by Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more “best real estate advice” (since 2013).

Reading time: 1 minute 15 seconds

It’s the gem in the middle of the gem that is Golden Gate Park, and we’re always surprised at how many residents haven’t gotten around to visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden. In case you need some encouragement, here are perfect great excuses to drop whatever you’re doing and go now!

1. We’ve spent hours and hours roaming the SF Botanical Garden. In all sorts of weather. At all hours of the day. There, you’ll find plants from all over the world, organized by geographic area and by themes. They’re currently offering online programs, but when regular events and programs resume post-covid, you can find a cause for visiting at least once a week.

2. Something is always blooming. Right now, in February, it’s magnolias. Fragrant, colorful and evocative of spring.

3. We love our dogs. We truly do. But even us pet owners need the occasional break from canine interactions. Dogs aren’t allowed at the botanical garden! (Bikes aren’t either.) So you can walk around without your little kids becoming frightened and you can sit on the grass without fear of a messy dog-poo encounter (though no guarantees about goose or coyote poo).

4.  Plant sales. Better pricing and selection than in most commercial garden centers. And your dollars support operation of this local treasure.

5. Admission is free to San Francisco residents!

Bonus. Flower Piano festival. Held once a year, the 12-day garden fete means pianos are placed throughout the gardens. You can play yourself, or stop to listen to everything from a pair of nine-year-olds banging out “Chopsticks” to a concert pianist doing Chopin’s “Prelude in E minor.”

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