San Francisco Bay Area Gardens

Photo: Saxon Holt,

Wednesday, August 24 – Sunday, August 28, 2022

Join fellow garden enthusiasts and explore the San Francisco Bay Area’s urban biodiversity. This tour will be limited to just 14 guests. You will have once in a lifetime behind-the-scenes experiences that will spark your imagination, boost your garden narrative, and cultivate community on this unique 5-day horticultural tour, with expert local guides joining our group. We are also expecting some well-known Bay Area garden authors to join us on some selected stops during this tour.



Wednesday, August 24th

Photos: Saxon Holt,

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, Built in 1879, the Conservatory was the first formal structure erected in Golden Gate Park and remains an internationally renowned icon, filled with tropical plants of many types. We will have a tour by a local expert.

Bento Box Lunch at the Historic Music Concourse, located at the center of the ‘museum district’ of Golden Gate Park, the Music Concourse was established to accommodate the activities of the 1894 Mid-Winter Fair.

Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. This tour will include a talk with the Head Gardener of the Tea Gardens exclusively for our group.

San Francisco Botanical Garden, a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing more than 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.

Welcome Dinner at Surisan Restaurant, enjoy an inspired blend of traditional Korean and modern cuisine


Thursday, August 25th

Photos: Clockwise from left: Raul Zumba, David Feix Landscape Design, and Saxon Holt,  

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species. Organized geographically, the Garden features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Australasia to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants. The Garden was established in 1890 and its living collections are invaluable resources for international research and conservation.

Tilden Gardens and Box Lunch, Situated in Tilden Regional Park’s beautiful Wildcat Canyon in the heart of the north Berkeley Hills, the garden is devoted to the collection, growth, display, and preservation of the native plants of California. Our guide is expected to be Bart O’Brien, who was recently awarded the 2022 Liberty Hyde Bailey Award from the American Horticultural Society for his lifetime contributions to horticulture.

David Feix Landscape Design Gardens, we expect to visit two private gardens in the hills around Berkeley

Raul Zumba Garden and dinner, The gently sloping site contains garden rooms filled with rare plants, art, fountains, and ponds that attract birds and other wildlife. We will remain at Raul’s home to enjoy a special chef-made dinner in his garden.


Friday, August 26th

Photos: Clockwise from left: Saxon Holt,, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Saxon Holt,

Alcatraz Island and Gardens, for more than a century, gardens were an important part of everyday life for officers, families, and prisoners confined to Alcatraz by sentence or duty. We will have a private tour of the gardens by a local expert.

Independent Lunch in the Embarcadero area of downtown San Francisco, with many restaurants within walking distance of the Ferry Terminal at Pier 33.

Black Point Gardens at Fort Mason – Located within Fort Mason, the site was developed with gardens and pathways in the 1850s by early San Francisco residents but forgotten until recently. With volunteer support, the beautiful garden pathways have been unearthed, the site brought back to life, and Black Point Gardens is now reborn using native plants.


Saturday, August 27th

Photos: Clockwise from left: Leiris202 CC and Guilhem Vellut

Yerba Buena Gardens – These public gardens combine urban design and plantings to reflect the diversity of cultures in San Francisco and the world. The open sky and the backdrop of buildings and bridges create a serene oasis in the middle of the bustling city. We will have a guided tour of the neighborhood and how the gardens have impacted the community.

A day of exploration at the Presidio San Francisco, curated by Michael Boland, Chief Park Officer, and hosted by our friends at the Presidio Trust, with special guests from Pacific Horticulture. The Presidio San Francisco is a 1,500-acre park on a former military post and a major outdoor recreation hub. Home to extensive ecological restoration projects, including scenic Mountain Lake Park, the Presidio Tunnel Tops, connecting the historic center of the Presidio to the park’s Crissy Field, and the site of a monumental discovery made in 2010 during the Doyle Drive reconstruction project which revealed the existence of the last known wild Franciscan manzanita, thought to have been extinct in the wild for more than 70 years.

Tour participants will enjoy a special reception at the Presidio Tunnel Tops with plenty of time for refreshments and socializing, our gathering will consist of a gently meandering three-hour conversation and tour with designers and stewards of this truly unique national park site. We begin where humans first shaped this land, at the Crissy Field shell mound. We will pass through key moments of natural and human history, from tended gardens to unearthed creeks, native plant restorations, and layered buffers between riparian marsh and human placemaking. We will conclude with a social hour for new friends among food truck delicacies at the Tunnel Tops.


Sunday, August 28th

Photo: Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA)

Salesforce Gardens, home to 600 trees and 16,000 plants arranged in 13 different botanical feature areas, our group will be led through one of the newest public parks in the San Francisco Bay Area by an expert guide from the San Francisco Botanic Garden.

Walking Tour which features a variety of Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS) in downtown San Francisco. POPOS is a community effort to create people-friendly spaces in the heart of the urban core.



Activity level: Expect a moderate amount of walking and occasional use of transit that is not a full-sized coach such as taxi, train or public bus. To enjoy this tour, you should be prepared to walk up to an hour at a time, climb stairs and tolerate periods of standing. Because we are staying at the same hotel throughout the tour, you might decide to have an independent adventure during part of the tour which is completely fine as long as you let our guide know you are remaining behind and not coming with the group. 

Contribution to Pacific Horticulture: The price of this tour includes a $300 contribution to Pacific Horticulture. Thank you for ‘Doing Good Through Garden Travel!’

Tour Size: This tour is limited to 14 guests

Meal Summary: This 5-day adventure includes 3 lunches and 3 dinners

Tour Agent/Operator: Pacific Horticulture acts only as a representative for the tour participant with respect to communications with the Tour Agent/Operator; Pathfinders