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Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno

Categories: Caves, Gardens, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 440+ reviews on the web
Admire the hand-built rooms of Forestiere Underground Gardens, beneath the Earth that transport you back to ancient Roman times right in the middle of Central California. The residence, built by Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere to escape the hot Fresno sun, was inspired by the Roman catacombs Forestiere knew as a child. He worked on his masterpiece tirelessly for 40 years, and spent countless hours excavating the hard soil to build the impressive subterranean structure. You can tour the summer bedroom, winter bedroom, kitchen, parlor, and grottoes that span 4 hectares (10 acres) intermixed with large archways and courtyards that allow in light. Forestiere also planted fruit trees underground and kept them thriving. You can appreciate the 100-year-old plants, some rare and exotic that can only grow here due to their protection from frost. Bring a sweater, as temperaures can be cooler underground. Use our Fresno travel itinerary planner to visit Forestiere Underground Gardens on your trip to Fresno, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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  • Great night for this stop on our road. A beautiful event with rides exhibition games c was great go.
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  • Such an interesting place and story. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. If I'm ever back in Fresno, I'll be going on this tour again. 
  • Looking to kill some time on our way down Highway 99 we took a chance on the Underground Gardens thanks to the reviews on Trip Advisor. Funny thing is I must have past by this spot 50 times in the pas...  read more »
  • The Underground Gardens are a fascinating bit of California history. We had no idea what to expect so it easily lived up to those expectations. The family-owned and operated gardens as they exist today are a fraction of what they were at their peak decades ago. What remains is ten acres of hand-dug underground rooms, many open to the surface, with very clever drainage built in, a ballroom, and citrus trees everywhere. The gardens are very easy to pass by on the street as signage is discreet and there is no huge parking lot. Don't go expecting to escape the heat though; it was over 105 degrees on the surface during our visit and while a good 10 or more degrees cooler in the underground rooms, it was still plenty hot. My only deduction is for the admission price which seemed a couple of dollars more than some might find reasonable. We enjoyed the tour and history in any case.
  • Fascinating effort by a largely unsung visionary (during his lifetime, anyway.) Carving tunnels and underground gardens out of Fresno's hardpan soil must have taken a truly heroic effort. Worth a visit. Be aware, tours are on the hour, all parking is on-street, and this attraction is closed in the winter.
  • If you are visiting Fresno within the near future, I highly recommend the Forestiere Underground Gardens. I took my family there on Saturday, and we loved it! The tour guides and staff members did an excellent job! They gave us a brief summary of the history, and it was very informative. We had Martin as our tour guide, and he did a superb job of making our experience enjoyable. Plus, he kept us laughing with his humor. My family was very impressed with the tour, and in fact, this was one of our best Fresno experiences. They also offer a military discount for military service members. I highly recommend this tour!
  • This place is super interesting. The guy who built it was definitely a mad genius. It was nice to be a good 10° cooler and out of the sun. The tour guides are super friendly and knowledgeable!
  • Would have been interesting if I wasnt distracted by the fact that I felt scammed. This locations policy promotes a ticket entrance purchase before they answer questions about unique circumstances. In my situatiuon, I asked a staff member about wearing a child carrying backpack. She differed and said she did not know. We asked the staff member charging entrance and he didnt answer until we paid. We were told we could not use it on the tour. The first stop in the tour happened to be a detailed explanation of how the facility was built, presented by the first staff member who apparently didn't know we couldn't use these carriers. How does the person who gave the tour not know about this policy. Hence my irritation that they forced payment before answering my initial question.
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