect for dates or if you're just hanging with your friends and family. The plant life was absolutely gorgeous. Great place to chill for a few hours.  more »
  • This is such a wonderful spot in Santa Barbara! A great place to relax, play with the kids, see the ducks/turtles(definitely do not feed them – not good for them), or just relax on a couple different....  more »
  • Alice Keck Park has something for everyone. Amazing variety of plants, well maintained, and beautiful year round. Many animals call the park home including ducks, rabbits, turtles, butterflies, and more. Two grass areas to picnic on or relax, many benches and trash/recycling cans. Audio stations throughout the park for the visually impaired which describe the plants and scenery. Adjacent to Kid's World (large castle playground) and plenty of on street parking. Convenient to downtown/state Street and local restaurants.
  • I have walked here for years. My dog and I enjoy this park so much. I love to take photographs here, there is always something new blooming, flowering and they take such great care of the grounds. They just cleaned the pond, and it looks fresh and inviting for the fowl and the ducks. This is a beautiful oasis in the middle of town a lovely place to stroll. It has a self guided tour so you can learn about the trees and plants if you desire

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