FREE ADMISSION into the San Diego Botanical Gardens

San Diego Botanical Gardens:
An Urban Oasis

Until 1957, the gardens were the private estate of Ruth Baird Larabee, at which time she donated her house and grounds to the County of San Diego. Established in 1961, The Quail Botanical Gardens Foundation, located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas, California, San Diego Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits. The massive 37 acres of land include rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, an herb garden, fire safe landscaping, a subtropical fruit garden, and native coastal sage natural areas. The Hamilton Children's Garden was opened in June 2011, the largest interactive children's garden on the West Coast. Currently there are 4 miles of trails to explore.

Laura DeMugno, (Writer, editor, journalist, and communications professional) names San Diego Botanic Garden as one of the 10 Spectacular Gardens Around the World!

Julian Duval, President and CEO of SDBG, is particularly pleased with being included in the 10 listed gardens. She points out, "I have been to many of these prestigious gardens and can say it is a real honor to be listed among them”.


Alyssa K. (Washington, DC) ~ “The Botanic Gardens offer flowers from all around the world. In a single afternoon you can walk through Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, North and South America which for me is my kind of afternoon. The kids garden is a great place for the little ones to run around, play, and get dirty. I highly recommend the Botanic Gardens as it is the perfect place for anyone, no matter your age, to spend a fun day outdoors, reconnecting with nature, and enjoying earth's laughter.”

Pamela S. (San Diego, CA) ~ “I do photography and found this place with so many different opportunities, lots of plants, flowers, and interesting sights. Nice place to come and de-stress.”

Carrie H. (Carlsbad, CA) ~ “I especially enjoyed the bamboo garden and the rainforest area with the beautiful waterfall. There is quite a bit of artwork scattered throughout the gardens that offer a welcome diversion from plants... they are a bit strange but fun at the same time...”

FREE ADMISSION 1st Tuesday of the month. Normally priced at:

Adults $12
Seniors, students, active military $8
Children ages 3-12 $6
FREE admission for: Members of SDBG, & Children ages 2 & under.
PARKING is $2 ; however, FREE parking for: Electric Cars (EV Station now available), Vehicles with 4 or more in the car, & Members of SDBG.


Take I-5 North, exit Encinitas Boulevard and turn right (heading east) (0.5 miles), turn left on Quail Gardens Drive (0.3 miles), the entrance to the Gardens will be on your left


Take I-5 South, exit Leucadia Boulevard and turn left (heading east) (0.5 miles), turn right on Quail Gardens Drive (1 mile) the entrance to the Gardens will be on your right

Visit the North County Public Transportation District website to plan your trip.

From the Encinitas Station take the NCTD Breeze (bus) route 309 Towne Center. Get off at the Encinitas Blvd stop at Westlake St. Walk north on Westlake St to the San Diego Botanic Garden Entrance, approximately 0.3 miles. (Westlake St turns into Quail Gardens Drive).

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  • Joseph E.

    Since I live close by I go almost every first Tuesday of the month.

    December 4, 2012

  • Adrienne ".

    I love taking pictures! Big hobie of mine and I love to share as well as have others share with me. I always look for different approches to a shot. I get stuck in a box sometimes! :)

    November 28, 2012

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