‘Tis the season of beautiful blooms + gorgeous gardens — and San Diego has plenty of both. From Vista and Encinitas to Balboa Park and Mission Hills, here’s our pick of five local gardens you shouldn’t miss this spring.
Can you dig it? We can dig it. Let’s grow.
🌱 Alcazar Garden | Balboa Park | Free
Patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain, this scenic spot sits west of the Mingei International Museum and is known for its ornate fountains + 7,000 colorful annuals. We love this spot for a stroll — but also, take time to stop and look up: The view of the California Tower from here is epic.
🌳 Alta Vista Botanical Gardens | 1270 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista | $5
Walking trails and plants from all over the globe make this a must-see stop in San Diego’s North County. Don’t miss the Medicinal Herb Garden and Garden Labyrinth brimming with rosemary + lavender. Oh, and the art and sculptures add even more life here — including the four dinosaurs by artist Ricardo Breceda (the same sculptor known for his work at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park).
🌼 San Diego Botanic Garden | Quail Gardens Drive + Ecke Ranch Road, Encinitas | $18
This 37-acre oasis features 4 miles of trails and the largest children’s garden on the West Coast. Check out the South Africa Garden and its colorful flora; the Mexican Garden featuring Agave, Salvias + cycads; and the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory housing rare tropical plants.
✂️ Edna Harper’s Topiary Garden | 3549 Union St., Mission Hills | Free
☮️ SRF Meditation Gardens | 215 W. K St., Encinitas | Free
These peaceful gardens feature nooks where you can meditate amongst colorful plants, koi ponds, and incredible ocean views. The gardens are part of the Self-Realization Fellowship Encinitas Temple founded by Paramahansa Yogananda — aka the “Father of Yoga in the West.”