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.

$8; $6 (ages 12-17 and 65+); $2 (ages 5-11); $18 (family, two adults and all children under 17 residing in the same residence); free (botanical garden members and San Francisco city and county residents with ID, and to all daily 7:30-9 a.m., all day the second Tues. of the month, and on Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Opens daily at 7:30 a.m. and closes 1 hour after last entry. Last entry at 6 p.m., second Sun. in Mar.-Sept. 30; at 4, first Sun. in Nov.-Jan. 31; at 5, rest of year. Free 45-minute guided tours departing from the Main Gate are given daily at 1:30; also Sat.-Sun. at 2, spring-early fall, departing from the North Gate. Free bird walks are offered the first Sun. of the month beginning at 8 a.m.
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