Fodor's Expert Review San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum
One of the best picnic spots in a very picnic-friendly park, the 55-acre arboretum specializes in plants from areas with climates similar to that of the Bay Area. Walk the Eastern Australian garden to see tough, pokey shrubs and plants with cartoonlike names, such as the hilly-pilly tree. You don't have to go to Muir Woods to see the largest living things on earth: the garden has a 4-acre redwood grove in the heart of the city. Kids gravitate toward the large shallow fountain and the pond with ducks, turtles, and egrets. Free tours leave the main gate daily at 1:30 and from the Friend Gate weekends at 2.