San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers is one of the Jewels of Golden Gate Park
If the stunning array and displays of flowers, shrubs, trees and other greenery found at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park doesn’t lighten your mood and bring joy to your soul, you may need to check your pulse. The rich profusion of colors, stunning variety of shapes and beautifully tended grounds make it very easy to unplug from the world and lose all track of time. Many Bay Area residents say they visit the Conservatory a few times each year to do exactly that, as once they begin walking through the gardens, it is easy for them to imagine they are in Versailles, Villa d’Este, Stourhead or another world-class garden.
Construction of this civic treasure began in 1872 and by the time the structure was finished in 1878, it had cost $30,000 and featured 16,800 windowpanes and 26,000-square-feet of glass. Essentially a huge greenhouse, the Conservatory remains the oldest wood and glass structure in North America and an enduring monument to the visionaries who donated time, land and money to make this civic treasure a reality for all San Franciscans. There have been setbacks in the decades since it was built: several fires, neglect, a worldwide economic collapse and the enormous and ongoing task of maintaining an aging wood and glass structure. Yet despite significant adversity over the years, the structure still remains an especially beautiful part of San Francisco history and a can’t-miss destination for the many thousands of visitors who stroll through the gardens each year.
Today, the Conservatory is as alive and vibrant as the rare and exotic plants and flowers growing within. Some of the highlights of the facility’s collection include:
- A collection of more than 700 of the more than 1,000 species of high-altitude orchids known in the world
- An impressive collection of carnivorous plants (always a favorite with kids!)
- At least 1,700 species of different plants from all over the world
- A huge collection of aquatic plants growing in an indoor stream
- Rotating exhibits featuring butterflies, succulent desert plants, poisonous plants, insects, prehistoric plants and many others
If the Conservatory of Flowers sounds like your kind of place, you’ll be pleased to learn that admission is quite affordable, at $8 for adults or $5 for San Franciscans with proof of residency. Admission is even more affordable for kids, at $2 for ages 5 to11 and $5 for ages 12 to 17. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month. The physical address is 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. While you’re in the Park, make sure to check out the Japanese Tea Garden, the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences and the Redwood Memorial Grove for additional inspiration and reflection.
Call Nationwide Limousine Service today at 800-339-8936, and let us take you to your favorite San Francisco sightseeing spots!