We visited Bonfante Gardens with a group from the FMCA Chapter we had just joined (FMCA/Thousand Trails West).
|From 2004 Bonfante|
The most spectacular features of the park, in our estimation, were waterfalls strategically located throughout.
Nearly all looked quite natural, not just built and put into place, and the flow of water was amazing.
There was serenity everywhere, with trees of every description providing shade, background and structure. There seemed to be hundreds of sycamore, redwood, pine and cedar trees, plus what appeared to be oleanders shaped into trees. There were dogwood trees of a variety we'd never seen before.
Blooming flowers abounded in every color, shape and aroma imaginable, all well-groomed but seldom appearing "manicured."
Although the park features a number of rides suitable for young and old alike, this was a "Garden Day" and few were running. This meant very few young families were in the park, and accessibility was greatly improved for the physically challenged. Wheelchairs could be seen everywhere, many with attendants or aides, and at times a queue of them would be waiting to board the Coyote and Redwood Railroad which circled the park.
All the rides and attractions were completely accessible, with the possible exception of boat rides; we did not get close enough to them check out.
A new feature at Bonfante Gardens is the Wild Bird Adventure. Inside a specially designed screened enclosure more than 300 wild birds entertained visitors.
For a dollar, Suzy bought a "seed stick" and thus became a mobile feeding station.
She'd have as many as five birds at a time vying for a spot on her hand and arm to get to the snack she offered. The birds were familiar with the process and did not hesitate to approach.
To see more pictures from Bonfante Gardens, click here for our web album.
A booklet from the park included this quote from the founder of Bonfante Gardens, Michael Bonfante: "all of our gardens start with four basics: rock, water, trees and flowers." With those four elements, Signor Bonfante did a fine job, and it was a good early visit during ... Our Life on Wheels.