Out & About: Searching for Spring Blooms in the Bay

April 17, 2018
Out & About: Searching for Spring Blooms in the Bay
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With spring underway and summer on the horizon, City Blocks will be sharing all of the best ideas for getting out and exploring the city, courtesy of the GGMG Magazine's ever-popular Out & About feature. You'll want to bookmark these entries for your next family adventure! First up: after our recent April showers, GGMG contributor Shaheen Bilgrami tells us where to find the most beautiful flowers across the Bay Area.

Whether you want to escape the urban grime in one of the many tiny, tucked away city gardens, or prefer to enjoy a family hike among the wildflowers outside city limits, options abound to enjoy spring in bloom.

Tiny gardens in San Francisco:

Grace Marchant Garden

This hidden, flower-filled gem on Telegraph Hill was a 30-year-old labor of love created by former resident Grace Marchant.

Sunnyside Conservatory

Kids will marvel at this local gem’s historical structure and the garden around it. Combine your visit with an event or concert at the venue for a fun evening out.

The Living Roof at the California Academy of Sciences

Spring is a great time to check out the living roof, which boasts “the densest concentration of wild flowers in San Francisco.”

Flowering Gardens in Golden Gate Park:

Spring brings blooms in many parts of our largest park. Not sure when to see different flowers in bloom? Check out the "Golden Gate Park in Bloom" guide on the SF Rec and Park website.

The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden

Early spring is the perfect time to check out the tulips near the North (Dutch) Windmill in Golden Gate Park. 

Japanese Tea Garden

Check out the cherry blossoms and azaleas in early spring in this little oasis of zen and enjoy a pot of tea and snack at the tea house inside.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

In April, everything starts to bloom in this beautiful garden where you will find native and international flora. Enjoy free entry for city residents. Enhance your visit by joining a free wildflower docent tour, or download the free smartphone app to identify the flowers you spot.

Wildflowers in the City:

Lake Merced

For a chance to see all the flowers in bloom around the lake, try the 4.5-mile Lake Merced Trail.

The Presidio

The Presidio boasts pockets of blooming wildflowers. The 2.4 mile California Coast Trail offers some of the best blooms and epic views.

Spring in bloom outside the city:

Mount Tamalpais State Park, North Bay

Venture across the bridge to enjoy blooming wildflowers including California poppies and irises. Child-friendly hikes include the 2.7-mile Cataract Falls Trail and the 4.7-mile Temelpa Trail.

Mount Diablo State Park, East Bay

Known for its amazing views, rock formations, and wildlife, as well as the stunning wildflowers, this state park caters to visitors of all ages.

Henry Coe State Park, South Bay 

This huge state park is over 87,000 acres. The 3.7-mile Spring and Forest Trail loop is a good one to catch the blossoms. Pro-tip: you must pay for parking in cash.

Filoli Gardens, Peninsula

From February to April the landscaped gardens at Filoli are filled with spring flowers. In addition to the gardens, tour the 100-year-old manor house or take part in one of the events that are run throughout the season.

This article originally appeared in the April/May issue of GGMG Magazine. 


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