San Diego Zoo
It's too hot to think in the low desert, and everyone who can sneak away heads to San Diego for some cool ocean breezes. The http://www.sandiegozoo.org" target="_blank">San Diego Zoo is a great place to view exotic plant life, as well as animals. Plan your visit beforehand and check out the panda, polar bear, elephant and ape live cams.
Favorite or New Plant
Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)
This low-water-use shrub lends exotic-looking flowers to the landscape. Bright yellow flower clusters feature long, bright red stamens. Extended bloom period from spring through fall provides lots of color in the heat of summer. Grows 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, with an airy appearance to its green foliage. The flowers attract hummingbirds.