Situated along one of Southern California’s most well-known highways (Route 66) is one of its least-known botanical gardens – Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont. Many people who travel on Route 66 don’t even notice the little sign that marks the entrance to this botanical garden that only specializes in plants from its home state of California.
Scenes from the garden:
About the Garden
Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden is a private, nonprofit research and education institution devoted to California flora. It was established in 1927 by Susanna Bixby Bryant in Orange County and was moved to Claremont in 1951.
The plants on display are native species or cultivated forms that were developed from them. A few plants are ancient components of California flora or close relatives of the Garden’s native species. Many cultivated forms of native California plants that are used in landscaping today have been developed at the Garden through hybridization and selection. Many rare and endangered species are also grown at the Garden and the staff conducts research to conserve these important, vanishing plants.
Like other botanical gardens in the USA, Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden is a leading research center that studies botany. They have an extensive library of botanical information used for California plant identification and a herbarium of preserved plants. The Garden also offers a graduate program in botany through the Claremont Graduate School as well as community educational programs, lectures, tours and special programs for people of all ages.
Virtual Video Tour
Watch this virtual tour of the garden to get a feel of what you’re in store for if you plan to visit this point of interest along Route 66.
Finding your way to the Garden is pretty easy. For GPS users, the address to Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden is 1500 North College Avenue, Claremont, CA. The entrance to the garden is off Foothill Blvd, Route 66.
The Garden is close to downtown Claremont. If you’re cruising Route 66, although not on the route, this downtown area is a nice little detour off the main route to enjoy a little shopping and dining, plus a glimpse at another old town that existed and prospered during Route 66’s heyday.
For more information on the Garden, see their website.