We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Gem in the Bay Area”
Review of Filoli

Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Woodside
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century, Filoli welcomes the public to this remarkable 654-acre property. Designed between 1915 and 1917 and set against the dramatic backdrop of the northern Santa Cruz mountains in Woodside, California, Filoli is an excellent example of the Golden Age of American garden design and country house architecture. Opened to the public in 1976 as a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Filoli features a 36,000 sq. Ft. Home and a 16-acre English Renaissance Garden. In addition, Filoli's property includes a 6.8 Acre Gentlemen's Heritage Orchard and a trail system that transverses five different ecosystems for docent-guided nature hikes. Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment.
Reviewed 1 December 2017

We visited the house and grounds, although this is a time when little is in bloom. But, the gardens are impressive, and we will want to visit again during blooming seasons. It would have been nice to see some bedrooms in the house. There were extensive shopping opportunities in the gift shop area after the house tour ended. It was nice to be able to see how the house would have been decorated when it was home to a family. Our only issue was with the cafe service. We placed and paid for our order and part of it was delivered fairly quickly but the rest was seemingly forgotten (½ hour). The kitchen area seemed to be fairly chaotic; we finally got our food because we asked numerous times. Not a good first impression!

Thank aderidl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (376)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"beautiful gardens"
in 39 reviews
"south of san francisco"
in 10 reviews
"garden shop"
in 10 reviews
"national trust for historic preservation"
in 9 reviews
"full bloom"
in 13 reviews
"acre estate"
in 4 reviews
"house tour"
in 8 reviews
"bay area"
in 22 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 20 reviews
"crystal springs"
in 4 reviews
"special events"
in 10 reviews
"open to the public"
in 8 reviews
"interesting history"
in 7 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 7 reviews
"silicon valley"
in 6 reviews
"visitor center"
in 8 reviews
"two hours"
in 8 reviews

10 - 14 of 376 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2017

We visited Filoli on November 18th(their opening day for the holidays) and then again the night of the 24th with extended family and absolutely loved our experience.

On Saturdays, they have kid-friendly activities like craft tables, santa photos, and even ponies in the front of the mansion! Serious cuteness overload. We also got to stroll the gardens which, in past years, we were never able to do. The colors of the maples are bright orange and red not to mention, the giant ginko trees were just beginning to turn yellow and drape a golden pathway for us. I love that Filoli's garden is staying open through the fall and winter seasons!

I went to Filoli during the holidays last year and like the new changes they have made. The other reviewers on here need to check their priorities. Instead of a claustrophobic, over-the-top shopping experience(why on earth would you turn a historic house into Macy's on crack!?), they have presented the house the way the families who lived here would have had it which makes complete sense if you ask me!

When we came back on the 24th to see the holiday lights, we were completely blown away. My nieces ordered some delicious(I tried it!) hot chocolate from the Ikon coffee bar in the marketplace tent while the adults in the group grabbed a glass of wine in the Garden House Bar. While I wanted to stay and drink by the tree in there the whole night, instead we made our way through the gardens to take in the gorgeous light display. I'm sure a lot of work went into putting all of these new lights in and speaking to one of their staff members, they hope to add more and more each year.

I can't wait to make this a new post-Thanksgiving tradition for my family each year.

2  Thank julieJ9282RN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2017

My girlfriends and I have been attending Filoli's Holiday Traditions for years. It was a fun girls' day out for us all and we enjoyed dressing up a bit and heading into the mansion to stumble upon room after room of beckoning gifts! Everything was festively decorated, each room uniquely themed and we shopped til we dropped. It was over-the-top and grand.

But this year, Filoli did away with all that. Gone is the shopping, gone are the festive rooms, gone are the throngs of holiday shoppers and gone is the laughter.

In its place? A somber Filoli. Did someone die? Are we in mourning? Why the austerity, Filoli?

It's still beautiful there, in a haunting and understated way. One grand Christmas tree per roped off room.

We can certainly get into this new, downsized and less glitzy version of Holiday at Filoli but it would have been nice to have been informed of this drastic change in advance.

It's like arriving at a party all decked out and discovering that the party had already been held ... last year.

Very disappointing experience at Holidays at Filoli this year and we won't be back, at least not for this event.

We feel deceived, having bought tickets for what we expected to be the same type of event as last year and it wasn't at all the same event, not at all.

There should have been emails going out to past and current ticket members, explaining the change. There should have been updates in the newsletter and and in all related social media sites. Word needed to be spread and word was not spread.

15  Thank Kimbers W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2017

Wonderful setting and gardens - a walk back in the past, olde California. Nice hiking trail, home was beautiful, interesting to tour. All the volunteers were very nice and informative.

Thank 2CanStan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 10 November 2017 via mobile

It is amazing that a huge property with a perfectly restored historic villa is available for everyone to visit just 20 miles south of San Francisco. This 54,000 square foot home is magnificent, the art work impressive, and the gardens are world class. Thank you Roth family for donating your lovely villa to The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Thank Nadorick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Filoli also viewed


Been to Filoli? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing