The Gardens of the World, Thousand Oaks

Garden · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Gardens of the World is a botanical garden in Thousand Oaks, California. Directly across Thousand Oaks Boulevard from Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, it is situated within the downtown core of the city. Established in 2001, the park was given to the city by the owners of a local travel agency. It is home to a French garden and waterfall, an English rose garden, an Italian grapevine garden and a Japanese garden with koi ponds and a pagoda. The park is used for walking and picnicking, and guided tours of the gardens are available. The Californian Mission Courtyard includes native California flora and murals of the remaining 21 California Missions. There is also a statue of Father Junipero Serra in this part of the park. The botanical garden is 4.5 acres (1.8 ha).
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The Gardens of the World reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
256 reviews
  • This place is free, and you get what you pay for. Please do yourself a favor and don't come here with children. You will be hunted and harassed like you're in "Predator" by this garden's obnoxious...  more »
  • What is not to like? It's a very pretty and small botanical garden that is lovely and walk~able or roll~able and if you're in the area and have time it's a calm quiet place to visit.  more »
  • Walking through the lovely flowers and plants took away the hustle and bustle of daily life and as my wife would say stop and smell the roses. And also the other blooming plants.  more »
  • This is a spectacular place. We can't believe how peaceful and quiet it is considering it's located on the busy street. The landscaping is great, flowers are beautiful. I love that there are plenty of benches around, under the arbor, the trees tucked in the shady areas. This is a place I would like to come visit often, just to relax.
  • Beautiful gardens with free parking and admission. They are strict about photography so know that going in. It is pretty small for a garden but definitely still worth a stop. The Japanese Garden and the Spanish Mission style courtyard were my favorites.
  • A hidden gem right next to a busy street in Thousand Oaks. There are gardens within garden!! A peaceful and wonderful place to stop by and walk along the 5+ acres of serenity and carefully sculpted garden. There is also a large picnic area -- for getting together with group of friends and have lunch.
  • Gardens of the world is big enough to awe at the surroundings, but small enough to relax, meditate, and forget about all your worries for a while. Their Pagoda is so peaceful and tranquil it is so easy to get lost in thought and tranquility. Take your time stroll and sit, take in the beauty and the nature of the Gardens
  • The gardens are a beautiful place. The staff is not. (I’ll get back to that). That’s not to say all of the staff, but some of the docents there can be quite rude. Parking is VERY limited. If you’re in a group of 8 or more, then call the office. I called within business hours and it took about 9 tries until I got someone to answer the phone. You are allowed to take pictures of the gardens but not selfies or pictures of people. If you are using the gardens for wedding photography or birthdays (etc.), then you need to call weeks in advance for a permit. Now the staff. I understand that some of them are volunteers and some are paid, but one of them specifically (older woman) promotes age discrimination by looking down on teenagers, young adults, and children. The gardens are a beautiful place but this docent really talks the place up greater than it actually is. The foundation that runs it is amazing and donates to several charities in the community, but they should reconsider their staff. You also NEED to have an adult with you. If you are 17 and turning 18 tomorrow, they don’t care. Even if you are 18 this docent will still look down on you as a teenager and will probably find some way to kick you out as it is legally private property. Once you’re in the gardens, you have no privacy. The docents are directed to follow you like a hawk to make sure that you follow every single rule and are basically breathing down your neck. Other than that it’s a beautiful place and probably not family or teenager friendly... better off going to The Lakes (fancier strip mall) across the street or seeing a show at the Civic Arts Plaza (also across the street).

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