Trip Planning San Francisco View History of Filoli Gardens of Filoli Driving Directions Photos

   Trip Planning

This year I celebrated my 78th birthday on February 4th in Sicily! My friend Virginia and I sailed around the Mediterranean Sea, visiting various countries.

We decided we needed to do some road trips besides all the high end vacations we have taken around the world, such as Ireland, Indonesia, Singapore, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Sicily, Algeria, Spain and Italy.

Everyone I know keep telling me to go visit the Filoli Estate, famous for the gardens and history and only about 28 miles south of San Francisco.

Chuck & Virginia in Sicily
The first road trip we went on was to Hearst Castle for a week. Here we are at Hearst Castle having our usual glass of wine!

Virginia has an electric automobile so we can charge and drive for very few dollars. Plus the car is very quiet.

I get to drive so Virginia can relax and enjoy the ride and I get some good practice in boning up my driving skills!

Virginia has been to Filoli many times so I may to find a way there by myself! She has suggested we do a road trip around some of the famous spots in the country.

Suddenly Virginia called me and said how about going to Filoli Estate on April 27th, a Friday. I thought that was a good time to go so here we are, at Filoli's gardens and house! Another local thing to do on our bucket list!

Chuck & Virginia's Visit to Hearst Castle

   View of San Francisco as we leave to drive down 280 to the Filoli Estate!

This view of San Francisco and the Bay Area was taken from my apartment at Fox Plaza on the 28th floor, a fantastic view day or night, regardless of the weather! Leaving one great location to view another famous estate, Filoli, south of San Francisco.

Chuck's View of San Francisco

   A Brief History of Filoli Estate

Brief History of Filoli Estate

Filoli is a country house set in 16 acres (6.5 ha; 0.025 sq mi) of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre (265 ha; 1.022 sq mi) estate, located in Woodside, California, about 25 miles (40 km) south of San Francisco, at the southern end of Crystal Springs Reservoir, on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Filoli is open to the public. The site is both a California Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Filoli was built between 1915 and 1917 for William Bowers Bourn II, owner of one of California's richest gold mines and president of Spring Valley Water Company, supplying San Francisco's water, and his wife, Agnes Moody Bourn. In 1910 they had bought the Muckross House estate near Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland, but wanted a country place nearer home. The principal designer, San Francisco architect Willis Polk, used a free Georgian style that incorporated the tiled roofs characteristic of California.

Read More about the Filoli Estate.......

   A Brief History of Filoli Gardens

The Filoli Garden Overview

The 16 acres (6.5 ha) of gardens are structured as a series of formally enclosed spaces framed within brick walls and clipped hedges, which open one from another, providing long axial views, in which profuse naturalized plantings of hardy and annual plants contrast with lawns, brick and gravel paths, formal reflecting pools, framed in walls and clipped hedging in box, holly, laurel and yew and punctuated by massive terracotta pots and many narrowly columnar Irish yews, originally grown on the estate from cuttings.

Read More about the Gardens.......

   Spring Plantings

Flowering Plants, Trees, Shrubs, Perennials and many types of Ivy!

  • Tulips-Tulips-Tulips! The next two weeks are our peak tulip season. The big rains last week took a hit on some of the blooms, but this week should also be a nice one for the last of the beds and containers.
  • One of the highlights of spring is our stunning wisteria collection. All vines are in bloom or are budded and about to bloom. Now is the time to see the wisteria at their best. And, in synch with the wisteria, the Lady Banks’ rose (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’) is beginning to bloom throughout the garden.
  • The lilacs along both sides of the Panel Garden Yew Allee are at the peak of bloom. Don’t miss strolling along the west path and drinking in the aroma.

Read More about the Spring Plantings.......

   Map of the Filoli House, Gardens and Grounds

You can take a tour for $5.00 or just take your time and roam the house at your own speed. We found many volunteers walking around and were pleased to answer questions we asked. Next time we may take a tour just to lean more about the house and family. There is a very good movie at the entrance that is very well created and a pleasure to watch.

Map of Filoli House, Gardens and Grounds.......

   Directions to the Filoli Estate and Gardens

Directions from San Francisco and the East Bay to Filoli and Gardens. Note: Once you are on the side road to Filoli, the sign to turn onto a small road that goes into a field and then a woods, is small and hard to find. We ended up asking some bikers and they said the sign was small and many had problems finding it. We thought that was strange but we did find it and there was lots of handicapped parking close to the entrance.

Directions and a Map to Filoli.......

  Morning at Fioli Estates

    Filoli Interiors

Tour of the Filoli Manor

Virginia - Filoli Entrance - Chuck

The 1915 Kitchen, Fancy Dining Room and the third photo is a mahogany cabinet about two feet by three feet high, used to keep the wines cool as they were served to the diners. We all laughed, I said I needed that in my living room, close to the couch!

Music Room/Harpsicord and Grand Piano - Living Room - Collectables


Library - Ball Room - Portrait of Bourn

  Afternoon at Fioli Estates

    Filoli Gardens

Tour of the Gardens - 70 Degrees - Perfect Weather







   Evening View of San Francisco as we drive back the City from to Filoli Estate!

This night view of San Francisco and the Bay Area was taken from my apartment at Fox Plaza on the 28th floor after we drove back from Filoli Estate and Gardens.

Chuck's View of San Francisco at NightS

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  Charles Walter Buntjer

San Francisco California
Charles Walter Buntjer Created on: 2018.04.12  

Updated on:  2018.04.28