Skip to main content

Stroll through an explosion of spring flowers at the 15 best gardens in the Bay Area

Spring gardens bloom at Filoli. | Courtesy Dani Hielscher for Filoli

The upside of this winter’s endless rain is the spring superbloom taking place in every garden, backyard, park and roadside median around California right now—even SF and the Wine Country are afire with wildflowers!

It’s time to grab your friends, your family or just a good book and get out to see the cherry blossoms, roses, tulips and daffodils on parade in parks near you.

From the century-old Municipal Rose Garden of San Jose to the native flora of the Martha Walker Garden in Napa, there are dozens of famous gardens to visit around the Bay.

Check out the map and list below for 15 ideas for where to go for an eyeful and noseful of flowers this spring.

A Guide to 15 of the Best Gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area 

Blake Garden, Kensington

Part of UC Berkeley, this unique garden makes you feel like you snuck onto the grounds of an abandoned mansion.

Perennial sunflowers grows at Blake Garden, a part of Cal’s landscape architecture program, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. | Paul Kuroda for The Standard

Central Park and Japanese Garden, San Mateo

See the cherry blossoms surrounding this pagoda, koi pond and tea house. 

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

With tropical, aquatic and carnivorous plants, there’s always something in blooming inside this Victorian greenhouse in Golden Gate Park.

An artwork is surrounded by garden beds in front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park in 2022. | Courtesy SF Arts Commission

Filoli Historic House and Garden, Woodside

Garden after garden of manicured spring blooms cover the grounds of this historic South Bay estate.

Spring at the Garden House at Filoli | Courtesy Gino de Grandis for Filoli

The Gardens at Heather Farm, Walnut Creek

Bring a blanket and spread out a picnic after seeing the roses, salvia, waterfalls and children’s garden.

Roses bloom at the Gardens at Heather Farm. | Courtesy Gardens at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Lake Merritt, Oakland

Walk among the rhododendrons, lilies, palms, bonsai and succulents at this glorious garden. 

Hayward Japanese Gardens, Hayward

Wander over the ponds and through the pavilion of an authentic Japanese wood and stone garden.

The teahouse at the Japanese Garden | Courtesy Nicole Espinoza Roa for Hayward Area Recreation and Park District

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

Since 1894, this Golden Gate Park attraction has drawn visitors for its cherry blossoms, ponds and pagodas. 

The Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park explodes with blossoming shrubs and trees in spring. | John S. Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images

Marin Art and Garden Center, Ross

This green corner of the Ross Valley is a peaceful place to stroll through the flowering trees and beds. On-leash dogs are welcome on paths, too!

Forget-me-nots bloom at the Marin Art and Garden Center. | Courtesy Marin Art and Garden Center

Martha Walker Garden, Napa

This native habitat garden includes redwood forest, oak woodland, bird and butterfly environments to explore.

Municipal Rose Garden, San Jose

Called “America’s Best Rose Garden,” this century-old, 5-acre park features nearly 200 varieties of roses.

A gardener works in San Jose's Municipal Rose Garden. | Courtesy City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department

Regional Parks Botanic Garden at Tilden Park, Berkeley

Explore this natural, 10-acre space showing native blooms, shrubs and trees from around California. 

Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek

This garden features an extraordinary collection of sculptural, unique dry garden plants from around the world. 

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

Catch the end of the famed magnolia season or the start of spring blooms from 10 different climate areas in this historic Golden Gate Park arboretum that is free for city residents.

A park with large trees, people relaxing on grass, and a distant hill with a tall tower.
The Great Meadow at the SF Botanical Garden is a great place to hang out on a sunny afternoon. | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard | Source: Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Sonoma Botanical Garden, Glen Ellen

Specializing in plants from temperate East Asia and coastal California, the garden provides many tranquil paths and picnic spots in the hills of Sonoma County.