Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, CA 92084

Phone: (760) 945-3954
33.210416, -117.219389

Dog-Friendly: Yes   Kid-Friendly: Yes

HOURS: Mon-Fri-7am-5pm // Sat-Sun- 10am-5pm

Admission: $5



**Check out our list of all must-see gardens in San Diego!**

About the Alta Vista Botanical Garden

At this point I would say most people know about the San Diego Botanic Garden & Hermitage Self-Realization Gardens, both which are exquisite and beautiful botanical gardens. If you go about 15 minutes east of these areas though there is another spot that holds it’s own for unique beauty: Alta Vista Botanical Garden.

The Alta Vista Botanical Garden is an interactive botanical garden that uses up-to-date technology in an interactive atmosphere. This a place that all ages can appreciate.

There are different zones such as sub-tropical, an herbal labyrinth, the Children’s Musical garden. ponds, prehistoric gardens and more. It truly is a treat here, especially for the price! Rather than taking the conventional approach of creating another living plant museum, this garden has become a gathering place for the community.

One of the main highlights throughout the project are the art installations. Most recently they acquired some of Ricardo Breceda’s art installations, who is most famous for his contributions to Galleta Meadows out in the Anza Borrego Desert.

While you’re in the area, make sure to check out Exotica Rare Fruit Farm nearby!

One key attraction of the garden is the incorporation of art throughout the grounds, giving artists a magnificent showcase to display their talents. From garden art to sculptures, to walkways and walls created by some of the area’s most talented artisans are on display.

Along the trail systems, throughout the garden, are multipurpose platforms, which act as way stations for visitors. These platforms eventually will play host to a multitude of events in the garden, such as fine art shows, culinary events, the performing arts, as well as Tai Chi and Yoga. The goal of the garden is to leave no stone unturned in our quest to “Bring Together People, Nature and Art.”

Personal Experience

Several people had tipped me off about this place and I want to say thank you! I had no clue this spot existed! It is similar to the San Diego Botanic Garden but a little more run down/unfinished.

There are many areas that still seem like a work in progress, but that is okay because this place only costs $5 to visit after all. If you are a lover of nature, art and beauty, stop on by! These photos were all taken in mid December. I imagine it looks even prettier in Spring when everything is in bloom.

Alta Vista Botanical Garden

Poor Sage fell in the pond.  She stepped too close to the edge onto algae and fell right in!  Good thing we’d been practicing swimming the week before. 😛become a member

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4 Reviews

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4 Reviews


  • Vista_4_LIfe
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    thx 4 the update, I wanna go back soon this is awesome 🙂 thx Jessica

    January 21, 2016

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    February 8, 2017

  • tsunamitommy
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    Thanks for telling me about this place. Glad Sage was able to swim

    June 22, 2019

  • Mary Murphy
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    The Garden is beautiful. So much art, so many plants, and so many places to just sit and enjoy. The admission is $5 for adults, not 2. But it’s worth it! Great place for kids! Kids over 3 are $3.
    Once you’ve heard about the Garden, it’s easy to find.
    Take water! The Garden is 14 acres. 😀
    Dogs need to be leashed, however.

    August 11, 2021

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