Discover the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

If you like learning about beautiful plants that thrive on the Central Coast, then you’ll enjoy visiting the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. This garden is devoted to showcasing unique plants from the five Mediterranean climate regions.

The San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens came about through the interest and hard work of Eve Vigil in 1989 while she studied at Cal Poly University for her graduate degree. Her professor suggested planting xeriscape gardens locally. They developed a master plan and were able to acquire use of 150 acres of El Chorro Regional Park. Friends of the Botanical Gardens, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit volunteer organization, began work on the gardens. Eve continues to maintain and guide the Garden today, along with a few hard-working staff members, a robust group of volunteers and an expert team of knowledgeable docents.

Luis Obispo Botanical Garden values sustainability, environmental education, horticultural research, and celebrates the aesthetic value of diverse plant life. The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is open during daylight hours, ADA compliant, dog friendly, and a great place for inspiration and relaxation.

The Garden’s planted areas include the Display Garden, with examples of plant life from the five major Mediterranean climate zones, the Children’s Garden, the Fire Safe Garden. The Garden’s Education Center and Gift Shop serve as the visitor entrance, and provide a beautiful and sustainable event space for Garden programs and community rentals. Visitors are encouraged to walk the 1.7 mi. Discovery Trail, to enjoy the sweeping coastal vistas and learn from the educational signs.

Walk and Talk with Eve Vigil

Walk and Talk with Eve Vigil in the Botanical Garden on the first Wednesday every month from 11 a.m. to noon. Subjects may include the garden’s history, what’s in bloom, important maintenance, or whatever interests the group. Learn how the garden beds were initially prepared, the irrigation schedule, and about the plants. Meet new people and learn great tips for your own stunning water-frugal garden. The tour is free for one household at a time, no RSVP, just show up and enjoy.

Events and activities

There’s something happening all year. Activities include the Pickets for Programs raising money for educational programs, nature walks, bird walks, and more. The Garden holds plant sales every spring and fall, volunteer-propagated plants are available all year in the Gift Shop.

Visiting the gardens

Admission is $5.00 for adults, fee for children under 13 and for Garden Members. Pay online, in the Gift Shop, or in the pay station near the entrance. El Chorro Regional Park charges $3 per vehicle for parking on weekends and holidays from April through September. Garden Members receive a wide variety of benefits, including:  discounted programs, plants, and gift shop items, as well as free admission and more offered at participating gardens and arboreta across North America.

Face coverings are required and please maintain a 6’ social distance. Please stay home if you feel sick.

The gardens are located at Highway 1 at El Chorro Regional Park and are open daily during daylight hours. For more information visit or call (805) 541-1400.


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