This weekend, we went to the Filoli Gardens to check it out for the first time. The historic site is located in Redwood City/Woodside and is a mansion with a huge beautiful garden. The garden was gorgeous and the whole place is maintained really well. Unfortunately, I did not really like the place because it was too touristy. The place surprisely had a ton of people and was basically a museum and a tourist attraction. From looking at the website, I did not expect so many people and thought it would be a nice place to have a picnic and do some hiking. However, the trails outside of the garden are all closed to the public, and there is no picnicing or food/drinks anywhere in the garden. I felt like the place was not very welcoming at all. The house and the garden also looked like it would be an awesome place for a wedding, but unfortunately, they do not hold weddings there. It might have also been a good place for an engagement session, but I am not sure if that is even allowed as any commercial photography is not allowed and requires a permit.
The house and garden is 16 acres and the whole estate is 654 acres. The house was originally built in 1915 for the William Bowers Bourn II family. Bourn was president of the Spring Valley Water Company, which owned the Crystal Springs Lake and surrounding area. The estate was later sold to Mr and Mrs William P Roth, who owned the Matson Navigaton Company in 1937. The Filoli botanic gardens was built by the Roth family and in 1975, the estate was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.