Forestiere Underground Gardens

Forestiere Underground Gardens

Forestiere Underground Gardens
4.5
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Take a tour off Highway 99 and visit Fresno's best kept secret. *A hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs. *Unique fruit producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground - some over 90 years old! *Ancient Roman architecture - arches, vaults and stone-built walls. *Underground micro-climates - temperature variations of 10 to 30 degrees! *Underground home of Sicilian visionary and self-taught artist/builder Baldassare Forestiere.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Jody N
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Forestiere Gardens
    Well worth our time to visit Forestiere Underground Gardens. What an amazing place! Our guide was phenomenal, thank you, Alley. We were looking for a parking lot for the gardens, but when we called they let us know that it was front street parking, fyi. Glad we visited!
    We are glad to hear your trip to our museum was worth it! Thank you for the compliments as well! We will pass your message to Ali!
    Written May 22, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 22, 2023
  • Gay J
    Salt Lake City, Utah96 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    Great place to visit. The man who built this place was truly determined to create a unique place after buying what others thought was useless ground. Thankfully, they have saved his life's work for future generations to enjoy
    We are so happy to be able to share this place with folks like you!
    Written May 26, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 24, 2023
  • Roy K
    Turlock, California71 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A wonderful little underground Kingdom in Fresno
    They have done a great job of preserving the incredible work don't by the original owner.. Our guide was quite excited about working there and you could tell she found it fascinating, What a gem here in Central California. Unfortunately I understand it might be destroyed to accommodate the high speed rail. So unfortunate because there will never be another site like this. As you arrive you will initially be disappointed because there really isn't anything above ground except some fruit trees. All the beauty and glory are all underground.
    Thank you so much for visiting! We appreciate your concerns over the highspeed rail, however you can be rest assured that the high speed rail poses no threat to the underground gardens at this time.
    Written June 2, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 31, 2023
  • qbou123
    Paradise, California2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Gem In the Sprawling City of Fresno
    Wow! Have never seen anything like this creative endeavor. It is a must see. Whoever would have thought to dig down, through feet & feet & feet of hardpan to create a hospitable growing environment? Baldassare Forestiere that's who. The architecture is beautiful in it's rustic simplicity--- though it is obvious that the process was anything but simple. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable & answered every question. Be prepared for uneven, but walkable 'floors.' Also, there are a few stairs scattered about. The need to park on Shaw Avenue was surprising, but doable. Highly recommend this approximately 1 hr. tour. To grasp and appreciate the building concept, be prepared to take time at the end of the tour to read the enlarged newspaper pages describing Baldassare's efforts. Have fun!
    We're glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to our must-see museum/home/garden/unique site!
    Written June 16, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 15, 2023
  • DannyWasserman
    Virginia Beach, Virginia4,451 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Masterful undergrounds architectural Gardens !
    Creative Underground Caverns and Tunnels!! Yes, that's correct!! The story behind this gardens area is amazing. This man spent 40 years creating the underground gardens to protect his family from the hot summers of Fresno. So creative and unbelievable architecture. There is a museum and gift shop as well. This made for a great day in Fresno.
    Thank you for visiting and for leaving a review!
    Written June 19, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 17, 2023
  • Katherine M
    Citrus Heights, California35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Underground Gardens and Living Space! A True Gem in Central California!
    I had heard about Forestiere Gardens probably about 25 years ago, and have wanted to see it ever since. Finally made it there as my 64th birthday gift to myself. The guided tour (the only way you can see it) is worth every penny of the $21 senior charge. A must see on a hiway 99 road trip!
    Thank you so much for making our museum part of your birthday plans! We're so glad you got to enjoy this awesome place!
    Written June 25, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 23, 2023
  • John H
    St. Petersburg, Florida33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unbelievable persistence
    A must see on our way to Kings-Sequoia NP! A very interesting, hour long tour. Our small group of 8 allowed us to enter some of the areas that larger groups can't. Our guide, Cindy, was very knowledgeable and fun. Came away with great respect for this man and his work ethic, creativity and persistence.
    Thank you so much! We also reccommend visiting us when you visit our national parks!
    Written July 30, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 28, 2023
  • Tammy L
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome Experience
    This was a fantastic experience! I have to say I had my doubts when we drove up to the property, but was blown away by the treasure that we found. The human spirit is amazing and these gardens are a perfect example of what we are capable of doing when you put your mind to it! Our guide was amazing, she had such a beautiful spirit and truly loved what she did, I wish I could spell her name correctly because I know I’m going to butcher it, maybe Luticha 🤷‍♀️ my apologies! ♥️Texas
    We're glad you made our site part of your visit, and to hear that you were blown away! We'll make sure to pass along your compliments to your guide!
    Written August 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 19, 2023
  • MCate51
    Saint Louis, Missouri50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Idea Whose Time Has Come—Underground Living
    What a pleasant surprise on a 100 degree day. We really could feel the difference in temperature in this wonderful underground home excavated by the most clever Sicilian immigrant in the early 1900s. We had a great tour by Nathan and enjoyed hearing how this place came to be. Well worth the money for an exhibit you won’t find elsewhere.
    We're happy to hear you had a great experience with one of our guides! Thank you for stopping by to check out our site!
    Written September 1, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 30, 2023
  • JUDY W
    50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth a visit
    Loved visiting and learning about this incredible place and how one man instead of letting himself be defeated thought outside the box, “dug deeper” both literally and spiritually to triumph and fulfill his dream and then some. Out guide was delightful, patient kind and knowledgeable. Highly recommend. BTW I learned about this place from one of Huell Howsers programs.
    Thank you for visiting and for your lovely review! We love your eloquent explanation of digging literally and spiritually. We're glad to hear you had a wonderful time!
    Written September 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 16, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles865 reviews
Excellent
610
Very good
201
Average
36
Poor
4
Terrible
14

