Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium has been a Palm Springs tradition since 1939. This one acre garden packs in 3,000 desert cacti from around the globe including North American Deserts: Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin & Colorado Plateau as well as Mexico, Africa and South America. Enjoy the wonderful mirage of cacti along its stunning trails.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has been a World Famous California Landmark since 1919. Railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington loved art, books and gardens so created The Huntington to house his collection. British, French and American Art of the 18th, 19th & 20th Centuries stand alongside an extensive library with more than 6 million rare books and manuscripts. Highlights to the 120 acres of gorgeous landscaped gardens include the Cactus Garden, Rose Garden and Palm Garden.
The Queen Anne Cottage is the crown jewel of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The Cottage was built in 1885 using the Queen Anne Victorian Architectural Style by Elias Jackson 'Lucky' Baldwin. Lucky was a very fortunate California pioneer, investor and real estate tycoon. He moved to San Francisco in 1853 during the Gold Rush and decided the real money was not in gold itself but in food, supplies and lodging for gold diggers.
Lucky used his fortune to purchase a tract of land outside of Los Angeles he divided into lots in the 1880's for the towns of Arcadia and Monrovia. He was considered one of the first equal employers hiring African-American, Native American, Mexican and Chinese workers when most were jobless: though, he paid them considerably less. Lucky built this cottage for entertaining purposes only and can be enjoyed today with a visit to the Arboretum.
South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes Hills contains 87 landscaped acres of 150,000 plants and trees from all around the world. With its arid desert cacti, palm groves, fruit orchard and fuchsia gardens, the collection has something everyone will love. The garden also shows our ability to change the past. It is built upon an open mine pit which turned into a landfill for eight years from 1957-65. Today, the gardens cover 3.5 million tons of garbage but is a great example of land recycling.
The Descanso Gardens are a 150 acre botanical garden in La Cañada Flintridge. Its beautiful natural oak forest with its rolling green hills are a must see as are the world famous camellia gardens. Each Spring, tulips are planted and compliment the colorful rose, lilac and California native garden.
The San Diego Botanic Garden showcases beautifully landscaped gardens and trails by the sea. California natives, desert gardens, lush tropical rainforests and the largest bamboo collection in the country are among the 3,000 varieties from Africa and South America to Asia and beyond. Stop and smell the flowers along four miles of trails.
Each Spring, the coastal hills of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch burst with color. Fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bloom from March to May and provide gorgeous views of the ocean. Frank Frazee cultivated 13 colors over the years from just red and yellow. He first planted his fields in 1933 and modeled them after his horticulturist neighbor Luther Gage. This local treasure continues every year and helps put Carlsbad on the map.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is a beautiful landscaped garden in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It contains 2,000 species of plants native to California and has 58 acres of beautiful trails. From Joshua Trees to Torrey Pines, there is great diversity for every interest.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is a beautiful zoo on America's Riviera Coast. With more than 500 animals, it is one of the best small zoo's in the country and has been operating since 1963. The zoo is also known as one of the most beautiful zoos with its sweeping views of Santa Barbara, the ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains as its backdrop. Botanical gardens landscape the exhibits and trails making for a wonderful visit.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is the sister of the San Diego Zoo. With 1800 acres and over 2600 animals, this world class zoo receives more than 2 million visitors per year. Safari Park preserves endangered species from 6 continents and has the famous Africa Tram. This features enclosures where the animals roam free to live a more natural life. The world's largest veterinary hospital is also here which gives the animals the best care possible. Beautifully landscaped with 3,500 plant species, this Zoo is a must see in San Diego.