Activities & Resources
Filoli552in Redwood City, CA 94062
Built between 1915 and 1917 by William Bowers Bourn II, an owner of the Empire Gold Mine, the richest hard rock gold mine in California, the Georgian mansion is one of the most elegant examples of this period in California history. Architect Willis Polk designed the country residence and landscape designer Brucer Porter mapped out the elaborate gardens.
The name Filoli was created from the verbs in Bourn's motto: "Fight for a just cause, love your fellow man, and live a good life." And that he appears to have done - at least the last part. But the real reason to be here is not the 43-room mansion, but the gardens. And the best time to visit is in spring, when 35,000 tulips and 25,000 daffodils explode with color. The grounds also have wonderful pathways that offer various treasures at the end, such as reflecting pools, terraces, or huge views. To maintain this splendor, the nonprofit Filoli Center employs a staff of 30 gardeners and a volunteer force of over a thousand.
Tours You can take a self-guided tour from Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-2:30pm, which require no reservation. On Saturday at 10am, you can also go on a 2 1/2 hour guided nature hike through three miles of undeveloped land and learn about the area's plants and wildlife. Reservations are required. Two-hour guided tours led by a Docent through both the house and gardens are available, by reservation, Tuesday through Saturday.
To contact the Tour Office, please call 650.364.8300 ext. 507 Monday through Saturday, 9am to 3pm or fax 650.367.0724.
The Summer Jazz Concert series fill up very quickly because few can resist the combination of sitting in this setting and listening to good music. See the website for more information.
Classes: Classes for children are available on select Saturdays from 9:30am-11:45am. Recent offerings included Botanical Arts, and Building Miniature Gardens. The programs are tailored to children ages 8-to-11, and parents are invited to drink coffee and mingle while waiting. The web site has details and a schedule.