The house and gardens at Filoli, in Woodside, may look familiar. They played a central role in films including Harold & Maude and Heaven Can Wait; on the small screen, the house appeared in the opening credits of Dynasty. It's easy to understand why Hollywood has been smitten with Filoli, an "English" country estate that enjoys the mild climate and long growing season of northern California.
The house, which combines elements of different 17th- and 18th-century English styles, was built between 1915 and 1917 for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn. His fortune came largely from the success of the Empire Mine, in Grass Valley, California, though he was also a director of the Spring Valley Water Company and the house was constructed at the southern end of Crystal Springs Lake, owned by the company.
While the mansion has been restored with period pieces, the main attraction at Filoli is the gardens. The formal gardens are complete with water features and allées leading to views of the nearby foothills while there is also an orchard of flowering fruit trees and a daffodil field meticulously maintained by a team of volunteers and staff gardeners. The gift shop sells plants and seeds as well as gardening inspired gifts like floral soaps and napkins with botanical designs.