One of the places we love traveling to, and visiting locally is the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens. It’s one of the fun things to do in San Luis Obispo if you enjoy nature. If you are planning a travel trip, it’s about a 40 minute drive south west of Paso Robles, California on the Central Coast. The entrance is at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, El Chorro Park is just off the highway (Hwy.1) if you are planning a trip or live in our area, or just traveling through the area.
San Luis Obispo California Botanical Gardens
Although it’s not the largest botanical gardens I’ve been to, it has plenty of varied floral terrain and worth the visit. As a matter a fact we try to visit several times of year. As during the year you can see seasonal changes in the plant life, animals and birds.
If you walk quietly you’ll see animals pop out of areas from under bushes, or stumps like this. A bunch of baby bunnies came hopping out and up a nearby path. They headed into the shade, under the brush.
We headed out there at the very beginning of summer. Spotting birds, butterflies, bees and even baby rabbits. Our favorite trees and flowers that attract hummingbirds weren’t in bloom yet. When they are in bloom, you can see many hummingbirds closeup if you’re quiet and stay still.
We watched bumble bees pollinating California poppies, which are the states flower.
There are various sections to the botanical gardens. I don’t know what the trees with peeling bark are called but, they are so interesting to look at and photograph.
Sammie spotted cactus that looked like her cactus socks. Of course she shared it with her Instagram followers. I love how she enjoys photography and enjoys nature too.
There are a few trails behind the botanical gardens with several ways to walk up.
I would consider this a fairly easy hike you can take at your own pace. I suggest bringing your own water and snacks. Or a picnic lunch if spending the day. Down at the park there are picnic tables.
Not only does the garden have pretty flowers but, the shop next door does too.
They are open limited hours, so check if you want to go inside. We always seem to get over there too late and miss going inside.
It’s an easy drive to the coast from from the botanical gardens. We typically do come home via the coastal route, taking Hwy. 46 from Hwy. 1 home to Paso Robles, and stopping at a beach or two on the way. I promise to share our beach photos soon.
Map out your visit when you travel to the botanical gardens
El Chorro Reginal Park has day use, camping, the botanical gardens and shop, and a dog park within the park. I have never camped or used the dog park though. If you’d like to plan your visit botanical garden directions and map. The park is located just off Hwy.1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.
I found out dogs are allowed in the botanical gardens if on a leash and picked up after.*subject to rules of park. There are entrance fees ($3. subject to change) to get in and park but, on weekends during certain times of year they are waived. Maybe you’ll end up there on a free day like we did!
The park does have a playground and small rock climbing wall for kids. There is limited drinking fountains, and one public restroom.
If visiting the Central Coast area add this to your list of off road, fun places to visit. This is the view to the west from our hike. We hope you enjoy the park and botanical gardens as much as we do. Central Coast of California this is a great place to visit, and spend the day or two or more.
Have you ever traveled to San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens? What is your favorite botanical gardens you have traveled to?