Peaceful Moments Bloom at Famous California Gardens

Visit California has some sun-drenched suggestions on places that will deliver air, light, and natural bliss.

Aaron Hawkins

NATURE IS ALL AROUND US, it's true, but sometimes strolling through the gate of a destination devoted to pretty plots of roses, spectacular spreads of succulents, and all types of spiky, leafy, bark-laden, blossom-heavy growing things is our desire. Not every ticketed (or sometimes unticketed) garden in the Golden State has reopened following the pandemic closures, but many have, and they've proven to be just the sunshiny, fresh-air'd areas that people have been craving in recent weeks.

VISIT CALIFORNIA... has rounded up some "Must-See Gardens" for rose-seeking adventurers and people who adore a good prickly pear, or ocotillo, or barrel, or some cunningly presented combination of the three cacti. Fullerton Arboretum, a "former orchard," made the lovely list, and while oranges aren't much in profusion these days around the property, you can find sustainable landscaping, thrilling cameos by the local wildlife, and, yes, free admission. And the Forestiere Underground Gardens, which are really and truly subterranean, are a longtime Fresno favorite, and a cool retreat on a scorching summer afternoon.

TICKET PRICES, safety protocols, advance reservations, and other travel updates? If you've got your heart set on one of these splendid and grassy/trail-lined/tree-shady locations, be sure to visit the specific garden's site before you go in order to discover what you might need to do ahead of time, and what you can expect once you're there. Whenever you do call upon some of these airy and awesome gems, know that they're places brimming with life and light, and ideal nexuses for decompressing, letting a bit of stress go, and connecting with the outdoors in a not-so-wild but oh-so-wonderful way.

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