Filoli is a 654-acre country estate located 30 miles outside of San Francisco, recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. It is recognized as a California State Historic Landmark, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and has been a National Trust Historic Site since 1975.
Designed by California architect Willis Polk, this Georgian Revival mansion is surrounded by 16 acres of formal gardens, including a sunken garden and a garden house, as well as more than 600 acres of woods. The reflecting pools, gardens, arbors, and shady walks were all planned to blend harmoniously with the nearby San Andreas hills. The spectacular grounds present a hallmark of garden landscape design, breathtaking in scale and displaying the diversity of California flora. Sculpture exhibitions are often hosted in the gardens.
Filoli’s first owner, William Bowers Bourn II, arrived at the unusual name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the keywords of his personal credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.” The house took nearly three years to complete, with the garden and other key features soon to follow. Popular rooms in the house include the grand ballroom, the library, and the kitchen. The sunken garden, the garden house, and the wedding place also receive many visitors.