An Oasis in LA at the South Coast Botanic Garden

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I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with the family at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles. I’ve lived in Southern California all of my life and had never heard about this oasis in the city until a PR firm reached out and offered a preview. Even though California has been in a drought for much of the last decade, I was surprised how beautiful the botanic garden was.

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Where is the South Coast Botanic Garden?

The South Coast Botanic Garden is located at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274. This is about 35 minutes from where I live in Orange County without traffic. In traffic, it could easily be 90 minutes.

If you’re flying into Los Angeles, it is a short 15-mile drive from the airport. A worthy pit stop if you have a few hours to kill between flights.

Is the South Coast Botanic Garden affordable?

Although our tickets were comp’d as part of the media preview, the South Coast Botanic Garden is an affordable experience for a family. Tickets are $9 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 through 12. Toddlers 4 and under are free. Seniors and students with ID receive a discounted rate of only $6.

They offer free admission to everyone on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, so mark your calendars!

South Coast Botanic Garden December 2017 Lee and Scarlett
I absolutely love this picture of Scarlett and me.

Annual membership to the South Coast Botanic Garden starts at just $45 and includes free admission to the South Coast Botanic Garden and reciprocal membership at 250 gardens nationwide.  There are 4 levels of membership that offer tremendous value for nature lovers and people looking to support wholesome family fun.

I was pleasantly surprised that parking is free at the South Coast Botanic Garden. If you live in Los Angeles or travel here often, you’ll know that finding free parking is a rarity.

What is there to do the South Coast Botanic Garden?

Unlike theme parks and some of the more popular tourist attractions, the main thing to do at the South Coast Botanic Garden is to meander around the garden, explore nature, and chill out. It is an 87-acre garden – home to rolling hills, tranquil meadows, natural hiking paths, scenic vistas and thousands of species of plants.

The garden is open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas) and is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day of the week.

The garden is broken into several distinct zones with plants, flowers, and trees from specific parts of the world. Considering that LA is mostly a concrete jungle, it was nice to be able to see so many varieties of landscaping that we don’t normally see.

Since my mom’s name is Rose, I really enjoyed the rose garden and seeing so many different colors of the roses.

If you’ve ever been to the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, the South Coast Botanic Garden is very similar… but a lot less crowded (at least on the day we went).

Timmy & Scarlett enjoying the flowers 💐 at #SouthCoastBotanicGarden

A post shared by Lee Huffman (@baldthoughts) on

As we strolled through the garden, we found a couple places to sit and admire the plants and flowers.

South Coast Botanic Garden December 2017 Anna Timothy and Scarlett
Taking a break and enjoying the fresh air among all of the trees.

It was a lazy, relaxing afternoon. Something that we don’t do nearly enough.

Live Music at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Through January, there are a Sounds of the Season and Rock the Garden live music series in the rose garden every weekend from 11 am to 3 pm. On the day we went, we arrived a little too late for the music.

Music will be played each day on speakers hidden within the Garden on a selection of hiking trails renamed Sound Treks. The Garden will also feature a hands-on “Sound Maker Station,” encouraging visitors to create their own sounds of the season by playing wind chimes, percussion instruments and more.

“We are excited about our brand new guest offerings celebrating the beautiful rhythms of nature and music,” said Adrienne Nakashima, CEO, South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation. “Through Sounds of the Season and Rock the Garden, we are offering a new kind of nature experience by putting a bit of groove in the steps of our visitors. The result is a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.”

The Bald Thoughts

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the South Coast Botanic Garden is an oasis in the city. It’s an affordable activity for families and something different from the usual. We went during the winter, and I’m sure it is even more beautiful in the spring and early summer when the flowers are in full bloom and the trees are full of leaves. We like to expose our kids to educational opportunities that are disguised as fun, and the South Coast Botanic Garden certainly fits the bill.

Click here for hours of operation and ticket information at the South Coast Botanic Garden.

South Coast Botanic Garden pinterest


    • Hi Rick, you’re right. I did move to Nashville in July 2018. We’ve been focused on unpacking, getting everything situated, and conferences I had planned. Looking forward to exploring Nashville and the surrounding areas in 2020 and beyond. So, stay tuned for some fun stories because there is a lot to experience in our new home town.


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