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San Diego Botanic Gardens - Free Admission!

San Diego Botanic 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...”

However, THEY DO OFFER FREE PARKING FOR: Electric Cars*, Vehicles carrying 3 or more passengers, & Members of SDBG.
*EV Parking Stations Are Available.



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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  • Melinda

    I got there late, I so really didn't connect with the whole group. However, the weather was great, and the gardens were looking better than I've ever seen them, so I had a great day. I'll post a few photos soon.

    April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice weather & wonderful folks in a lovely relaxing place. The only thing that made me upset was that I forgot to take a group photo of everyone :-(

    April 2, 2013

  • Kacey L D.

    I might be adding a guest, I am not sure.

    1 · April 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looking forward to meeting your guest as well.

      April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello everyone Kate Tavares and I will be your host for tomorrows, San Diego Botanical Gardens Free Admission event. We are a rather large group with other Meetup Groups invited. The plan is to split up into interesting groups, a nice mix of folks. Details will be given when we meetup. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch to eat right away as we will go over the plan for the day. We are so looking forward to seeing you all.

    April 1, 2013

  • Scott

    I just went there it was fun got to buy tomato plants at tomatomania! I'll bring my mom.....she likes trees.

    1 · March 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The prices are really great too aren't they?

      April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Announcing a New Host for Apr. 2nd Free Admission Day into Botanical Gardens, Let's Welcome, Kate Tavares.

    If you need to reach her please use her member profile email contact link. She will meet everyone at the gift shop, please be on time.

    Thank you,
    Sheila Newbery

    March 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My brother is not going to recover from his illness and may not make it very soon. I will be staying with my mother by UCSD La Jolla to be by my brothers side & to support my mother during this sad time. I am seeking a host to replace me for this event.

    March 12, 2013

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