Garden admission tickets
- Non-members, including children, need to show a ticket to enter the gardens
- Buy tickets at the Visitor Center or online
- Daytime ticket prices: $15 for adults, $11 for students or seniors, and $5 for children
- Children four and under are free
Please note that Descanso Gardens is now cashless
What's happeningSee our full calendar
Map of the gardens
Our useful map gives a birdseye view of Descanso
Know before you go
Parking at Descanso
There is abundant free parking at the gardens
Garden etiquette – dos & don’ts
How can visitors preserve the harmony and beauty of Descanso Gardens?
Picnics, food, and smoking
- No picnics in the gardens — skip lawn chairs, coolers, checkered blankets, and gourmet picnic baskets
- Please don’t feed the wildlife (creatures in the wild need specific food to thrive)
- Don’t smoke or vape anywhere at Descanso, not even in parking lots and picnic areas
- Baby strollers and wheelchairs are most welcome
- Wheeled vehicles are not welcome inside the gardens — so no bikes, motorcycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, or pogo sticks
Animals and plants
- Service animals as defined by the ADA are welcome but don’t bring pets or horses to Descanso Gardens
- Firearms and hunting aren’t permitted
- Don’t feed or disturb the wildlife in any way (wildlife needs specific nutrients, peace, and quiet)
- Don’t pick flowers, collect leaves or seeds, walk in flower beds, or climb trees
- Don’t bring outside flowers or plants into the gardens (except with approved event rentals)
- Apply for a permit in advance for any pro or posed amateur photography
- Please review our Descanso Gardens photography policy for more details
Activities & personal conduct
- Children need to be accompanied by an adult
- Use your “inside voice” (even though, yes, most of Descanso is outside)
- Apply your “museum manners” (Descanso is a living museum and our garden exhibits are hands-off)
- Skip all skipping, running, jumping, and climbing
- Don’t play with toys, games, frisbees, balls, or hula hoops. No archery or croquet.
- Personal music devices are OK as long as you use headsets/earbuds
- No sunbathing (wear shoes and shirts at all times)
- No washing, wading, swimming, splashing in water features, or toe-dipping
- Beware of high voltage wires overhead: No model airplanes, drones, kites, or metallic balloons — they’re dangerous
Get our current topographic map for a detailed view of the gardens, forest areas, facilities, and more
Check out our prepared itineraries including our Heritage Oak Tour, Fun with Kids, 1-hour Tour, and Hidden Descanso
Photography rules & permits
Can I take family photos in the Gardens?
Yes, you can take a picture of your favorite tree. And you can take a picture of your mom next to her favorite tree.
However, you’ll need an advance permit (with fee payment) for most other types of photography.
Here’s what we mean:
- You can visit the gardens in your prom dress or graduation cap and gown and take impromptu pics. But you’ll need a photo permit for posed photography such as class photos and wedding parties.
- You can take random, spontaneous pics with your phone, but not posed photos with heavy-duty photography, lighting equipment, or lots of people
You need a photo permit for:
- Any posed photography (professional and non-professional)
- Pro portrait photos
- Large groups/family group photos
- Special events such as engagements, graduations, maternity photos
- Any photography that includes lighting, props, reflectors
PLEASE review our Descanso Gardens Photography policy for more details
What are the food and drink options at Descanso?
Food and drinks are available for sale at two concession locations in the Courtyard: The Market and Jones Coffee at Descanso. (Pssst: We’re opening a wonderful new restaurant in the coming months. Stay tuned!)
Can I bring my own food and drink into the gardens?
Don’t bring outside food and beverages, except for water bottles, into the gardens. We provide picnic tables at the entrance so you can enjoy your own food and drinks outside the gardens. Refreshments are available for purchase in the courtyard near the entrance to Descanso.
Can I picnic in the gardens?
While you cannot picnic INSIDE the gardens, you’re welcome to enjoy food and drinks on the picnic tables near the Descanso entrance.
Does Descanso rent wheelchairs?
Wheelchairs are complimentary — We have a limited number of wheelchairs available at the Visitor Center on a first-come, first-served basis, FREE to use during your entire visit.
Are garden areas accessible for people with mobility issues?
Several wonderful garden areas are located on flat land fairly close to the main entrance.
Gardens that are easy to get to and wander within — Center Circle, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Promenade, and the Lilac Garden.
What are the pathways at Descanso like to walk on?
Descanso’s main pathways are made of asphalt and are very accessible by wheelchair or with a stroller. Our secondary pathways are made of decomposed granite/dirt and are still somewhat accessible by wheelchair or with some strollers. Our tertiary pathways are composed of mulch and are not wheelchair or stroller-friendly.
Does Descanso have a tram or shuttle?
While we don’t have a tram or shuttle, if you need help getting to the Sturt Haaga Art Gallery or the Boddy House, we’ll happily drive you there and back on our golf cart. Arrange your ride at the Visitor Center and give yourself extra time when using our golf cart service. Please note: the cart travels only to and from the Gallery/Boddy House and nowhere else in the gardens.
Respecting Wildlife at Descanso
Descanso is home to many animals including birds, deer, mountain lions, bears, snakes, squirrels, and more. Enjoy viewing these creatures, but remember, this is their home. We’re the visitors!
It’s harmful (and illegal) for humans to approach, feed, handle, capture, or harass any animal. People and animals are put in danger when someone gets too close, feeds, and/or touches wildlife. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife.
To report an animal sighting or to find out more about the animals that live at Descanso, please stop by the Visitor Center.
Descanso Gardens is not liable for harm caused to any persons on Descanso’s premises, nor for loss or damage to property. Visitors to Descanso Gardens enter at their own risk.
After many rides over generations, we’ve upgraded to a new modernized electric train — Woo Woo!
Guidelines for families, couples, pro photographers, and media members
School field trips
Garden classroom: Self-guided or docent-led tours for qualifying schools with prior reservations
Sturt Haaga Gallery
Explore the intersection between contemporary art and garden-centered sciences
Boddy House: a home
Wander the mansion and imagine living in a 22-room hillside home with Descanso as your backyard
Gifts at The Store
The Store offers unique artisanal products and an inspiring collection of garden-themed goods
A Descanso venue makes any occasion wonderfully memorable and magical. We’ll help you plan!