Welcome to our first Botanic Tourism Fieldguide for Southern California! We started close to home in our very own Riverside with the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens:
Why You Should Visit:
These gardens are our favorite haven in Riverside. There are so many little nooks to discover, and there's a hint of wildness to everything. From the lovely Colonial Herb Garden to the amazing cacti, it’s a lovely place to ramble with family or just pop in for a little solitude. The staff is wonderful and kind, always happy to give gardening advice or suggestions on what’s looking best in the gardens at the moment.
The Turtle Pond is a like peaceful little secret you can’t help feeling excited to discover. The Geodesic Dome is constructed from lathes and the dappled sunshine and massive foliage plants inside are magical.
What To Listen To:
"Splendor in the Grass" by Pink Martini and Joni Mitchell’s "California".
Where To Eat After:
Backstreet Restaurant on Nelson is practically a botanical garden itself, and is the perfect place to relax after a long walk thru the gardens, but it’s only open on weekdays during lunch. For a delicious dinner, go with Habenero Mexican Grill on University and make sure to get the tableside guac!
Free! But donations are appreciated, with a suggested donation of $5 per adult
20 spots available at the entrance, additional parking in nearby Lots 10 and 13; $2 for 1 hour, $3 for 2 hours
Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, except major holidays, special events, and general campus closures
Nestled in the heart of the UC Riverside campus, on Botanic Gardens Drive, just off Campus Drive:
1 Botanic Gardens Drive, Riverside, CA
Do’s and Dont’s:
Have fun! Stay on designated trails, and be kind and respectful. No pets, bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, drones, alcohol, firearms, fires, outdoor cooking, smoking, tobacco, balloons, glitter, collecting, tree climbing, or disturbing the wildlife. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and photography of groups larger than 6 requires a special permit.
For more information, check out the garden website: gardens.ucr.edu
For a PDF version of the guide, click here