Tia J
Lawton, OK138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
-Book ahead by calling
-Don’t judge it by the outside!
-It is worth the cost when you see how they use the money to preserve and excavate.

We were looking for something to pass the time before our Airbnb was available. I am so glad we stopped here! It doe a not look like much from the road…I almost said “umm…this looks sketchy!” However, once you begin your tour you will change your mind! Talon was our guide and we thoroughly enjoyed his tour. We had a 4 year old boy who did get bored. There is a lot of information and history and not a lot of activity during the tour, so be aware that it’s not “action packed”. Adult or older kids will enjoy it more.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bart R
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
That as a local, we can take guests down the street to a true hidden gem. This subterranean home embodies what is the finest in human imagination and unimaginable human toil. Reflecting on ones man’s vision of a practical escape of our fierce summer heat I find myself admiring Mr. Forestiere.
Katie our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the man and his times. We look forward to our next opportunity to visit this a
Fresno landmark.
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edwin B
Loomis, California1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Absolutely astonishing! The scope of what one man was able to create using little more than hand tools is remarkable. The tour presentation was highly informative and structured to guide visitors through the various stages of construction. Undeniably the #1 attraction in Fresno and a great slice of old Fresno history.
Written November 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ani K
Davis, CA286 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
It is smaller now than it was when I saw a story about this place on TV years ago. Many of the trees are well past their normal life spans, so they have lost some of the trees. The visit involves an hour long presentation and guided tour, so the whole thing takes about hour and a half to do. The tours start at the top of the hour and are on a first come, first serve basis. Parking is on the street in front of the entrance. Don't be put off by the look of the place. It seems dusty and abandoned from the outside, but it is fine inside. Remember, what you are here to see is underground. Please note that these are not traditional gardens. Most of what you see are the tunnels and living areas Forestiere dug and the citrus trees that are still living. Worth a visit if you will be in or traveling through Fresno during the times they are open. I had been wanting to see this place for years, and I am glad the timing finally worked out during my drive from LA to Sacramento on the 99.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandy B
Sulphur, LA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Our trip from Louisiana was all about this one garden. The history is amazing and our guide Jey did an awesome job! She could answer questions and was excellent at telling Baldassare Forestiere's story. I would highly recommend visiting because it's just a unique place to see how one man had a vision and put hard work into making it happen. The tour is only an hour although I'm sure if you could wander alone you could make it several hours. Very nice visit.
Written May 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen S
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This was well worth the visit for all ages. lightweight push wheelchairs are usable.
Although there are a few stairs during the tour the staff was very happy to arrange a way for us that didn't include the stairs for most of the tour. We had a diverse group ranging in age from 11 to 73 and everyone enjoyed the visit. If you have an extra hour or two thoroughly recommend this tour.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark P
Porterville, CA16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
I have lived in the valley for the past 20 years and never taken the time to visit the Underground Gardens. This is a fairly short tour (1 hour in length) that is very fascinating and enjoyable. I appreciated our guide who was well informed and very available for questions throughout the tour. I highly recommend taking this tour and being inspired by one man's life work. Pretty amazing!
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Flora M
San Jose, CA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Love this place! What a great quote from the master of the art Baldassare Forestiere. "The visions of my mind overwhelm me". He has the love, passion and creativity beyond extraordinary man, and we benefit and learn from seeing it. Our tour guide and experience is excellent and exceeded expectations!
Written June 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dogyeargirl
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Well worth the time and entrance fee for our tour of the Forestiere Underground Gardens. What this man did was amazing!!! With literally his own hands (and rudimentary tools) he created an ingenious spread of underground living quarters. I am inspired by this man who bought 80 acres of land with the intention of using it for traditional farming. After realizing he had purchased 80 acres of dry unfarmable land, he used his brain and creativity, and started digging. Instead of cursing the world and becoming an angry, bitter person, he turned his fate around to create a heaven on earth, underground! Very cool place. Very cool story. Our guide, Sarah, with the lavender braids, was excellent - friendly, articulate, organized.
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Becky D
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
“Underground Gardens” is a completely misleading name for this decent tourist attraction. It’s an underground home built with interesting ideas and an obvious passion, and happens to have citrus trees growing below ground (but almost all are blooming at street level). It was a cool thing to tour but compared to underground tours in Seattle, Portland or even Missouri, the fact he dug it by hand is the only really impressive part. The only “garden” is viewable from the street and is standard roses amongst some other plants and citrus trees as you exit.
Written March 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Forestiere Underground Gardens - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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