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Parks and Gardens in Honolulu

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Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo is 42 lush tropical acres of mammals, reptiles, birds and more! A children's zoo, African Savannah exhibit, playground and snack bar complete the visit. The Zoo is 42 acres and home to almost 1000 different animals from the tropics. Komodo Dragons, orangutans, elephants, primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and a variety of African animals can be seen daily. Be sure to see the wildest place in Waikiki!
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Waimea Falls
Waimea Falls, also known as Waihi Falls, is one of the more accessible falls on Oahu. It is located within Waimea Valley, which is a unique Hawaiian botanical garden within a significant cultural and archaeological site. There is a small fee to enter the park. This is a worthwhile contribution, as the place is dedicated to the preservation of the incredible botanical and cultural features of the area.
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Muir Woods
Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the freshwater of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. Muir Woods National Monument is world renowned for its old-growth coastal redwoods, attracting over one million visitors each year. With the park’s popularity come pressures on a fragile ecosystem representing more than 380 different plants and animals. The incredible diversity of flora and fauna at Muir Woods can be daunting sometimes, elusive at other times. The redwoods themselves dominate the scene, but the Steller's jay often steals the show. Ladybugs clustering by the thousands on ancient horsetail ferns boggle the imagination, while the slimy banana slug is able to disgust and fascinate all at once. Plants adapt to low light levels on the forest floor, while whole plant and animal communities bustle in the canopy above our heads.
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Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is the third most visited park in the United States. While the park is free to visit during the day, popular attractions charge admission, such as deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences and Conservatory of Flowers. The park is filled with gardens, museums, art, flowers, trees, lakes, birds and wildlife. There are also plenty of opportunities to participate in sports, clubs and other activities. Browse the site for information on parking, maps, weddings, hotels, permits, making reservations, transportation, contact numbers, and the history of Golden Gate Park.
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Japanese Tea Garden
Come and relax in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. It is a popular tourist attraction, but it's still a peaceful and lovely place to wander.
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San Francisco Botanical Garden
Welcome to San Francisco Botanical Garden, a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing over 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.
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Aquatic Park Cove
Aquatic Park Cove has a narrow sandy beach and a grass park at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Car line on the San Francisco Waterfront. The cove is located at the north end of Hyde Street and Van Ness Avenue near Fisherman’s Wharf. Boats are allowed to anchor in the protected harbor in the cove. It is protected by a long curved municipal pier that should not be missed if you have time to walk out on it. The view from the pier includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline. Nearby Hyde Street Pier has historic ships to see as well. The Marine Museum sits at the center of Aquatic Park Cove near the beach. Behind that is Ghirardelli Square. Aquatic Park Cove is part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a district within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The large park at Fort Mason is a short walk away up the trail to the west.
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Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden
At this 135-acre outdoor, living museum, you can also explore the Hummingbird Trail to seek out the rare, elusive white hummingbird, and sniff pleasing scents of lavender, jasmine, and oregano in the fun Aroma Garden. The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden’s rich and diverse collection contains representatives of more than 300 plant families of Mediterranean climates. The garden maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialties are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families. Large assemblages of plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California natives are displayed on the grounds. Many of the species in these collections are not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens and arboreta.
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Roaring Camp Railroads
Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. In the 1880s, narrow-gauge steam locomotives were used to haul giant redwood logs out of the mountains. Roaring Camp's steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines providing regularly scheduled passenger service in America.
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Mount Hermon Adventures
Mount Hermon Adventures has grown immensely since it began and has become an internationally recognized provider of adventure experiences and team development programs. They now operate the world-famous Redwood Canopy Tours, multiple aerial adventure courses, intentional Team Building programs, and provide Mount Hermon overnight guests with mountain biking, surfing, sea kayaking, target sports, aquatic facilities, paint ball, skate park and more. Guests experience Mt. Hermon's core values of quality, authenticity and inspiration with the final goal of living a transformed life.
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Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Located in Kelley Park in San Jose, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has been providing affordable family entertainment, education and fun since 1961. The Park is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on “little ones” between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children’s rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas. Learn about wildlife up close during daily meet-and-greets, leap like a lemur on the playground, brush and feed the goats, or take a peek inside Doc’s Critter Care building and the Ranch House. Double-H Ranch features a combination of animal exhibits, including giant anteaters and red ruffed lemurs, as well chickens and domesticated animals that are docile enough to touch.
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Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark
At 68,000 square feet, Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park is the largest skate park in California. Featuring the the world's largest cradle, tallest vert wall, and largest full pipe, LCRSP offers a wide variety of terrain for all skill levels to learn and enjoy.
