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California Botanic Garden in Claremont: Wonderland of Spring Flowers

California Botanic Garden in Claremont: Wonderland of Spring Flowers

California Botanic Garden in Claremont (formerly Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens) is dedicated to California plants and offers lots of room to roam for families.

My 2012 trip to the garden came at the invitation of my friend Debi who used to be an active blogger on 

We met up in the Claremont Village (Yale Street and surroundings) for a bite to eat and then headed off to the gardens to explore.  I thought this place would be little and it would take a couple hours. 

Boy, was I wrong!  It’s massive (over 80 acres) and in three hours we only covered the first half, and not fully.

We have been back many, many times since this trip and always enjoy our visits.

Leave lots of time to explore this “wonderland” because it truly is a beautiful place to wander.

NOTE: David Rogers’ Big Bugs were only there as a special exhibit in 2012 – I left the photos in this post because they were so cool!

California Botanic Garden dirt trail with pink blossoms and green plants and mountain in distance

SO many flowers were blooming on our trip at the end of April. The colors were incredible.  There were fields of these Purple Irises:

purple iris at California Botanic Garden

Check out these coral bells!

field of pink heather beneath oak trees

The bugs were such a great scavenger hunt for the kids.  In fact, Debi’s son made up a scavenger hunt with check boxes based on the map.  Tooooo cute.  My daughter and him led the search.

boy and girl sitting on bench with a scavenger hunt and pens
sculpture of giant-sized ant made out of wood

You’ll see real butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, and birds.  Couldn’t believe I caught this little guy on my camera!

yellow bird with black crown among sage leaves

Finally, there are shaded paths with oaks and solitude.

an oak covered dirt trail at California Botanic Garden with a bench

You must go visit!


  • Official California Botanic Garden website
  • Visit the Claremont Village website to plan a visit to the charming downtown area
  • Claremont McKenna College also has a guide to restaurants, cafes, and bakeries
  • Could get really hot during the summer — bring water
  • Definitely bring a stroller for kiddos who get tired feet
  • There are bathrooms spread out all along the property
  • It only took us about 45 minutes to get there (a perfect day trip)
  • We took the 57 to the 10 to get there (Indian Hill Blvd.)
  • See 7 Places to Visit Redwoods in Orange County (this is included on that list even though Claremont is not Orange County – it is close for some OC families).

More Southern California botanic gardens to visit:

Originally published May 2012.


Thursday 24th of May 2012

AMAZING colors!


Wednesday 16th of May 2012

We had such a great time with you guys! Yet another gem of an outdoor play date. Love that photo of our kiddos. :-)

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