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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Garden Tour?

The 2017 Secret Gardens of Mill Valley Tour visits six Mill Valley hidden gems -- private, beautifully landscaped gardens. The Mill Valley Garden Tour is a biannual fundraiser for the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley. The profits go to preserve the historic Bernard Maybeck clubhouse building and to benefit many Marin nonprofits.
Click here for OAC Marin nonprofit grants.

When, Where and What time is the Tour?

The Outdoor Art Club Garden Tour 2017 will take place on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Tour takes approximately 3- 3 1/2 hours (not including lunch) and leaves from the Outdoor Art Club located at One West Blithedale in Mill Valley. No private cars are allowed. You have the option of taking our shuttles or bicycling to each of the homes. You can also walk to or from 2 properties located near the Club. The Tour will be held rain or shine.

What if it rains?

The Tour goes on rain or shine. Bring your umbrella or rain jacket.

How much are tickets?

Advance purchase Tour tickets are $45. until April 25, 2017. Tickets on the day of the Tour are $55. This includes admission to all gardens and transportation. Lunch is an additional $15 and should be purchased in advance. Only 400 lunch tickets are sold and it typically sells out. Tour and luncheon tickets are non-refundable.

How can I order tickets?

Go to the Tickets page on the OAC website for instructions to order online; we prefer online ticket orders. For immediate confirmation of your ticket, it is best to order online.

You can also order by mail or phone; see the Club's address and phone information at bottom of this page. Order tickets early. The Tour can sell out.

Tickets are NOT mailed to you. Your name and ticket will be at the Registration Table at the Club on the day of the tour.

Tour and luncheon tickets are non-refundable.

How can I order lunch?

A lovely Curried Chicken Salad luncheon is served at the Outdoor Art Club historic clubhouse from 11:00am-2:00pm. The vegetarian option is Curried Tofu Salad. A delicious dessert buffet is included.
Luncheon tickets are $15, and typically sell out. You must purchase them in advance. Luncheon tickets are not sold separately from tour tickets and no luncheon tickets are sold on the day of the Tour.
If you are unable to order lunch at the Outdoor Art Club, there are many wonderful restaurants in downtown Mill Valley.
| Click here for Mill Valley restaurants offering discounts for tour patrons

Will tickets be sent to me?

No. Your name will be at the Registration Table at the Outdoor Art Club where you will check in before the Tour and receive a wrist band. If you also purchased the luncheon, you will receive a different color wrist band. Registration desk opens at 8:45 am.

Do I drive? What about parking?

No. You do not drive your own car on the Tour. We will shuttle you by bus to the homes on the tour or you may take our cycling route.

You will have to park in Mill Valley, and there are mostly 2-hour metered parking spaces near the Outdoor Art Club. You will need 6 quarters (20 minutes per quarter).

PARKING VOUCHERS for 2 additional free hours of metered parking may be printed off the website by clicking the link below, once you have registered and purchased a ticket. Please note, you must feed the meter for two hours of parking, and then place the voucher on your dashboard - so it is visible to the parking meter enforcement worker - to give you the additional two hours for free. If you forget to bring your voucher, we will have parking vouchers available at the Registration Table.

Click Here for Two Additional Hours Free Parking Voucher

Where do I start the Tour? How long is the Tour?

The Garden Tour starts at the Outdoor Art Club located at One West Blithedale, Mill Valley. You must check in at our Registration Table and receive a wristband. If you are bicycling, you can pick up your route map, after you check in and sign the release form.
Shuttle buses will leave the Outdoor Art Club starting at 9:00am. The Tour takes approximately 3-3 1/2 hours. The last shuttle leaves the Outdoor Art Club to start the tour at 2:30 pm. Gardens will close promptly at 4:00 pm.

Directions to The Outdoor Art Club.

Do I have to show up at 9:00am?

No. In fact, we recommend that you start the tour later in the day in order to avoid lines. Shuttles start leaving the Outdoor Art Club at 9:00 am and run continuously. The last vehicle will leave the Outdoor Art Club to start the Tour at 2:30 pm. Gardens close at 4:00pm. You can eat lunch early and take the tour in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. Be sure to visit On the Patio at the Outdoor Art Club for books, gardening tips and gifts. Don't miss the Silent Auction bidding.

Can I walk or bike the Tour? How does it work?

Yes. You can cycle the Tour, and walk to several properties close to the clubhouse. You must have a wrist band for the Tour. Check in at the Registration Table at the Outdoor Art Club to pick up your wristband for entrance to the gardens. Cyclists must sign a release form, and helmets are required before they receive a route map. Bicycle locks are strongly suggested.

Click here for bike tour information.

What activities are going on the day of the Tour?

There is much to see and do at the Outdoor Art Club. The club itself is an architectural jewel designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1904. The landscape architect was Robert Royston. Tickets for the clubhouse luncheon can be purchased, in advance only, for $15 and enjoyed at the club. On the Patio, there will be gifts, Book Passages bookstore and a Silent Auction. The clubhouse is located in downtown Mill Valley which is a charming town to explore with wonderful restaurants and shops.

Are water and restrooms available?

Complimentary water, coffee, tea and lemonade are available On the Patio at the refreshment table at the Outdoor Art Club. Wine can be purchased with your lunch. Restrooms are available at the Outdoor Art Club, but not in the tour homes.

Will there be information about the gardens and homes?

Yes. You will receive a program on the day of the tour. Docents are also available at each home to answer questions and give further information about the homes and gardens.
In addition, you can read about the homes on the website.

Click here for Home and Garden Details.

Can I bring a pet?

No. Pets are not allowed.

Can I take photographs?

No. Please respect the privacy of our homeowners, photography is not allowed.

Can I bring children?

The Tour is not designed for children. If you do bring a child, they must have their own ticket. Unfortunately, the gardens and homes are not stroller or wheelchair accessible. In addition, our transportation vehicles do not have child car seats.


The Outdoor Art Club Hotline: 415 381-5204 Email: oactour@outlook.com