The Tilden Regional Parks Botanic Garden, an enchanted, not-so-secret garden, is a magical place for visitors of all ages at no cost. The garden is full of California native plants, rare and endangered including flowers, ferns, trees, and even flowering cacti.
You don’t have to be a botanist to enjoy the space, just a lover of peaceful and serene environments. This 10-acre treasure is only moments from the Caldecott tunnel and a leap from University Ave. The Botanic Garden sits at the foot of the Brazil Room and 5 minutes past the classically coveted Tilden Park Steam Train. This is a perfect outing for your family to get a nature fix just minutes from home.
What to expect at the Tilden Botanic Gardens with kids
There are small mythical-like stone bridges, quaint meadows, a curving creek, and gently flowing waterfalls. The meadows are well-suited for picnicking and taking in pleasant surroundings. We always pack snacks and a blanket. The paths are safe and gentle, perfect for little feet and the inexperienced hiker. The landscape and perfectly placed benches are reminiscent of illustrations in childhood storybooks. The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is not to be overlooked but enjoyed just as much if not more than Tilden Park’s other child-friendly destinations.
October to May Hours: Monday through Sunday from 8:30 am to 5 pm
June to September Hours: Monday through Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Docent-led tours on weekends at Holidays at 2 pm.
How to find it: The Botanic Garden is located at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive within Tilden Regional Park in the hills above Berkeley, California. There’s a small parking lot with no fee.
[All photos Anna Azimi]