Thursday, May 07, 2009

Beautiful Gardens South of San Francisco

Spring is here and Filoli has reopened for the season. This beautiful country estate, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, is an historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The mansion was built by the Bourn family and designed by famed San Francisco architect, Willis Polk. Construction started in 1915 and the family moved in during 1917. The Roth family purchased the estate in 1937. Mrs. Roth lived there until 1975 when she donated the house and surrounding gardens to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mrs. Roth was instrumental in making the gardens the world-class attraction they are today.

While the house is interesting, it's the gardens that make this a must-see attraction for flower lovers. If you are a film buff, you might have seen Filoli in "Heaven Can Wait," "Joy Luck Club," the "Wedding Planner," and other films. It was also pictured in the television shows, "Dynasty" and "Nash Bridges."

Visitors may take a self-guided or docent-led tour of the house and gardens. If you wish to take a docent-led tour, advance reservations are highly recommended. Filoli's 2009 season runs through October 25. The estate is open from 10:00 - 3:30 from Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday hours are 11:00 - 3:30. Filoli is closed on Mondays and on most holidays.

If you would like to take a private tour that includes a visit to Filoli, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or

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