The Zoro Garden is a 6-acre sunken stone garden and butterfly haven located in San Francisco's Balboa Park. Small indentations that are built into the rocks collect water for the colourful swallowtail, sulphur, and monarch butterflies that make their home here.

Families can enjoy the beautiful scenery these butterflies add to the garden, and kids especially will delight in spotting the different butterflies amongst the impressive ficus trees and colourful perennial flora. Plant enthusiasts can also find larvae plants around the Zoro Garden, including milkweed, foxglove, sunflower, monkey flower, and California lilac.

Zoro Garden - one of the highlights of 10 Things to Do Off the Beaten Track in San Diego (Read all about San Diego here)

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Zoro Garden history and highlights

The Zoro Garden was built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. During the 1935-36 California-Pacific Exposition, it housed a nudist colony attraction of about 50 nudists, although it's believed they were paid performers rather than true nudists.

The sunken garden is located below the main promenade, which makes it quite secluded and suitable for visitors who want to reflect in a quiet, soothing place. The rocky outcroppings needed to sustain the butterflies are a lovely sight to behold, and visitors can get a close-up view of the blossoming of new butterflies from the chrysalis tree.

Good to know when visiting Zoro Garden

Parking at Zoro Garden is easy, as Balboa Park offers several car parks, all free of charge. Bathrooms are located nearby, as are the Prado Restaurant and Balboa Park Visitor's Centre, which includes a gift shop. Please remember that removal of any flowers or plants is prohibited, so be sure to bring your camera along for keepsake photos of the lovely vegetation.

Zoro Garden is surrounded by other interesting gardens visitors can explore on their visit. These include the Alcazar Garden, Marston House Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, and many others located in the Balboa Park.

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Zoro Garden

Location: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

Open: 24/7

Phone: +1 619-525-8213