Filoli gardens are at their stunning best in the spring; so don't miss the show! Its 16 acres (the size of 12 football fields) is recognized as one of the best private formal botanical gardens in the United States. See picture groups #1 & #2 below which are worth a thousand words.
These beautifully maintained gardens are located on a 654-acre country estate surrounding a 43-room 17-fireplace mansion built 1919 by one of California's richest gold miners. This estate is now a national historical monument, parts of which you have likely seen on the silver screen (e.g., the Carrington Mansion in Dynasty, the Warren Beaty movie Heaven Can Wait, and The Joy Luck Club). Its name came from the rich gold miner's family credo, i.e., "FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life" which was abbreviated to Filoli and pronounced "Fi-Lo-Li."
Filoli makes for a great Sunday drive from anywhere in the San Francisco Bay area. It is very accessible just off Highway 280 (known as the world's most beautiful freeway due to its scenic route down the peninsula) thirty miles south of San Francisco (see map below) in Woodside, CA. Note: On Sundays be sure to come in via Edgewood Road because Canada Road north of Filoli to Hwy 92 is closed for Bicycle Sundays.
Do plan your visit to confirm times and prices. There are many special events, art exhibitions & classes including celebrations of different seasons and of holidays, particularly Christmas and Mother's Day. Some such events have special prices and some sell out (e.g., monthly Wednesday afternoon teas are sold out for 2012 and on certain evenings the Christmas Holiday Botique is jam packed). Otherwise, admission is generally $15 for adults which helps support Filoli's expensive maintenance and the many projects and programs (which are also supported by large gifts, memberships, and hundreds of local volunteers as well as professional staff).
Besides just walking around the 43-room mansion and 16-acre garden on your own you can take free volunteer docent led house, garden, orchard and nature tours & hikes. Other things to do include an informal cafe (indoor & outdoor patio) and a garden gift shop with plants and Filoli-inspired merchandise. Most things to do are oriented towards adult audiences, Seniors always love Filoli, except for such special children's events such as Easter Egg hunts, pumpkin patch and Christmas parties.
Canada Rd Bicycle Sundays - Other things to do on beautiful Canada Rd (parts of which are closed to allow bicycles only on Sundays).
San Mateo - nearby things to do in San Mateo to the north.
Palo Alto - nearby things to do in Palo Alto to the south.
Filoli web site - Check this Filoli page for events, times & prices prior to your visit.
You may (1) hold down left click button to drag this map, (2) hover over & click icon to see more details, (3) double left click on map to recenter & move in closer, or (4) double right click on map to move out.