Frequently asked questions

Why is there an admission fee? Isn’t this a City Park?

California Botanic Garden is not a publicly funded park or recreation area, but rather a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) California charitable trust. We are a mission-driven institution – promoting botany, conservation and horticulture to inspire, inform and educate the public and the scientific community about California’s native flora. The Garden is devoted to the collection, cultivation, study and display of native California plants and to graduate training and research in plant systematics and evolution. Through all its programs, the Garden makes significant contributions to the appreciation, enjoyment, understanding and thoughtful utilization of our natural heritage. We are a living museum. Not funded by tax-payer dollars, we rely upon diverse sources of funding including generated revenue, private contributions, grant funding, and the support of our members.

are dogs and other pets allowed?

With the exception of trained service dogs, we do not allow dogs or other pets in the Garden. Service animals must be specifically trained to assist a person with a disability, and must remain on a leash (no longer that 6') at all times. The rule of ‘no dogs allowed’ is as much for the safety of pets as it is for the safety of our plants and native wildlife. Showcasing a tremendous diversity and richness of plant species from around our state, the Garden provides wonderful habitat for myriad species of native wildlife. While exploring the Garden, visitors frequently encounter chattering squirrels, fluttering birds, coyotes, and may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bobcat. The normal habits of these native species are affected by the presence of domestic dogs and other animals. In addition, many of the plants in our living collection are subject to trampling and damage if dogs (or humans) stray from designated foot paths. Thank you for respecting our “living museum”.

is food allowed?

As a living museum, much different from a park or other recreation area, we ask that special care be taken with food in the Garden. Specifically:  take all left-overs and trash with you or to the nearest refuse container. This includes even organic waste like apple cores and peanut shells. We do not want our wildlife to become habituated to human food and put themselves or our human visitors in danger.  There are picnic tables in the shady central area of the parking lot and adjacent to the Administration Building on Indian Hill mesa (note that the building is not open to the public). There are also many lovely benches - most in the shade and with terrific views. The Garden does not have lawns or other areas suitable for sitting on the ground to picnic. All tables and benches are first come first serve. Remember:  leave no trash or food waste anywhere but in appropriate receptacles.

Can spaces at the Garden be rented for outside events like weddings or meetings?

Yes! Whether your needs call for an intimate setting or a spacious venue with room to dance the night away, you’ll find a place here. From milestone birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and private parties to celebration of life services, family gatherings, corporate meetings and business retreats, you can find a location to match your needs. With multiple venues and even more beautiful Garden settings to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Explore our venues here

Are guided tours of the Garden available?

Throughout the year there are different types of guided tours offered, both for private bookings or the general visitor. Guided tours enrich the visitor experience with layered interpretation provided by knowledgeable guides, beyond what can be gleaned from casual observation or interpretive signage. Our tour programs offer a variety of opportunities for visitors including adults, K-12 school visitors and tour groups. Please note: private group tours require advance registration and additional fees may apply. For complete tour information, questions, or to schedule your own tour, please contact the Registrar at 909-625-8767 ext. 224, or email

I love to paint outside, and was wondering if I might be able to set up an easel

We are happy to allow painting in our Garden, as we wish to be a showcase place that encourages that type of engagement with our environment. The Garden means so many different things for so many different people. We simply ask that artists follow the same rules as other visitors, including: staying on pathways and out of the plant collection areas, not impeding other guests/blocking, and being courteous to others’ needs. Admission fees or membership applies, and we would like to be credited when possible with our name: California Botanic Garden.

Can I see your 990 Forms?

Yes. Please click HERE to view or download our most recent Form 990. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (DBA: California Botanic Garden) is required to submit a Form 990 to the IRS every year to maintain our 501(c)3 non-profit/tax-exempt status (EIN # 95-1664113). In the name of transparency, we make this form available to the public.

group transportation

We partner with several Los Angeles charter bus companies, such as west coast transportation experts Champion Charter Bus, to help groups get to and from California Botanic Garden with ease. Other partners like National Charter Bus can organize a charter bus to Los Angeles from anywhere in the nation, and GOGO Charters has a wide variety of LA charter bus rental options available to suit multiple group sizes.