When I lived in Oceanside, I always had a membership to the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas. For my $60-a-year tax-deductible non-profit donation, I could go as often as I liked, which was probably about once every other month. I hadn't been in quite a while so I wanted to go by for a visit this week.
The place is paradise for a plant lover like me. My next-door neighbor at the time got me hooked and I've been going ever since. It's got lots to see and is divided up into different areas such as the desert setting above and the succulent area below.
They've changed their name since last I was there to the San Diego Botanic Garden and I guess it cost them a lot of money because they raised their prices. It now costs $12 per person and they're charging $2 for parking but it's still very much worth it to me. They're known for having a huge collection of different bamboos, which is kinda' cool, along with plants and flowers from all over the world.
I would often go just to get ideas for what plants to buy next. Now it's nice for me to visit to remember all the plants I used to have. If you find yourself in north county San Diego you should stop by the place. Maybe like me you'll enjoy walking through the bamboo...relaxing and peaceful!