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Need a Mid-Week Dose of Serenity? Head to Filoli

Sometimes we forget that some of the world's most spectacular gardens, orchards and nature hikes are just a few miles from our doorstep.

[Editor's note: Whether you're entertaining out of town guests, treating your mom for her birthday, or planning a solo stroll, a visit to Filoli in Woodside can do wonders for the soul.]

By BCN

Ongoing tours at Filoli:

Guided House and Garden Tours -- This two hour, docent led tour includes both the house and the gardens. Reservations
required.

Self-Guided Tours -- No reservations required for these tours. A map is available for the self guided tour and volunteers are posted in both the house and the gardens to answer questions. There is also a continuous 14 minute video on the history of Filoli in the Visitor and Education Center available.

Nature Hikes -- These hikes are available by reservation only on Saturdays at 10 a.m. The hike covers roughly three miles of trails and takes approximately two and a half hours. Nature docents describe wildlife, plants, endangered species, and the historical background of the area. Visitors may not hike without a docent.

Orchard Tours -- These tours are available on selected days throughout the open season. With a docent tour of the unique heirloom orchard, learn about the tradition of the gentleman's orchard, and how Filoli is conserving not only rare fruits, but also this defining landscape feature of the country estate. Reservations required. Reservations line: (650)
364-8300 X507.

Special events/exhibits:

"Botanical Art Exhibit,'' through June 16. The 15th annual botanical art exhibit, Call for price.

"Filoli Flower Show,'' May 9 through May 12, 5:30-8 p.m. Thu.; 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun. A weekend-long fete featuring exquisite floral displays, live music, talks, exhibits and more. Opening night reception on May 9. $75-$85 Thu.; $10-$25 Fri.-Sun.

"Artist Access Day,'' May 16, 3:30 p.m. Filoli extends the opportunity for artists and photographers to have individual access to the Garden after hours. Space is limited and pre-registration is highly recommended. $20-$25.

Admission information:

$5-$15. Children under 4 free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (last admission 2:30 p.m.); Sunday, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (last admission 2:30 p.m.) 86 Canada Road, Woodside. (650) 364-8300, www.filoli.org.

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