Explore San Diego: Magical maze garden

Explore San Diego
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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Nestled deep within Kit Carson Park in Escondido is a hidden gem not many know about.

A maze takes you from the real world to a whimsical garden.

This is Queen Califia’s Magical Circle – an homage to an Amazon warrior who, according to folklore, inspired the name of our great state.

She stands proudly on her favorite bird, guarding a golden egg under a bedazzled starry sky. You might notice the bird has five legs – and nobody knows why!

Eight totems surround the Queen, each with its own theme like “Bullhead” and “Yelling Man.”

The entire park is guarded by a wall of the friendliest snakes you’ll ever see.

All of this is designed by world-famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who brought stones, tiles and gems from around the world to complete her vision.

What used to be an empty lot is now a cultural landmark for all ages to enjoy.

The biggest beauty? It’s all open to interpretation -- so your imagination’s the limit.

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