Plant and garden lovers come from around the world to visit the Quail Botanical Gardens (230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, 760/436-3036, www.qbgardens.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, adults $10, seniors $7, children $5). The plants in this 30-plus-acre spread come from around the world too, as Quail plays home to sub-gardens highlighting rare plant species from almost every continent.
Paths meander through the dozens of sub-gardens, inviting visitors to take their time and enjoy the multihued beauty surrounding them on all sides. No visit to the Quail Gardens is complete without viewing the famous Bamboo Garden and the new Undersea Garden filled with rare succulents.
The Rainforest Garden has its own waterfall, and the Subtropical Fruit Garden boasts plump offerings that don’t grow elsewhere even in California.
A coffee cart offers minimal refreshments, or you can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the designated picnic areas on the grounds. Restrooms hide delicately amongst the plants, and the visitors center and gift shop sit at the center of the gardens.
Knowing that kids often get bored when presented with endless plants, a children’s garden and a miniature railroad offer entertainment for young visitors.