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“A Hidden Attraction that is Worth A Visit”

San Diego Botanic Garden
Ranked #3 of 32 things to do in Encinitas
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Explore four miles of garden trails, enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates giving the visitor a sensation of going from a desert environment to a tropical rainforest, all within 37 acres.Located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas, California, San Diego Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, an herb garden, firesafe landscaping, a subtropical fruit garden, and native coastal sage natural areas. In June of 2009, we opened the Hamilton Children's Garden, the largest interactive children's garden on the West Coast.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Hidden Attraction that is Worth A Visit”
Reviewed July 28, 2011

During our travels, I always look for opportunities to visit gardens. It gives me the opportunity to learn about the local flora and fauna as well as gain ideas for my own landscape challenges. The San Diego Botanical Garden provided a great opportunity to learn about area vegetation as well as become familiar with plants from around the world that share the same ecosystems as San Diego.

The gardens are lush and provide a great hike on paved paths. Sculptures are incorporated into the garden settings to add interest and charm. However, the show stopper for me, even as an adult, was the newly opened children’s area! Kids, young and old, are provided with a great area to play and learn. The designers of the children’s area also showed great creativity taking common garden tools and summer fixtures to create interest. Weber grill covers will never look the same to you after you have visited the children’s area. For those who remember Lily Tomlin’s Edith Anne, take a moment, jump up and sit a spell in the giant Adirondack chairs. And that’s the truth!

Visited May 2011
Thank lovehawaiiansunset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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409 reviews from our community

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San Diego, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great place for kids”
Reviewed July 2, 2011

We just returned from a trip to the San Diego Botanic Garden. We have been San Diego residents for years, but never made it up there. It was well worth the trip! We have 3 children -ages 2, 4 and 6. We spent the majority of our time in the Children's Area. It was wonderful. So many things to do - they loved the tree house, fireplace/kitchen area, maze, and the little river you can float boats down. It wasn't at all crowded (we were there on a Saturday from 10-1) and they have done a nice job of placing activities among the exhibits - coloring, painting, planting a "take home" plant, etc. We could have stayed longer and will certainly go back.

If you have kids - take a stroller. We didn't and regretted it. It is a bit of a walk to the kids area. The paths are wide enough for a double stroller. You can bring snacks in and eat them in the picnic areas. Bathrooms are close to the kids area too.

Military get in free (May-Sept) because they are part of the Blue Star program.

It is about a 25minute drive from San Diego.

Visited July 2011
Thank CAmomx3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbeville, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“great way to spend an afternoon”
Reviewed March 30, 2011

Nice gardens. My son-in-law grew up in the area and had never been. Large variety of plants types from around the world that will grow in the SD area. Wear good shoes and allow several hours.

Visited March 2011
Thank CofCMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Nice garden, a certain volunteer is VERY RUDE”
Reviewed March 20, 2011

I visited the gardens as advised by the front desk staff at West Inn during the Herb Festival they had this weekend 3/19-3/20. The festival was great, a few children's activities- but I must say a certain volunteer under the name of Elizabeth [---] I believe was very rude to my children who are only 4,7, and 10. The activity they had for childeren was making cards pressed with painted leaves. We had come on Saturday and my two older ones made a card the day before. We decided that they had fun coming and decided to make a second trip the next day back to the festival-BIG MISTAKE. My children waited for nearly 2 hours and I wasn't sure what was going on- turned out this older volunteer did not want them to make a card on Sunday since they made a card on Saturday even though there was a whopping 2 other children there. She was extremely rude and really made me look down at this establishment for letting such rude and unfriendly people volunteer at the gardens. She really made a beautiful place into a real horrible day. My children couldn't understand what this volunteer was doing as she talked over us as they waited patiently to make a card like they didn't even exsist. Needlesstosay I was extremely disappointed how a volunteer could act in such a poor way. I'm calling to get my membership refunded.

Visited March 2011
5 Thank kachst2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Pretty Garden”
Reviewed February 22, 2011

I came here on a weekday afternoon. It was during museum month and I got in for half price, which was $8 with parking. They do charge $2 for parking. If you come with at least 4 people in your car, they don't charge parking. This was my first time here. I spent an hour and a half here, but you could easily be here longer if you want to look at and read all the signs.

I started in the desert garden. I wasn't sure if this place was going to be worth the visit at this point. You can see all this stuff at Torrey Pines. Then I got to the Bamboo Garden, super cool. This was my favorite section. I was also really into the Subtropical Fruit Garden since it had a lot of the fruit trees of fruit that I had during a visit in Australia last year. I was taking my time up to this point and through the herb garden and out to the lookout. Then I realized how much more there was to see, so I started going faster and not looking at every single plant or tree. I cruised through the rest of the garden and went over to see the native plants and people area before heading out.

This would be a great place to visit if you are into plants and gardens or learning about them. They were setting up for a Valentine's Day event when I was there and they seem to have a lot of events here. The decorations they were putting up were very high end and extravagant, wow. It must have looked amazing that evening.

Visited February 2011
Thank FreqTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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