Garden Tours

A visit to the Garden is an exceptional learning experience. Each trail within the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is rich with botanical samplings of mediterranean climate plants and offers countless opportunities for exploring natural wonders.

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Self-guided visits

Garden visitors may enjoy a self-guided walk during El Chorro Regional Park open hours. A complimentary Self Guided Map and interpretive information throughout the Garden will lead you through our two acre Garden and teach you more about our unique focus on plants of the mediterranean climate regions of the world. And be sure to download a copy of our Birds of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden checklist to bring along!

Discover Pollination at the Garden! 

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Docent-Led tours

Knowledgeable docents will lead your group on a fascinating tour through our two-acre Garden or our Sustainable Facilities. Tours can be schedule every day, except Tuesdays. Tours generally last about an hour and must be scheduled in advance. School tours are available for K-6 as well as college classes. Elementary school tours are aligned with State of California Content Standards and Common Core Curriculum Standards. Tours must be scheduled several weeks in advance. We encourage a donation of $2 per group member.

To schedule a school or general tour, submit the form below
or email education@slobg.org, call 805.541.1400×303.


Fill out this form to sign up for a tour

Contact Name *
Contact Name
Contact Phone Number *
Contact Phone Number
Tour Topic *
Please select one of the following tours
only fill if requesting a special tour topic
Tour Date *
Tour Date

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. School tours are aligned with the State of California Content Standards.

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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  Garden is an ideal setting for outdoor education.

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 education@slobg.org.  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 School 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.

Tour Topics

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

Kindergarten – Discover Mediterranean Plant Parts
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.

First Grade – Plant Needs, Human Needs
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.

Second Grade Pollination
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.

Third – Fourth Grades – Mediterranean Plant Adaptations
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.

Third – Fourth Grades – California Native People and Plants
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.

Fifth – Sixth Grades – Mediterranean World Ethnobotany
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.