Explore a Floral Paradise at Virginia’s Largest Botanical Garden

Japanese Garden Waterfall at Virginia Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia (Photo Credit: Wikipedia - MamaGeek)
Japanese Garden Waterfall at Virginia Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia | Photo Credit: Wikipedia - MamaGeek

Situated in Norfolk, this botanical garden boasts the title of being the largest garden of its type in the entire state. With a huge display of plants from rare species to native flowers to Virginia, the Norfolk Botanical Garden is an amazing destination for plant lovers. The gardens sprawl 150 colorful acres that allow visitors of all ages to explore its vibrant showcase.


Initially established in 1938 as a nonprofit organization, the Norfolk Botanical Garden has since grown to become a well-loved Virginia attraction. Inspired by the vision of Thomas Thompson and Frederic Huette, the botanical garden was born from a love of plants. Over the years the gardens have expanded and evolved. Today visitors can embark on a self-guided walking tour of the gardens or take the boat or tram tour!

Bridge at Virginia Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia (Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Pumpkin Sky)
Bridge at Virginia Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia | Photo credit: Wikipedia – Pumpkin Sky

Points of Interest

The Baker Hall Visitors Center welcomes guests to learn about the history of the gardens as well as the numerous species of plants that are on display.

There is a tram that takes visitors around the park and lasts about 25 minutes. The tram offers nine different stops to visitors who want to learn about different sections of the gardens. The tram operates on the weekdays at the top of each hour but on weekends when it is busier, operates on every half hour.  The garden also offer a 45-minute excursion that takes visitors on a fun-filled boat tour across Lake Whitehurst. Sunset boat tours also provide a different experience and are offered on occasion.

There are over 60 different gardens to wander through within the park. The gardens change constantly as new plants come into bloom each season. From natural wildflowers to manicured gardens, the park provides a unique display. Established in 1976 as a celebration of America’s 200th Anniversary, the Bicentennial Rose garden covers over 3 acres, with over 3,000 bushes.

See butterflies meander amongst the gardens at the Summer Butterfly House or take a moment to experience a new climate in the Tropical Display House. Visitors can even grab a souvenir to commemorate their visit at the gift shop or purchase snacks at the gift shop.

The WOW Children’s Garden gives kids the opportunity to explore the natural world of botany while also cooling off on a hot summer day in the splash fountains. Also be sure to check out the Dirt Factory and Planet Safari.

Plan Your Visit

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is located at 6700 Azalea Garden Road in Norfolk, Virginia.

It is recommended that if you visit during peak times such as holidays, spring blooms or special events, that your purchase your tickets online in advance. Entry to the gardens can be limited to ensure capacity is not exceeded.

Visitors can bring their own picnic lunches or purchase food from one of the rotating food trucks on site.

If you are planning on visiting with your dog, they are allowed on Sunday’s only.

You can also bike the park in the evenings throughout the summer during designated times.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the Norfolk Botanical Garden before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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Ashley Gary
Greetings, fellow adventurers! I'm Ashley, and I'm delighted to share my journeys and knowledge with you. As a passionate travel writer and devoted adventurer, I'm constantly fueled by the excitement of discovering new destinations and uncharted territories. With a heart full of curiosity and a suitcase packed with dreams, I've wandered through bustling marketplaces, hiked mist-covered mountains, and wandered down cobblestone streets in search of stories waiting to be told. Through my travel chronicles, I hope to not only transport you to the farthest corners of the globe but also inspire you to embrace the thrill of stepping into the unknown. Adventure awaits, and I can't wait to share it with you to help you find your adventure!


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