Mather, May I?

Reading that a whole bunch of friendly giants are hiding behind an unassuming gate sounds a bit like…

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Reading that a whole bunch of friendly giants are hiding behind an unassuming gate sounds a bit like a storybook beginning. In this case, it’s a redwood fairy-trail. Across the street from UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, behind a locked gate, stands the 5-acre forest of redwoods. To get to it you have to purchase a $10 ticket from the botanical gardens, where you’ll be given the entrance code. Behind the gate, behold Mather Redwood Grove and a series of meandering dirt paths with benches and picnic spots.

The grove’s best-known feature is a beautiful white stone amphitheater, a magical backdrop for the occasional concerts held here. Afterwards visit the UC Botanical Garden (included with your $10 ticket purchase) to see its 12,000 species of rare and endangered plants. Go soon and catch breathtaking blooms of ombré-hued rhododendrons and delicate magnolia in the Japanese garden.

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Code to enter Mather Grove is given upon purchase of UC Botanical Garden ticket. The UC Botanical Garden is located at 200 Centennial Dr. in Berkeley, above Memorial Stadium; (510) 643-2755. General admission is $10/person. Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (no admission after 4:30 p.m.). Closed first Tuesday of each month. Parking available in large lot across the street from ticket counter for a small fee. No dogs.

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