San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco

There’s always something blooming in these 55-acre gardens, which cover a world of vegetation from South African savanna to New Zealand cloud forest. The year-round Garden of Fragrance is designed to appeal to the visually impaired, rare Asian magnolias blossom in winter, and the California native-plant section explodes with color when the wildflowers come out in early spring, right off the redwood trail.

Every July, a dozen or so grand and upright pianos are installed among the flower gardens. There's no additional fee during this time, and visitors are welcome to play their hearts out. Professional musicians often perform around sunset on the weekends.