The end of summer is near and there are plenty of outdoor attractions still left to see! Squeeze in a last minute SoCal vacation and check out the natural beauty of the area’s unique climate. Whether you’re an aspiring botanist or just looking to take a leisurely stroll in breathtaking surroundings, we know five botanical gardens that are not to be missed.
These 127 acres of incredible flora and fauna from all over the world are set in the hills of southern California. The attraction is in fact a triple threat, as one of its attractions, the Queen Anne Cottage, is also a nationally registered historical site that is rumored to be haunted!
A celebrity favorite, animals and plants aren’t the only thing to see at this botanic garden. While searching for A-list stars, visitors can peruse the botanic collection which is scattered throughout the grounds and within the animal habitats. The zoo also serves as a plant collection center for illegally imported specimens like rare bulbs and orchids that have been confiscated from smuggling rings by government agencies.
If you’re looking to keep things hot this summer, check out one of the oldest and largest collections of desert plants in the world here at the Huntington. Many of these exotic plants are from founder Henry Huntington’s trips around the world. One one trip to Arizona in 1908, he filled three entire railroad cars with plants to take back to the garden. By constructing one of the most paramount collections of desert plants, Huntington brought a largely unknown and unappreciated group into the botanical spotlight.
For the more scholarly of visitors, the Fullerton Arboretum is the perfect place to get your study on! With its diverse plant life, the Arboretum is the centerpiece of the university’s ecological and horticultural education departments. It isn’t all work and no play however. The Fullerton also knows how to throw a party. Their haunted gardens, Victorian fashion shows, and Midsummer Night garden gala are not to be missed.
Named after one of the most noted female botanists in American history, the UCLA gardens take their collection very seriously. Free drop in docent tours are available at any time and tailor made to your educational preference. Deeply dedicated to research and study, these gardens are a top of the line educational center first, and a park second. Better do your homework!