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Forestiere Underground Gardens

5021 W. Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93722
559-271-0734
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Ranked #2 of 20 Attractions in Fresno
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Gardens, Caverns/ Caves
Description: Dug out by hand over a 40-year period, more than 90 rooms, patios, gardens and courtyards lie underneath a 4.5-acre piece of land.
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210 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Denver
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
26 attraction reviews
260 helpful votes 260 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

Visiting Forestiere Underground Gardens was a good way to pass an hour or so in Fresno. It's actually as much about underground excavation and construction as it is about gardens (although there are many citrus trees). A Sicilian immigrant built what he planned to be an underground resort for himself and others to escape the summer heat. He had no... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

Balthasar Forestiere, a Sicilian immigrant, landed in Fresno, California in the early 20th Century. He had no idea that the land he purchased to farm was on a layer of hard sandstone, not able to be cultivated. Overwhelmed by the local heat, he finally realized his dream to build an underground resort in the available stone with natural air conditioning... More

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San Jose, California
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
93 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

MIght not be worth a trip to Fresno but definitely worth seeing if you're there. The story will amaze you but the actual structure is more impressive. It's sad to think that most of his underground work has been condemned by the government and filled in. Guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Very reasonable price. No parking lot but enough street... More

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Palmdale, California
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
26 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

My husband had read about the gardens and we made a quick stop on our way home from Lodi. What an amazing experience. To think of everything this one man accomplished all because of his vision. Makes me feel like a slacker! Tons of history, and you can't help but look at all of the rooms and hear of all... More

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Monroe
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

This was our first stop when we vacationed in the Fresno area. We really enjoyed the tour & the history of the Forestiere Underground Gardens. Make sure you put this on your list to stop at when in the Fresno area.

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Santa Cruz, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

I always wondered how gardens could grow underground. Finally I went to see for myself. There are SKYLIGHTS, and a series of open courtyards with trees growing in them. Mr. Forestiere lived in the property and at one time it was a resort. Only a small portion is still open, but it is fascinating. It was a very HOT day... More

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Clovis
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

call and make sure they are open they are family run and sometimes not so well but very cool unusual facility dug by an Italian immigrant , this has been featured on history channel and in national geographic magazine so well worth seeing

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Fresno, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

Lived here several years before I knew about it and after some out of town relatives told us they want to go see it, we all went and it is great!

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Fresno, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

It is one of the few sightseeing places in Fresno and it was quite interesting. It was very cool down below in the caves though outside temperature was so hot. Only problem was the high entrance fee and lack of parking outside.

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Campbell, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This place is on Shaw Avenue and if you weren't specifically looking for it, you would pass right by. There is only street parking and when you pull up out front, all you see is a little garden and what looks like a large dirt lot. You sit under and nice little trellis while waiting for the next available tour... More

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