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Filoli is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Tips for Visiting; Artwork and Photography

Tips for Visiting

Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment. Please help us to preserve and protect this local treasure and make the experience as authentic as possible by observing the following guidelines:

  • Only leashed service dogs are allowed on the grounds of Filoli. No other animals are permitted.
  • Drinks may be brought into the garden, however, only bottled water may be brought into the house. Quail’s Nest Café at Filoli is open on Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • No smoking or open flame is allowed anywhere on the Filoli property.
  • Pathways in the House and Garden have been identified to provide the best visitor experience.
  • Filoli is a historic garden. You may encounter natural hazards such as tree roots, uneven ground or gravel paths. Please be aware of your surroundings and watch your footing.
  • For your safety, do not approach any wildlife.
  • Informal "vacation style" picture taking and home videotaping are permitted throughout the House and Garden. Unmanned aerial vehicles (camera drones) are not allowed.
  • Filoli is available for portrait sessions, and corporate and social events. Please visit the Facility Rental page for more information.

Photography and Artwork

Sketching in the Garden
Filoli invites artists to sketch in the Garden. In doing so, please be respectful of other visitors and mindful of the Garden pathways, steps and plant beds. Use only handheld sketchpads and pencil, charcoal, pastels, and small, portable, self–contained watercolor sets. Please do not dispose of used water or any other artist materials while at Filoli. If you are interested in creating artwork for personal use, you may be interested in Artist Access Days.

Portrait Session

The Garden at Filoli is available for engagement photos, prom pictures, maternity photos, and portraits with the purchase of a Filoli Portrait Session. At this time wedding photos are not permitted at Filoli as a part of a Portrait Session. The fee for a Filoli Portrait Session is $500 for non–members and $400 for members. Guests must contract their own photographer. Sessions must be reserved 48 hours in advance. Each time slot is limited to 3 separate groups. The photography of products, or photos for resale would require a commercial package, which can be arranged by contacting Filoli at (650) 364-8300, ext. 221 or email Filoli Portrait Package Session includes:

  • 2 hours in the Garden between 10:00am and 5:00pm
  • Up to 10 people including photographer and assistants
  • Additional people can be added for $25 per person up to 20 guests total
  • Use of lights, reflectors, props, signs, costumes and clothing changes*
Filoli reserves the right to restrict access to certain areas of the Garden. Entering flowerbeds, plant displays, and moving containers and plant labels is not permitted. For more information or to book your reservation call (650) 364-8300, ext. 508 or email *Prior to use Filoli must approve props and signs. Use of materials or signs that may be interpreted as political or offensive is prohibited as well as photography of lingerie or nudity.

Personal Photography in the House and Garden
Filoli also invites visitors to use cameras and smart phones to take personal photos of the landscape, friends and family while visiting the House and Garden. Camera tripods and mono–pods are not permitted in the House but may be used in the Garden. Mono–pod selfie sticks are not allowed in the House or Garden. We encourage visitors to take selfies and share their experiences without using a selfie stick. Please be respectful of other visitors and note that our pathways are narrow. Do not obstruct any pathways or damage hedges and plantings when using camera equipment. Additional photographic equipment is prohibited (lights, reflectors, props, costumes, models), except under commercial contract. If you are interested in taking landscape photos (no models) for personal use, you may be interested in Artist Access Days.

Commercial Photography and Film at Filoli
The Filoli House and Garden are available for commercial film and photography by appointment only. Specific guidelines and variable rates apply. Please contact Filoli’s Events Office at (650) 364–8300, extension 221, or email for more information and to discuss available dates.

A non–refundable 50% deposit, and signed contract is needed to reserve a specific date or dates. A Certificate of Insurance is also required at least 2 weeks prior to the shoot. Checks should be made payable to: Filoli Center.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Camera Drones)
Unmanned aerial vehicles (camera drones) disrupt the garden’s landscape, interfere with visitors’ experience, and have a negative impact on local wildlife, therefore they cannot be used at Filoli without express permission from Filoli’s Events Office. Please contact Filoli’s Media and Public Relations Office at (650) 364–8300, extension 221, or email for more information and to discuss available dates.