1935 Cactus Garden
Often confused with the Desert Garden off Park Boulevard, Balboa Park’s 1935 Cactus Garden is home to a wide variety of cacti and succulents, including a collection of exotic African and Australian Protea plants. The garden has also been claimed by a feral cat colony—the cats are friendly and mind their own business, and local organizations have worked to spay and neuter and re-release them. You can access the garden by walking through the parking lot behind the Balboa Park Club or taking a trail from Palm Canyon.
2144 Pan American Road West, Balboa Park
Sri Chinmoy Peace Garden
This garden’s unassuming location off bustling Adams Avenue is part of what makes it such a sacred place for meditation. You won’t find any frills here, just a few benches, simple landscaping, and a statue in honor of the garden’s namesake spiritual leader, creating a small, tranquil respite from our busy world. For those who want to take their practice a step further, San Diego’s Sri Chinmoy Centre, located a couple miles down the road, offers free online meditation courses.
2508-2518 Adams Avenue, University Heights
San Diego Botanic Garden
A true urban oasis in North County, the Botanic Garden boasts 37 acres of peaceful landscaping to get lost in. Here, you’ll find flowering trees, vistas, thousands of plant species from all over the world, and the nation’s largest public bamboo collection. As you wend your way through the 29 themed gardens, you’ll catch glimpses of the Pacific Ocean beyond. The garden is currently operating by reservation only, so book ahead of time.
300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas