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Frequently asked questions

If you have other questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to email us at: info@undergroundgardens.com or call 559-271-0734.


When are you open for tours?

Our main touring season is April through November. Please go to our HOURS page to see a calendar of open dates & hours. All tours are weather permitting only. Please call ahead if the forecast calls for rain, as we may have to shut down the open air museum.

Are We required to go on a tour to see the gardens?

Yes. Due to the unique nature of the site we offer access by guided tour only. Our rooms, passageways and courtyards can be confusing for new guests, and with a guide you'll get to know about the history and the builder as well!

when are your tour times?

We offer tours every 20 to 30 minutes during our operating hours. When you arrive, you'll be placed on the next available tour. Please go to our HOURS page to see a calendar of open dates & hours.

can we make reservations?

Our public tours are first come, first served and no reservations are necessary. However, if you have a larger party of 15 persons or more you can book a private tour experience (at a special discount). Reservations need to be made via our contact form, and must be made 10 days before the requested date.

What are the rules for the tour?

As a historic site, we have several guidelines that are designed to preserve the nature of the site as well as protect the safety of our guests. With this in mind, we have the following our rules:

  1. Stay with your group and tour host so you don't get lost! These are *guided* tours for your safety and the preservation of the site.

  2. All of the fruit on the tour and the grounds is considered "forbidden fruit" - no picking it!

  3. We are a "true earth" environment and our hardpan planters, walls and surfaces are delicate. Please do not sit or climb on the planters or furnishings.

  4. Photos of the historic site are for your personal enjoyment only. All rights to photos taken of the site remain with the Forestiere Underground Gardens, and may not be copyrighted or sold. (please see our photo policy). Filming or recording is also not allowed.

  5. Please keep your children with you at all times. Our open air museum can be exciting for children, but it is not a playground.

are pets allowed?

No. However, we allow ADA-qualified service animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Dogs for comfort or emotional support are not qualified service animals under the ADA.

where is parking?

We are limited to street parking only - along Shaw Avenue, Forestiere Avenue and Cornelia Avenue.  Our entrance street parking is monitored by security cameras.

Can we take photos?

Photos for your personal use are allowed, however, we do not permit video footage or panoramic photos of the tour route.

Is this a child friendly environment?

Our open air museum is open to people of all ages, however, there are a few guidelines that all parents should be aware of. Due to the narrow passageways on the tour route, no strollers or car seat carriers are allowed on tour. We recommend slings, wraps or other front style carriers. In addition, our tour includes several small presentations about the history of the site and life of the builder. Tour guests, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN are required to stay with the group and not wander off on their own. Based on the tour guidelines, we invite parents to make their best judgement about their child's enjoyment of the experience.

Will the forestiere underground gardens be impacted by the high speed rail?

The Forestiere Underground Gardens is still family owned, and the family is in regular contact with the City and the High Speed Rail. There will be some construction disruption at different times. We will try to post ‘heads-up’ on this website as soon as they are known to us (usually only days in advance!)

what do you do with the fruit? can we pick the fruit?

We harvest the majority of the fruit when it is in season and the family distributes this to friends of the family and tour guides. Most of the rest goes into our mulch pile. However, we leave plenty on the trees and bushes “ornamentally” so that the public can see the fruit year round - especially where trees are grafted.

Are wheelchairs and walkers allowed on tour?

Guided tours require about 60 minutes of gentle walking, with approximately 20 stairs (with hand rails). We can comfortably accommodate visitors with walkers or canes, and offer an alternate route for visitors in standard wheelchairs (26 inches or less). Please see our accessibility guidelines for more about the unique nature of the passageways. We do not rent wheelchairs.