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Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar

Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar

Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar is another one of those places I always wanted to visit while I was a UCI student. I can’t believe it took me this long to pass through the gate of this magical place!

succulent garden featuring a big white clam shell surrounded by succulents of all shapes and sizes along with a white abalone shell and white coral

Directions to Sherman Library and Gardens:  Exit Interstate 405 at MacArthur Boulevard and take it all the way to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).  Turn left onto PCH and the gardens are ahead on your right. Park in one of two small lots off Dahlia. (Address: 2647 East Pacific Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar)  MAP TO SHERMAN LIBRARY AND GARDENS IN CORONA DEL MAR

Sherman Library and Garden pond turtles sitting on partially submerged rocks in a small brick enclosed pond with green reeds and purple flowers in the foreground


  • Tranquil spot for kids to explore all the hidden corners of the garden – inspires a spirit of adventure and wonder
  • Like every good garden, Sherman gardens has outdoor “rooms” or spaces which feature different plants
  • I absolutely loved the succulents and cactus garden which is designed to resemble a coral reef. It’s breathtaking!
  • The other highlight is the Discovery Garden where children can smell and touch the plants
  • Let the kids lead you to the koi pond and find the turtles outside
  • Go on a color walk or have your budding photographer bring his/her camera
  • In recent years, they’ve added a whole host of kids programs.
  • Look for the Night of 1000 Lights event to happen around the holidays when the garden is transformed into a nighttime wonderland of lights.
a single rose bud in focus with red and and yellow petals and an adobe garden building blurred in the background against a blue sky
  • The concrete pelican sculptures caught my eye — look out for other outdoor art in the garden
  • 608 Dahlia Cafe is open for lunch during the week and Sunday brunch
  • Browse the small garden-inspired gift shop
  • We didn’t get to go into the library on our visit, but it is a research library all about the Pacific Southwest
  • I would love to return for some quiet alone time or for a lunch date
oblong blue water fountain with ornamental flowers and palms surrounding a white greenhouse building at Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar

Be Aware:

  • This is not the place for children who don’t understand “Don’t Touch” rules.  The whole garden is “don’t touch” except for the Discovery Garden where kids are free to smell and touch the textures of the plants.
  • I would also feel awkward if my kids were especially loud. We treated it like an outside library. Adults visit gardens to gain peace and be thoughtful. You’ll feel like your kids need to respect the quiet especially in this particular garden.
  • It’s bigger than you’d think it is just from driving by, but it’s not an all day outing. I think we spent an hour inside, but we really took our time exploring.
a golen colored koi fish swimming in a pond towards the camera and a brilliant orange and white koi fish swimming perpendicular into the golden koi


a worn white wooden sign with black text reading: "Discovery Garden of Touch and Smell. The Discovery Garden features plants whose principle appeal is not to the eye, as is the rest of the Gardens, but rather to the sense of touch or sense of smell. Please enjoy the many unusual textures and aromas of the this area."

Nearby parks:

fuzzy leaves of a plant that looks like a succulent with gray green leaves and burnt brown edges

Originally published in December 2011.

yellow petals and flower with a dark brown center


Tuesday 27th of December 2011

I think you wrote some of those tips for my often boisterous and loud and not always aware of their surrounding 7 and 5 year old boys! I will look forward to going there some time on a date with my husband until they are older:)

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