An Autumn Evening in an Underground Oasis

Take a sunset-timed peek inside the Forestiere Underground Gardens.

EVENING UNDERGROUND: When Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere began to build his labyrinth-like underground home in Fresno in the early part of the 20th century, he knew that it would offer a cool respite from the midday summer sun. If you've been to the historic and delightfully offbeat attraction, you may have visited on a warm day, and you may have been one of the many visitors who commented, with a bit of awe, how much cooler it is below ground. And it is, making the Forestiere Underground Gardens a favorite destination for middle-of-the-summer, middle-of-the-day visitors.

NOW... try to picture the twisty-turny underground tunnels by dark, or near-dark. The subterranean landmark takes on a different character. No longer is it a place to escape the heat; rather, it is mysterious, a little shadowier, and full of more character (if that is even possible). We're describing the attraction's Fall Sunset tours, a rarer set of walks that happen in, yep, you guessed it, the autumn. They happen near the end of the day, meaning a wholly different vibe is afoot. Cost? Twenty five dollars, which is paid when you arrive (but you should RSVP ahead of your arrival).

THE END OF THE DAY... meaning near sunset, so start times will change (but should run anywhere from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.). Date one? Saturday, Sept. 7. The final date of the 2013 season? Saturday, Oct. 26.

THINK OF IT... as a rather atmospheric way to greet autumn. No spooky stuff or traditional ghosts or witches will be about, but you will be in a cave-like setting at twilight in the fall. That's nice, and, again, rather rare. Rarer still is a spot like the Forestiere Underground Gardens, a place we should all love on and visit and support.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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