AAA/Greg Weekes
AAA Editor Notes
San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum main entrance is near 9th Ave. and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. This outstanding botanical garden, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015, features more than 8,500 species of plants from around the world. The Bay Area's Mediterranean climate—year-round mild temperatures, wet winters, dry summers and frequent fog—is shared by locations in such far-flung countries as New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

Themed plantings include a cloud forest, a fragrance garden, a primitive plant garden, the Japanese Moonviewing Garden and gardens devoted to camellias, rhododendrons and California native plants. The sheer botanical variety ensures seasonal highlights throughout the year: camellias and giant magnolia blossoms from January to March, wildflowers and rhododendrons in April and May, flowering perennials in summer, fuchsias and the enormous leaves of giant rhubarb, a South American native, in fall.

A century-old redwood grove provides a cool, moist environment for ferns and other shade-loving plants as well as an enchanting retreat for humans. Bench-lined walking paths and expansive lawns throughout the garden's 55 acres offer plenty of opportunities to stop, relax and contemplate nature's beautiful and remarkable diversity.

Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.

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