For Mother’s Day, I wanted to explore someplace new with my husband and our son. I reviewed my “to-see” list, considered outings in the Marin Headlands and San Francisco, and decided, instead, that it would be a great day for a visit to The Arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz. And I’m so glad we did!
The collections at The Arboretum are beautiful, and quite different from any other botanic garden in the Bay Area. Being Santa Cruz, I expected the garden to have an emphasis on plants native to the ocean-side and mountains surrounding the area. While they do have a small California native section, what makes the Santa Cruz arboretum stand out is it’s large collection of Australia and South Africa plants. In fact, it has the largest collection of plants from Australia and South Africa outside their native countries. The New Zealand collection is wonderful, too. Wandering through these sections felt like a mini-vacation to one of these countries.
If you visit with kids, don’t miss the scent garden. My son had fun smelling each of the flowers and leaves throughout this section.
Interested in going? The Arboretum is open daily from 9am-5pm (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).
For more information (admission, directions, etc): arboretum.ucsc.edu
Enjoy my photos from our visit!