San Francisco Botanical Garden
A big beautiful 55-acre living plant outdoor museum with over 8000 different plants conveniently located in Golden Gate Park. It’s a quiet, lovely place to walk and especially worth seeing if you like plants. see map below.
Free to San Francisco residents with proof of residency. $8/adult for non-residents. Opens at 7:30 am and closes at different times depending on time of the year. Free to non-residents all day Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and 7:30-9:00 am every day. See complete details. Free docent-led tours daily as well.
They also have a very nice event in early July each year called Flower Piano. It features 12 different pianos in different locations throughout the park which talented locals (15 minute limit) and professionals play to entertain other guests.
Other nice gardens in Golden Gate Park include:
- The Shakespeare Garden – A quiet little English garden (free) filled only with plants mentioned by the Bard. Hidden just northeast of the Botanical Garden (west of Martin Luther King Dr between Nancy Pelosi Dr and Music Concourse Dr).
- Japanese Tea Garden – Just north of the Botanical Garden at the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Dr & Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr (admission). Open holidays.
- The Conservatory of Flowers (admission) and The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden (free) are also in Golden Gate Park.