On a quest to find beautiful hidden gems in California? You are on the right page!! I’m sharing all about the dreamy Roman-Greeco monument I discovered in the Peninsula – Pulgas Water Temple. Read along to know about about it and how you can plan your visit to this California gem.
56 Cañada Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062
Pulgas Water Temple is located about one-half mile south of the Cañada Road trailhead. To get there, take Interstate 280 to the Edgewood Road exit. Proceed west on Edgewood Road to Cañada Road, then north on Cañada Road approximately two miles to the temple.
You can always take an Uber or Lyft from San Francisco to eliminate the stress of parking/car break-ins.
History & About
The Pulgas Water Temple is a historic municipal water facility, an embellished circular temple with stately columns. Designed by S.F. architect William Merchant, it was a tribute to Greek and Roman architecture and the aqueduct engineering that influenced the water transport system.
The water temple was originally built in 1934 (and revamped in 1938) as part of a massive project to bring water to San Francisco by damming up the Hetch Hetchy valley, 160 miles away in the Sierras. It was envisioned to be the solution for California’s long standing problems of earthquake and fires.
Now, the beautiful monument with round dome and marble columns and a reflection pool lined with cypress trees, is a hot spot for wedding photography and summer picnics. No denying, It looks like straight out of a movie!
Visiting the Water Temple – What to Expect
- Visiting Hours are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (open only Monday-Friday)
- Parking Lot is closed on the weekends except for events (ie. weddings) but you can park outside and still enter the temple on Saturday & Sunday
- There is no entry fee and parking is also free.
- There is not much to explore other than the monument itself and there are no trails for hiking. But great gardens to take a stroll in.
- You can visit Filoli which is right next door to explore beautiful English gardens and country estate , an ultimate “Bridgerton” day.
Things to do at the Water Temple
With an abundance of grass meadows and a scenic reflection pool, it’s a great destination for a summer family picnic or a peaceful reading afternoon. There is a small lawn next to the temple where you can set up a nice picnic. It is a relaxing spot for individuals to enjoy and take in the beautiful view of the temple. Don’t forget to park your picnic basket with your favorite snacks and munchies.
Many take the trip out there for the photo backdrop. You will often see many professional photographers and couples, having their wedding photo shoots done there. But if you want to get some photos for yourself, I suggest you reach the temple right when it opens for the best lighting and not many people in the background.
I hope this helps you plan a visit to see the Pulgas Water Temple, a hidden gem in California! Leave a comment below if you have any questions or DM me on Instagram @preksharaj