Donation-based educational tours are offered to school groups Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Journey through the Garden as knowledgeable docents guide your hands-on learning experience. All K-6 school tours are aligned with the State of California Content Standards.

Each trail is rich with botanical samplings of mediterranean climate plants and offers countless opportunities for exploring natural wonders. The Garden reflects the beauty and diversity of plant life that thrives in the similar climatic conditions of the five mediterranean climate zones of the world; the Mediterranean Basin in Europe, Central Chile, Cape Province of South Africa, South and Western Australia and our own region in California. Nestled along a natural riparian woodland, the Preview Garden is an ideal setting for outdoor learning activities.

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Located on Highway 1, across from Cuesta College in El Chorro Regional Park, the Garden is a perfect complement to your field trips to Rancho El Chorro School, Morro Bay Natural History Museum or the Morro Bay National Estuary. Park facilities are designed for a lunch stop – shaded picnic areas with benches, water and electricity, restrooms, pay phone and even playground equipment and parking for buses.

Allow approximately ONE HOUR for a class tour of the Preview Garden for groups of 30 or less. Groups with more than 30 students should be prepared to spend two hours at the Garden. Please reserve your tour at least one month in advance of your desired tour date using the Tour Request Form below.  We will also accept the necessary information via a telephone message for the Education Director at 805.541.1400×303 or  We will respond to you by phone or e-mail to make the arrangements for your tour. An email notice confirming the day and time of your tour along with a copy of our tour procedures will also be provided. There is a suggested $2 donation per participant that can be given to your docent; checks can be made to SLOBG

Tour Guidelines

  • We ask that students be arranged in groups of ten for the tour and that each group of ten is accompanied by an adult.
  • Please review Tour Procedures before arriving at the garden.
  • There is a suggested $2 donation per participant that can be given to your docent; checks can be made to SLOBG.

School tour topics

Tour 1 – Five Senses Tour
Pre-school. Covers the Five Senses.
Students will use all five senses to discover the diversity of plant life at San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden.

Tour 2 – Discover Mediterranean Plant Parts
Kindergarten.  Covers 2.a, 2.c, 4.a and 4.d
Through inquiry-based activities, primary students will gain an understanding of the diversity of plant life in the five mediterranean climate zones. They will observe plant parts up close through hands-on learning.

Tour 3 – Plant Needs, Human Needs
First Grade.  Covers 2.a, 2.b, 2.e, 4.a, 4.d
Students will recognize that plants need resources such as water, food, air, and light to survive and will be able to provide examples of how humans need plants to survive.

Tour 4 – Pollination
Second Grade.  Covers 2.a, 2.d, 2.f
Students will investigate the process of pollination by making observations about floral structures. They will be able to distinguish between male and female parts of flowers and recognize common shapes and colors that attract various pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other insects.

Tour 5 – Mediterranean Plant Adaptations
Third – Fourth Grades.  Covers (3) 3.a, 3.b, 3.d, 5.d and (4) 3.a, 3.b
By looking closely at leaf samples of various plants growing in the garden and comparing them to others, students will begin to recognize some of the common leaf adaptations in the five mediterranean climate zones of the world.

Tour 6 – California Native People and Plants
Third – Fourth Grades.  Covers (3) 3.c, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2 (4) 3.a, 4.1.3, 4.2.1, 4.1
Students will gain a better understanding of how local Chumash and Salinan peoples prospered by utilizing native plant species. Students will identify these plants in our garden as well as participate in hands-on activities with artifacts and materials made from native plants.

Tour 7 – Mediterranean World Ethnobotany
Fifth – Seventh Grades.  Covers (4) 5.1.1, 5.1.2 (6) 6.1.3, 6.2.2, 6.4.1 (7) 7.2.5, 7.6.1, 7.11.2
Students will combine knowledge from social studies with that of plant science to study mediterranean climate Ethnobotany. Students will be introduced to the study of how people from these climatic regions have used plants. Folklore & legends are told from ancient Greece & Rome.

Other Tours and Programs

To help you meet the specific educational needs of your class, we also offer customized garden tours. Our school programs are currently being developed. Please contact us, we’d like to hear from you.