Visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park

The San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park is a must visit for plant lovers, those who enjoy gardens or just enjoy being outdoors and visiting a beautiful botanical garden. With all these wonderful Mediterranean and unique gardens of the world to explore, the San Francisco Botanical Garden has everything to see. Main highlights to visiting include the Mediterranean zones, the cloud forest gardens biblical gardens, the Prehistoric garden with some of the most unique and unusual plant genres you’ll come across in your visit here.

Visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park

History of the San Francisco Botanical Garden

The collections of gardens originally called the Strybing Arboretum is now known as the San Francisco Botanical Garden and is a world class garden to visit especially when the different areas of the gardens are in their blooming cycles from spring to late summer time frame. Locally the gardens are just referred to as ‘the arboretum’ and explore on your own or even on a wonderful guided tour of the park grounds.

History of the San Francisco Botanical Garden

The park is over 55 acres of grounds and hosting over 8,000 species of plants from around the world and broken down into the major garden zones to include:

The Mediterranean

California native plants

Cloud Forest

Temperate Asia

South Africa

Australia and New Zealand

South Asian Cloud Forest

Meso-American Cloud Forest

Andean Cloud Forest

the prehistoric garden at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

It’s fun to walk around the major pathways with just blend into each other seamlessly in a very cohesive and natural fashion even though there are so many different garden zones of the world to explore here.

Gardens at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens at the South African garden

Gardens at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens

These are the major gardens to explore at the botanical garden now. Although there are things blooming year round in the gardens, it is good to pick up a map at the main gate

Mediterranean Gardens at the San Francisco botanical garden

Mediterranean Gardens

Covering a vast array of Mediterranean zones from California regions, to South Africa, Chile, Australia and other Mediterranean zones, the gardens are a nice representation of beautiful gardens to visit around the world.

California native garden
California native garden

Cloud Forest gardens

Colder and mountain forest areas showcase the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowering plants in the mountain areas of the world to explore.  This includes the rain forest areas of Southeast Asian cloud forest, the Meso-American Cloud forest and other Rain forest areas of the world

Specialty gardens at the botanical gardens

Specialty gardens

There are so many unusual and interesting areas of the botanical garden to explore that focus on more unique aspects of the plant world to include:, Cactus and succulent areas, A Japanese garden and ponds, a herb and biblical garden, alpine zone, Dry Mexico and even Dwarf Conifers and Redwood grove,  and the unusual plants of the entry garden gate areas. Newer entries into fun places to explore at the botanical garden includes: a moon garden, fragrance garden, rhododendron and camelia garden the ancient prehistoric plant zone.

Cactus garden entry

Other places to explore around the Botanical Garden

Other places to explore around the Botanical Garden

Gift shop – a fun place for garden inspired art, objects, books, plants and other souvenirs

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture – a place for more detailed studies, research and finding inspirational gardens and books to enjoy and in a beautiful setting

Relax and picnic on the expansive grass lawn entry to the park grounds

Go on a docent tour of the gardens with a guide that will show you the best of the best in the gardens and what is blooming now.

For quiet relaxation and contemplation,  enjoy the Japanese garden and gazebo that overlooks the pond areas with some turtles and wildlife that frequent the area.

Relax and enjoy the outdoor gardens right off the main library area with Mediterranean plantings.

Directions to the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Directions to the San Francisco Botanical Garden

The San Francisco Botanical garden is located in Golden Gate Park and the main entrance is located off Ninth avenue and Lincoln Way. Follow the pathways through the street and into the gated entrance to the botanical garden.

Prices:  $12 on Weekends, $9 for adults $6 for ages 12-17 and seniors 65+ with ID

Free garden days daily from 7:30 -9am when you enter the main gates

Hours: The Garden is open daily, starting at 7:30 a.m.

Visit their website here for more details to visiting

Visit these other fantastic gardens and places around Golden Gate Park

Explore the exotic and well maintained Japanese Tea Garden

Visit the beautiful glass conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco

Stroll or boat around the Stow Lake area

Enjoy the lovely Dahlia Garden by the Conservatory of Flowers

California native gardens
California native gardens

Conclusion to visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden

So, these are all the most popular and well-loved parts of Golden Gate Park that locals and visitors enjoy including the San Francisco Botanical Garden. If you have been here, we would love to hear your thoughts or inside tips to visiting the area.

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