Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Coastal Treasure: Shelldance Orchid Gardens in Pacifica, California

Search

Coastal Treasure: Shelldance Orchid Gardens in Pacifica, California

Dalilah Arja October 14, 2015

In Pacifica, a foggy coastal Northern California town, Shelldance Orchid Gardens has been tucked away on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean since 1976. Named after the abundance of shells in the area, Shelldance originally sold bromeliads exclusively. After a short while, the offering was expanded to include orchids. To make space for new inventory, owners Nancy Davis, Michael Rothenberg, and Bruce Rothenberg sold 20,000 bromeliads to the Singapore National Botanical Gardens.

Since opening, the owners have been advocates for preserving the surrounding landscape, and have saved the gardens from plans to build a Caltrain commuter railroad line through the nursery. Now, Shelldance is home to one of the largest collections of rare and exotic plants. Let’s take a look around. 

Photography by Alexandra Sklar for The Merchant Home.

Above: Shelldance Orchid is divided into five greenhouse “garden rooms.” Pictured above is the North Wing with a variety of plants on display, including bromeliads, tillandsia, orchids, and an array of succulents. 

Above: Seashells dangle on a thin cotton rope. 

Above: A large tillandsia tinged in pale red. 

Above: A mounted staghorn fern. Curious about staghorn ferns? See DIY: How to Hang a Staghorn Fern.

Above: Spanish moss is draped throughout the greenhouse.  

Above: Shelldance Orchid Gardens is located at 2000 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacifica, CA. 

For more plant shops in California, see:;

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our Partners