Best Redwood Grove - 2005
"From them comes silence and awe," John Steinbeck said of Sequoia sempervirens, the majestic, towering conifers that can grow well over 300 feet in height, 7 feet in diameter, and 2,000 years in age. Not native to San Francisco, they are nevertheless the fog-nurtured essence of Northern California. Nestled against the eastern base of the Transamerica Pyramid is a half-acre grove of young redwoods transplanted from the Santa Cruz Mountains, their hushed dignity imparting a bit of reflective quietude to the heart of the concrete jungle. The grove, designed by Tom Galli, also features ferns, boulders, a fountain with jumping-frog sculptures (a fond remembrance of Mark Twain, who lived and wrote on this site), and a paved walkway with some dozen benches where the city-addled can sit and contemplate. Here's hoping these stately trees will one day place their spired neighbor in shadow.