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Follow the butterflies and fragrance of orchids to a world-class botanic garden in Encinitas. San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Botanical) is 36 acres of urban oasis, where you can connect with nature on full display.

We wandered through gardens representing desert, Mediterranean and tropical regions. Imagine the scents from more than 3,500 types of plants — from native California pines to exotic rainforest ferns. Paths weave among the gardens, through bamboo groves and coral-resembling cactuses, and from rare sun-dappled collections to the shade of the Victorian Gazebo near the waterfall.

Even as adults, we loved exploring the new Hamilton Children’s Garden, where kids experience nature by climbing trees, rock hopping, sketching and more. It was hard for us to imagine a bustling world existing outside this garden paradise.

San Diego Botanic Garden is open 9-5 daily in Encinitas at 230 Quail Gardens Drive. Admission is $12 adults and $6 children (ages 3-12). Visit sdbgarden.org for more information or call 760-436-3036.

San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas

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