Posted: Thursday, Apr 4th, 2024

By Visit Ventura

A Tour of the Ventura Botanical Gardens: Experience A Walk in Nature

We think it’s safe to say you haven’t had a complete vacation in Ventura without visiting the Ventura Botanical Gardens. Beautiful views, walkways lined with colorful flowers, and an opportunity for a peaceful moment surrounded by nature — there’s nothing quite like enjoying the Ventura Botanical Garden, and for good reason. 

To make the most out of your trip, request a completely free tour by one of the garden’s wonderful tour guides to take a deeper dive into the unique plants housed along the walkways and to learn more about the conservation and preservation efforts of the gardens. 

With 107 acres and over 120,000 plants in the ground that represent the five Mediterranean regions, there’s a lot to discover and enjoy. This is your guide to the Ventura Botanical Gardens so you can start planning your trip! 

Plan Your Visit to the Ventura Botanical Gardens

How to visit the Ventura Botanical Gardens

Ready to embark on a botanical adventure? Plan your visit to the Ventura Botanical Gardens today and discover the beauty of nature. With three unique gardens to explore, each offering a different slice of botanical paradise, the Ventura Botanical Gardens promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Plus, it seems like each week there is something new!

The Ventura Botanical Gardens is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring your whole crew (even your leashed dogs on dog-friendly Wednesdays and Fridays) for an afternoon full of fun. 

Whether you’re a seasoned botanist or simply seeking a peaceful retreat amidst stunning scenery, the Ventura Botanical Gardens invites you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world.

The Chilean Garden: A Tapestry of South American Flora

Start your tour through the Ventura Botanical Gardens at the Merewether Welcome Center where you’ll find a cute gift shop full of plants you can purchase, art, and pottery. Browse the rows of gifts for a souvenir for yourself or a loved one! 

Follow the painted flowers on the ground underneath a line of olive trees to the garden’s pathways. Step into the Chilean Garden and be transported to the diverse landscapes of South America. Go up the stairs and see the Chilean Soap Bark Tree, unusual because it provides compounds for both soap and the Covid 19 and shingle vaccines. 

Visit the Ventura Botanical Gardens

Featuring an impressive collection of plants native to Chile (the executive director visits botanical gardens in Chile to cultivate the collection here in Ventura!), once completed, this garden will be the largest Chilean Garden outside of Chile. Stroll along winding pathways adorned with rare and endangered species under conservation. And don’t forget to take a break to enjoy the views on one of the many sponsored benches and sitting areas through the gardens. 

Whether you’re an avid botanist or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, the Chilean Garden promises an unforgettable experience and a great start to your nature walk through the Ventura Botanical Gardens. 

The Mediterranean Garden and California Ramble

Visit the Ventura Botanical Gardens

As you make your way up through the garden walkways towards the Rotary Plaza, make sure you sit under the giant eucalyptus trees for one of the best scenic views at the Ventura Botanical Gardens — where the city gives way to the ocean! 

Turn around and look up: you’ll see the Mediterranean Garden where there are 200 newly planted olive tree saplings, plus a rare palm species that was donated to the gardens by Ventura College. And in front of you is the California Ramble, the largest garden. This garden embraces native plants that have been here for generations as well as new and reintroduced species. All of the gardens replicate plant communities as you would see them in nature; from ceanothus and lemonade berry to California oak. In the spring, this garden abounds with brilliantly orange poppies and lavender lupine. 

The South Africa Garden: A Safari of Succulents

A little way beyond the Rotary Plaza is the South Africa Gardens which is broken into two areas. The first is the breathtakingly colorful fynbos collection with protea, ericas, Africa bulbs, and geraniums. If you’re looking for a spot that perfectly embodies a spring day, look no further than the Fynbos Collection in the South Africa Garden. 

Walk up along the path to the second collection in the South Africa Garden: the Karoo Collection. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world here: views for miles and on a clear day, the Channel Islands National Park will look 3D. Marvel at the otherworldly forms of aloes here. Whether you’re a desert enthusiast or simply curious about the wonders of xeriscaping, the South Africa Garden offers a captivating glimpse into the world of succulents and desert flora.

The Summit Plateau, adjacent to the Karoo Collection is a beautiful space for weddings and other events. You can find out more about having your event at the Summit Plateau here.

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