The Curious Santa Barbara Frog Wall

A frog wall in Santa Barbara? Who left the first frog? Why did they leave it? So many frogs, so many questions. As the story is told, in 1989 a plastic frog appeared on a residential wall on Paterna Road in the Riviera neighborhood of Santa Barbara. Passersby and neighbors added frogs to the wall. The last time we paid a visit to the Santa Barbara version of Xochimilco, a.k.a. frog wall, there were easily over 200 frogs of all make and model.

 The curse of the stolen frog. It is rumored that one frog with a secret compartment contains a note warning that anyone who removes a frog from the shrine and keeps it more than two days will face certain death. We have yet to find this frog, but maybe you’ll have better luck!

If you go, please, leave a frog and take nothing but memories.

Website: Santa Barbara Frog Shrine Facebook Page

Directions: GPS coordinates of the frog shrine are N 34° 26.309 W 119° 41.962.

Starting from the old Santa Barbara Mission, go west on E Los Olivos. Turn right on Alameda Padre Serra, turn left on the second street, Alvarado, and before you get to the old El Encanto Hotel (under renovation), turn right on Lasuen. Turn right at the Y intersection on Paterna. The frogs are on the left a few hundred yards down the road, but drive slowly because they are easy to miss. Note: parking is scarce, as it’s a narrow curvy road – but you probably won’t have to compete for the few spaces available.