Filoli features a historic home and beautifully manicured gardens. From my place in San Mateo it is only a 10-minute drive on Highway 92 towards Half Moon Bay. I had no idea such a fantastic gem was so close. The gardens are expansive and well-cared for. New plants are added/changed seasonally.
Amateur photographers can capture beautiful photographs. Among our family, we were shooting photos with a large camera, a point-and-shoot camera, and a cell phone. It was fantastic! We thought it might be boring for my daughter but she was going crazy taking pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras and being able to just ‘delete’.
The prices are reasonable but if you enjoy it and plan on visiting a few times, a family membership is a better value. We bought a family membership and, while the cost paid for itself, we won’t be renewing next year. April was the most beautiful month and featured our favorite flowers, tulips. May was nice with the roses but from June on we were not as impressed with the displays. This could all be personal preference though. They also have tea brunches, summer jazz concerts, and more (these are an additional cost and a bit pricey).
The home was originally owned by a wealthy family and retains much of their history as well as memoirs of the last residents who lived here. Only the ground level is open to the public for tours. During the special member-only ‘twilight stroll’, the the furnished part of upper floor was open for viewing and as were the libraries. It was nice for to look around and to get a bit of little culture but I was anxious to go back outside to take more pictures of the gardens.
So if you have some time, take a day to drive over to Filoli before you visit the coast. And if you want to absolutely fall in love, mark your calendar to visit next April!