The central coastline of California is packed with special places to have a day in the outdoors, but if you’re looking to add a little aesthetic to your adventure, you don’t want to miss Filoli, located just 25 miles south of San Francisco in a small but wealthy town called Woodside. Filoli’s entire estate comprises over 800 acres, with a 36,000 square foot home nestled into a 16-acre English Renaissance garden, bursting with incredible flora and architecture that you could happily get lost in on a sunny afternoon.
The name of the estate, Filoli, is an acronym that stems from the credo of its first owner, William Bourn: “Fight for a just cause, love your fellow man, live a good life.” Although much of the garden was established at the time the estate was built, the next family substantially expanded the garden, adding a swimming pool, several reflection pools, a screened-in tea house, and healthy plots of camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas in the woodland garden.
The estate was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1975, and it has remained open to the public ever since. Visitors can explore the estate freely on their own, take a guided tour of the house and gardens, or embark on a guided nature hike to hear interesting historic details. Filoli’s trails wind through five different ecosystems, offering an educational and enjoyable experience that is sure to delight all the senses.
This beautiful gallery is just a glimpse of what you’ll see on a visit to California’s lovely Filoli Gardens. Should you find yourself in the neighborhood of this stunning estate, do something nice for your mind and soul and wander the national treasure that is Filoli.
Top image via Ray Bouknight