California is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, and its public gardens are no exception. From manicured botanical gardens to sprawling nature preserves, California's public gardens offer a chance to experience the state's natural beauty up close and personal. Here are some of the best public gardens in California that are definitely worth a visit.
The Huntington Library Botanical Gardens - San Marino
The Huntington Library Botanical Gardens is one of the most popular and well-known public gardens in California. Its 130-acre property features a stunning collection of plants and gardens from around the world, including a Chinese garden, Japanese garden, rose garden, and desert garden. Visitors can also explore the Huntington's art collections, library, and historic mansion.
Descanso Gardens - La Cañada Flintridge
This 150-acre garden is a peaceful oasis located just outside of Los Angeles. Descanso Gardens features a wide variety of gardens, including a rose garden, camellia garden, California native garden, and Japanese garden. Visitors can also explore a small lake, an oak forest, and several walking trails.
Mendocino Coast Botanical gardens - Fort Bragg
This 47-acre garden is situated along the Pacific Coast and offers stunning views throughout. The garden features a variety of different plant collections, including a rhododendron collection, a heather collection, and a succulent collection. There are also several walking trails that wind through the gardens, offering visitors a chance to explore the many different plants and flowers on display. One of the highlights of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is the Dahlia Garden, which features over 1,000 different varieties from mid-June through October.
The San Francisco Botanical Garden
This 55-acre garden is located within Golden Gate Park and features a stunning collection of plants from around the world. Highlights include a redwood grove, a succulent garden, and a rhododendron dell. Visitors can also enjoy a quiet stroll through the garden's many paths and trails. Check out the moon viewing garden!
The South Coast Botanic Garden - Palos Verdes
This 87-acre garden is located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and features over 2,500 different species of plants. The garden is known for its unique and beautiful collections of cacti, succulents, and cycads. Visitors can also explore several themed gardens, including a Mediterranean garden, a rose garden, and a water-wise garden.
Hakone Estate And Gardens - Saratoga
This Japanese-inspired garden is a place of tranquility and beauty. The estate was originally built in 1915 as a private retreat for a San Francisco businessman. Today, it's open to the public and features a variety of gardens, including a koi pond, a bamboo garden, and a hill and stream garden. Each garden is designed to evoke a different feeling, from calm and peaceful to lively and energetic. Visitors can participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and experience the serenity of the tea garden.
The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden - Davis
This 100-acre garden is located on the campus of the University of California, Davis, and features a diverse collection of plants from around the world. Visitors can explore several different gardens, including a native plant garden, a Mediterranean garden, and a redwood grove. The garden is also home to several walking and biking trails.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara
This 78-acre garden is dedicated to the conservation of California's native plants. Visitors can explore several different gardens, including a redwood grove, a desert garden, and a meadow garden. The garden is also home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
California's public gardens offer a chance to experience the state's natural beauty in a unique and peaceful way. Whether you're a plant enthusiast, a nature lover, or just looking for a relaxing outdoor activity, these gardens are definitely worth a visit. So pack a picnic, grab your camera, and get ready to explore some of the best public gardens in California!