Nestle Into Nature at the SLO Botanical Gardens

Nestled among the rolling hills of El Chorro Regional Park is the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. Once completed, the grounds will be a 150-acre collection of the diverse plant life of the Mediterranean Basin and the Mediterranean climate zones found in California, Chile, Australia and South Africa. The gardens will be completed in stages as funding becomes available. In the meantime, there is plenty to see including wildlife, a human sundial and much more.


There are many animal species for you to view while roaming the SLO Botanical Garden. Common animals include butterflies and bumblebees which are critical to pollinating the plants you can enjoy in the gardens. If you’re lucky and have a keen eye, you may see a western fence lizard sunbathing on a rock. Next to the Present Garden, you can see raptors nesting in the tall eucalyptus trees. Raptors include kestrels, white-tailed kites and owls. Raptors and coyotes also eat small mammals that eat garden plants.


Most sundials contain a thin rod, known as a gnomon, which casts a shadow onto a platform to tell the time. SLO’s sundial does not have a gnomon, because you are the gnomon. The sundial is shaped like an oval 20 feet across and 12 feet high. To tell the time, stand on the plaque of the current month and use your shadow to tell the time.


Visitors of the SLO Botanical Garden may enjoy leisurely, self-guided tours with a complimentary self-guided map to teach you about the plants and other points of interest available. The gardens also offer docent-led tours which usually last about an hour and must be scheduled ahead of time. Docent-led tours are not available on Tuesdays, and a $2 per member donation is encouraged.

The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden is just one of many outdoor activities you can enjoy if you call The Academy Chorro your home. To see for yourself the first-class amenities our community has to offer its residents, contact us today to schedule a tour. Our leasing agents would love to show you around!