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Guide to Visiting the United States Botanic Garden

Updated: November 16, 2023

Washington D.C. has so much to offer, it could be easy to overlook this marvelous celebration of nature, gardening, and agriculture. At the heart of our nation’s capital, you’ll find an oasis of beauty and science.

Location and Hours:

The United States Botanic Garden is located at 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001.

It is located on the west side of the US Capitol Building grounds. The closest Metro station is Federal Center Southwest. There is a stop for the 32 and 36 Metrobus close by.

The DC Circulator’s National Mall route drops on 3rd Street by the Capitol Reflecting Pool, near the Botanic Garden.

There are parking garages located on 4th St SW. These may have limited hours, so you should check before you park. The US Botanic Garden does not have its own parking.

The United States Botanic Gardens’ Conservatory building is open from 10AM to 5PM daily, including most holidays.

It is closed on December 25th.

The gated outdoor gardens are open from 7AM to 5PM daily, including most holidays. It too is closed on December 25th.

The outdoor garden does have extended hours from April 1st to September 15th, when it is open until 7PM.

The Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk. They are located across Independence Avenue from the Botanic Garden.

The US Botanic Garden has accessible pathways throughout, both in the gardens and in the Conservatory.

For specific details on accessible routes, it is recommended that you enquire in the Conservatory lobby upon arrival.

Admission to the US Botanic Garden is free and no tickets are required.

What to Expect:

Built in 1933, the Conservatory is a sort of living museum of plants. The West Gallery and East Gallery host changing exhibits. What follows are a few of the permanent exhibits.

The Garden Court displays plants that are used for various products, from food to cosmetics to shelter.

The Tropics features a 93 foot dome, exploring plants that are key to our environment and the world’s biodiversity.

In Orchids, you can experience the colors, shapes, and smells of these marvelous flowers. Hundreds of different flowers from a collection of nearly 3000 are on display at any given time.

Plant Conservation includes rare and endangered plants and shows the efforts to protect them.

World Deserts displays cacti, succulents, and other desert plants, showing how plants can adapt to even the most arid environments.

The Outdoor Gardens surround the Conservatory and include several features. Here are a few highlights.

The Regional Garden displays plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Rose Garden features examples of one of the world’s most popular flowers, selected to thrive in Washington D.C.’s climate.

In recognition of contributions from our nation’s First Ladies, there is the First Ladies Water Garden, which includes a fountain.

The Amphitheater is made from salvaged marble steps taken from the East Front of the U.S. Capitol. It serves as a gathering space, and occasionally hosts programs.

The Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens is separated from the Botanic Garden by Independence Avenue, but has been part of the campus since 1932.

On its two acres of land, the garden showcases sustainable practices, including rain gardens, native plants, and even locally sourced furniture.

The fountain itself - named The Fountain of Light and Water - was sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the man who created the Statue of Liberty!

Plan Your Visit:

Is the US Botanic Garden free?

Yes, it is free to visit.

Are tickets required to visit the US Botanic Garden?

Tickets are not required.

How long should I expect to stay at the US Botanic Garden?

Expect to stay at least two hours.

Is the US Botanic Garden good to visit with children?

Yes. Not only are the exhibits exciting and educational, but there is also a children’s garden that is open from Spring to Fall.

Does the US Botanic Garden do anything special for the winter holidays?

Yes! They generally organize a seasonal holiday display between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

It generally includes a model train display, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks crafted from plants.

Things to do Nearby:

Being on the National Mall, right next to the grounds of the United States Capitol, the US Botanic Garden is close to countless famous and interesting spots to visit.

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Follow On Instagram | I'm a historian & tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. I have written for HuffPost Travel and have been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. I've also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. I am the producer of the podcast, Tour Guide Tell All. I am an authority on D.C. history, and have led tours in the city since 2011. I currently resides in DC, but have also lived in London and South Korea, and have traveled to over 28 countries and every US State but Hawaii. I homeschool my 2 children by exploring the plethora of museums in DC. Read More...
Updated: November 16th, 2023
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