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The State Capitol Museum
Open to visitors in 1869, the State Capitol features changing museum exhibits and historical rooms offering a view into California's political past while the rest of the building acts as a ''living museum''.
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Sutters Fort State Historic Park
Exploring some of the unique artifacts from Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is just a click away! Our online exhibit highlights the reconstruction of Sutter's Fort in the 1890s and explains how the Fort's collection of pioneer and early California artifacts was formed.
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The Smiling Tiki
Nobody really knows why this tiki statue is smiling for the last few centuries. It’s lonesomely located in a forest with nothing around but the occasional visitor. Nonetheless, the smiling tiki is one of the cutest statues you’ll ever see, as far as statues go.
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The Getty Villa
A visit to the Getty Villa offers an experience of ancient Greek and Roman art in a setting that recreates a first-century Roman villa. Home to the J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities collection, the two-floor museum displays art that spans the 7,000 years from the end of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman empire. The presentation of the collection focuses on the development of art among the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. Visitors are invited to explore how and why the styles, subjects, and ways of making art resemble each other and differ across cultures and times. The Getty Villa has four gardens that blend Roman architecture with open air spaces and Mediterranean plants. In ancient times, gardens served both practical and aesthetic purposes at Roman country homes. They let fresh air and light enter the home, and also acted as gathering places to have conversations or to escape the heat.
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Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a thirty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. The Botanic Garden is the primary gateway to access one of the Island's most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932. Although best known as the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, he also played an instrumental role in the history of Santa Catalina Island.
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Japanese Garden Suiho-En
Authentic 6.5-acre Japanese Garden created by Dr. Koichi Kawana to provide beauty, relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of Japanese culture using reclaimed water.
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Exposition Park
Includes a 7.5-acre rose garden, with 15,793 rose bushes. The garden was an attraction for the 1932 Olympics. It is currently among the three major public-display rose gardens in Southern California and one of the most important in the state.
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Descanso Gardens
Located in La Cañada Flintridge, the 160-acre Descanso Gardens was originally developed in 1936 by newspaper magnate Elias Manchester Boddy, whose numerous interests included horticulture and politics. Descanso Gardens offers numerous areas for exploring, including a bird sanctuary, five-acre rosarium, Japanese tea garden, water-wise garden, Oak Woodland, California garden, and the world’s largest collection of camellia flowers.
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Arlington Garden
Pasadena's only dedicated free public garden, Arlington Garden was built in 2005 on the former site of the historic Durand Mansion. The garden includes thousands of California-native plants such as poppies, sunflowers, cactus and succulents, orchards of orange and olive trees, and many more species. Arlington Garden also features a variety of benches and tables, birdbaths and statuary. A classical, seven-circuit Labyrinth was built at the garden in October 2010. In November 2008, 21 crepe myrtle trees were donated and permanently installed at Arlington as part of Yoko Ono's Wish Tree series. This garden is not only friendly to people and pets, but also exists as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year.
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Floral Park
The Floral Park neighborhood is a community of more than 600 vintage homes, most of which were built from the 1920s through the 1950s.
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San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California, with more than 4,000 rare & fascinating animals. See giant pandas, Komodo dragons, orangutans, koalas, flamingos, polar bears, and more. With animal encounters, interactive experiences, and a lively atmosphere, it's a great place for family fun and gathering friends.
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Balboa Park
Balboa Park, originally called City Park, used to be 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. Landscaping began in 1892, followed by the construction of water systems and roads through 1910. In 1915, San Diego was to be the host of the Panama-California Exposition. Nature lovers have a lot to see in the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden at San Diego Balboa Park features massive cactus and succulent plants. Visitors will even find exotic African and Australian Protea plants at this area within Balboa Park San Diego. The Botanical Building and the lily pond in front of it are some of the most popular areas that are photographed in Balboa Park - and with good reason. There are over 2,100 permanent plants inside the building and a changing collection of cycads, ferns, orchids and palms. The California Native Plant Garden shows visitors thousands of plants that thrive here in their San Diego habitat. Bring your kids to the Balboa Park Carousel. This fun destination is adjacent to the San Diego Zoo and features plenty of hand-carved animals so that your kid has lots of choices. All but two of the hand-carved animals on the Balboa Park San Diego Carousel are original from 1910! While you're on the merry-go-round, you can even play the brass ring game. Balboa Park's Carousel is one of a small number around the world that still have the brass ring game for riders to play. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes families on a fun journey across four acres.
