In 1941 the eccentric opera singer and socialite Madame Ganna Walska bought the 37 acres that make up Lotusland with her lover and yoga-guru Theos Bernard. After marrying and then divorcing Bernard, she retained control of the gardens and spent the next four decades tending and expanding this incredible collection of rare and exotic plants from around the world; there are over 140 varieties of aloe alone. Come in summer when the lotuses bloom, typically during July and August.

Reservations are required for tours, but the phone is only attended from 9am to 5pm weekdays, to 1pm Saturday.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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