The Best of the US Botanical Garden

8:25:00 AM

One of the oldest botanical gardens in North America, the US Botanic Garden, sitting on 3 acres, is a 30,000 SF oasis in the middle of Washington, DC.  Along with it's permanent exhibits featuring rare and exotic plants from around the world, the botanic garden features rotating exhibits that interpret the role of plants in supporting the earth and its ecosystem and how plants enrich human life.  With it's 3 story tall greenhouse, the botanic garden is easy to spot at the corner of Independence Ave. and First Street, across from the United States Capitol.
Outside you can wander around the National Garden and Bartholdi Park, though spring, summer, and early fall are the best times for that.  Depending on what time you visit you will find anything from roses to tulips to sunflowers in bloom.  There are also benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the outdoor gardens.

You enter the botanic garden through the Garden Court, a gorgeous, sun-filled atrium that greets you with the sound of water and the fragrance of tropical flowers.  There are benches lining the rectangular water pools and fountains, providing a tranquil place to sit and observe people, plants, or even take a break and read a book.

The botanic garden then splits off into different sections featuring plants native to different regions from around the world.  The following regions are my favorite:


The rainforest in the middle of the conservatory is a popular feature among visitors of the garden.  Here the greenhouse soars to 93-feet to accommodate the towering jungle trees.  There is a second-story walkway around the entire area to allow visitors to look down into the jungle canopy and get a birds-eye view.  It can get rather steamy in there when the temperatures rise outside, so this spot is extremely popular during the winter months when people come in to thaw out.


Exiting the tropical zone to the right, you will find the medicinal plant zone, featuring plants found around the world that are used in medicine, from aloe to soothe burns to


Continuing through the medicinal plants you enter the orchid collection, a gorgeous display of orchids from around the world.


If you leave the tropics from the left, you will enter the world desert zone, featuring cactus, succulents, and other plants found in desert climates.


Continuing through the desert zone, you enter Hawaii, a small collection of plants native to Hawaii, including the flower everyone knows...the hibiscus!


Walking into the garden primeval zone takes you back in time millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  It is a reconstructed Jurassic landscape featuring ferns and other ancient plants that have survived for millennia.  All that's missing is the dinosaurs!


The childrens garden is an outdoor area designed to encourage children to play and interact with plants they would find around their home.

Here are some of my other favorite flowers from around the garden.

One of my most favorite times of year at the botanic garden is the month of December, when the Garden Court is transformed into a festive winter wonderland.  You can read more about that here:


Admission: Free!

Transportation: The US Botanic Garden is easily accessible by car and metro.

Location: 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.

Hours: The Conservatory and National Garden are open every day of the year from 10am to 5pm. Bartholdi Park is open every day of the year from dawn till dusk.

Photography: Photography with hand-held cameras is permitted for personal use only.  If you want to use a tripod, you must obtain a permit.

Dining: There are no dining option in the botanic garden, but you can take a picnic lunch and enjoy it outside, and there is usually find a food truck parked at the corner near the National Museum of the American Indian.

Gift Shop: There is no gift shop, but at the entrance they do have an information desk with informational pamphlets.

You Might Also Like


Follow Along!

Join me as I share with you my favorite destinations around my hometown and around the world. This blog is written by me to share my adventures with you, and inspire you to take more adventures of your own, and capture them in your own unique way!

Shop Amazon