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Point Defiance Park
Point Defiance Park sits on 702 acres at the northern tip of Tacoma and features the best of everything, with miles of forested hiking and walking trails, beautiful rose gardens, picnic areas, beachfront access, and a 29-acre zoo. It’s no wonder over 2 million people visit each year – once you come here, you won’t want to leave!
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Fisherman
Just around the corner from Victoria's Inner Harbour, Fisherman's Wharf is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. With a brand new park offering an area for kids to play or for adults to read a book, this unique marine destination offers food kiosks, unique shops and eco-tour adventures in a working harbour setting. Wander down to the docks with your lunch, buy seafood fresh off the boat, check out the unique array of commercial, pleasure vessel and float home moorage and watch the commercial fishing vessels unload their wares.
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Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is in downtown Victoria and within easy walking distance from most downtown hotels, motels and the inner harbour. Just walk up Belleville Street past the Museum of Natural History and the Imax Theatre to Douglas Street. Take a right on Douglas Street. You'll climb a short hill and at the top of that hill is the beginning of Beacon Hill Park. Keep in mind the park is huge (200 acres), and there's much to see and do there, so allow plenty of time to view the entire park.
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The Butchart Gardens
Come enjoy our breathtaking 22 ha (55 acres) of gardens year around. In Spring, countless tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will give you a buffet of fragrances and colours. You’ll be saying “wow” when you experience our Summer: The Rose Garden, evening entertainment, subtle night illuminations, the Saturday firework show, and boat tours to name a few of the delights. In Winter, Colourful lights, carollers, ice skating and festive fayre — Christmas is a cheerful time of year at The Gardens. Bundle up and stroll through the Twelve Days of Christmas display, sing along to the sounds of the season with Traditional Carollers or listen to the Festive Brass, then stop in at the Coffee Shop to warm up with a hot chocolate and gingerbread by the fire.
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Mount Rainier National Park
Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
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Discovery Park
Discovery Park is a 534 acre natural area park operated by the Seattle Parks and Recreation. It is the largest city park in Seattle, and occupies most of the former Fort Lawton site. The site is one of breathtaking majesty. Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. The secluded site includes two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams.
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Kerry Park
An unsurpassed view of Elliott Bay and the Central City, with an occasional backdrop of Mount Rainier, draws camera buffs to this spot. At sunset they often line the wall just as the city and the sound are beginning to glow with lights. At night it becomes almost a fantasy scene, with brightly lit ferries gliding across the water and the Space Needle shining from its 500-foot pedestal.
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Carnarvon Park
Carnarvon Park offers many recreation opportunities, from a multitude of sports fields to a fitness circuit and a children’s playground. The dappled shade of the tree-lined walks makes for a very enjoyable stroll, with a diversity of trees that include ash, plum, crabapple, and hornbeam. This park was first assembled by the Point Grey Municipality prior to the City of Vancouver amalgamation in 1929. It was secured by tax sales from the B.C. Government. The Park is named for one of its bounding streets which in turn is named for the Earl of Carnarvon who was Britain’s Secretary of State and introduced the British North America Act thereby bringing into confederation the Canadian provinces.
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Quilchena Park
Quilchena’s wide green fields are welcoming to sports enthusiasts and those looking for a pleasant stroll alike. Majestic poplars tower over the rolling lawns and shelter the seating areas below. Originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the CPR leased this land (40 acres in total) to the Quilchena Golf Club. The word “Quilchena” means “flat place near the water” in the local First Nations language. On February 11, 1956, following the expiration of the CPR’s lease with the golf course, the Park Board purchased the eastern area of the course for park purposes and this site was designated Quilchena Park. The western portion of the golf course became Prince of Wales Secondary School. Park development began on January 22, 1962.
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VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7,500 plant species and varieties from around the world! Spot and photograph local wildlife, find your way through an Elizabethan hedge maze, unwind in a serene setting, dine on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant, or browse the garden-themed gift shop. VanDusen has something for everyone to enjoy!
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Bloedel Conservatory
Bloedel Conservatory is a domed lush paradise located in Queen Elizabeth Park atop the City of Vancouver’s highest point. More than 120 free-flying exotic birds, 500 exotic plants and flowers thrive within its temperature-controlled environment. Constructed through a very generous donation from Prentice Bloedel, Bloedel was dedicated at its opening in 1969 “to a better appreciation and understanding of the world of plants." Designated as a heritage building, it is jointly operated by Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Garden Association. Together, these partners also operate VanDusen Botanical Garden.