Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, CA Activities
Built in 1879, the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, is a glorious Victoria glass structure and the western hemisphere’s oldest public conservatory. After a bad storm in 1995 and delayed renovations, the conservatory was closed for seven years: visitors were only able to imagine what wondrous displays lay inside its striking exterior.
Thankfully a $25-million renovation, including a $4-million exhibit upgrade, was completed in 2003. Now you can check out the rare tropical flora of the Congo, Philippines and beyond. It doesn’t take long to visit, but make a point of staying awhile: outside there are good, sunny spots for people-watching and paths leading to impressive gardens begging to be explored.
Different exhibits will be "in bloom" depending on when you visit, but almost all of them are likely to be a new site: selections from Brazil, Madagascar and Southeast Asia were being featured at the time of this writing. Special Exhibits can also be found in the conservatory, taking visitors on a deeper look at one particular species or type.