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Arnold Arboretum

Escape the city bustle and soak up the serenity in this beloved park that doubles as a respected Harvard University research center.

Leave your Frisbee and football at home; America’s oldest arboretum is designed for quiet mediation and scholarly research. Arnold Arboretum is home to a comprehensive collection of almost 15,000 plants, including varieties and rare specimens sourced from botanical expeditions from all over the world.   

Follow the looping paths, which wind through collections of conifers, crab apples, forsythia shrubs and maple trees. The Bonsai Garden is the perfect setting to sit and pen a haiku. Or climb up Hemlock Hill, find a shady spot to close your eyes and breathe in the scents of this tranquil park.   

At 265 acres (107 hectares), Arnold Arboretum is the second largest link in Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the city’s seven-mile (11-kilometer) network of parks. Part of the cityscape since 1872, the arboretum was created with funds donated to Harvard University by whaling merchant James Arnold. Today, 75 full-time university staff operate the on-site library and state-of-the-art research center that supports the work of academics and students.

Join a free guided walking tour of the arboretum, available from mid-April to November. Stop in at the visitor center for information on the tours and to find brochures, maps, restrooms and souvenirs.

Plan to eat and drink before or after your visit, as there is nowhere in the arboretum that serves refreshments. There are numerous dining options in nearby Jamaica Plain and Roslindale Village.

The park is open to the public daily and admission is free. Please respect the rules, which forbid picnics, barbecues and tree climbing. Lilac Sunday is the only day of the year the picnic rule is relaxed. It’s held on the second Sunday in May, when the park’s lilac bushes are in full bloom. To mark the occasion and to thank the public for its support, the university stages a day-long celebration with live music and activities.

Arnold Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain, about six miles (nearly ten kilometers) from downtown Boston. It’s easily accessible by bus or car, and there’s plenty of free parking.


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Lodging Near Arnold Arboretum

See all 1,078 Properties near Arnold Arboretum
Incredible 3 Bedroom Designer Home in Convenient Area of Roslindale
Reviewed on Oct 24, 2018
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Incredible 3 Bedroom Designer Home in Convenient Area of Roslindale

Incredible 3 Bedroom Designer Home in Convenient Area of Roslindale

Boston, MA
     
    4.4 of 5
    0.0 out of 5.0

    The house was perfectly clean and had the supplies we needed. Jay , the manager was always available and very helpful. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Modern Newly Renovated Spacious Apartment in Boston W/parking Sleeps 6
    Reviewed on Oct 22, 2018
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    Modern Newly Renovated Spacious Apartment in Boston W/parking Sleeps 6

    Modern Newly Renovated Spacious Apartment in Boston W/parking Sleeps 6

    Boston, MA
       
      5.0 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0

      We loved staying at this apartment. Everything was so extremely clean. Georgia was tremendously helpful since it was our first trip to Boston. Couldn’t have picked a better spot. You won’t be disappointed if you choose this apartment

      Family Friendly, Quiet, Close to Train, Hospitals & Downtown Boston
      Reviewed on Mar 10, 2019
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      Family Friendly, Quiet, Close to Train, Hospitals & Downtown Boston

      Family Friendly, Quiet, Close to Train, Hospitals & Downtown Boston

      Jamaica Plain, MA
         
        4.8 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0

        We enjoyed our stay at this property. We had two adults and three older children in our group and there was ample sleeping room for all, with plenty of extra blankets and plush towels. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the property. The location was good proximity for public transportation ...

        Cozy and Clean Duplex With Porch in Popular Jamaica Plain Part of Boston
        Reviewed on Dec 5, 2018
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        Cozy and Clean Duplex With Porch in Popular Jamaica Plain Part of Boston

        Cozy and Clean Duplex With Porch in Popular Jamaica Plain Part of Boston

        Boston, MA
           
          4.8 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0

          We spent the entire month of November at Maria's and John's rental and found it a comfortable and convenient place to stay. It's in a great location in Jamaica Plain--near Centre street--with restaurants, stores, and markets nearby. The Arboretum and Jamaica Pond are only a short walk away, as is ...

          Fantastic 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown
          Reviewed on Nov 12, 2018
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          Fantastic 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown

          Fantastic 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown

          Boston, MA
             
            4.9 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0

            The apartment was about 25 to 35 minutes away from the heart of Boston. Easy travel via public, train or uber services . Boston was a nice place to visit.

            Cozy 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown
            Reviewed on Nov 21, 2018
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            Cozy 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown

            Cozy 2 Bedroom Apartment Near Downtown

            Boston, MA
               
              5.0 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0

              I can't thank Nelson (and his wife!) enough for his warm welcome after I arrived 5 hours later than expected due to plane delays. The accommodations where lovely and the breakfast items very appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving to your family. Amy

              Location! Beautiful Furniture & Linens, Steps to Bus, Subway, Parks, Restaurants
              Reviewed on Nov 12, 2018
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              Location! Beautiful Furniture & Linens, Steps to Bus, Subway, Parks, Restaurants

              Location! Beautiful Furniture & Linens, Steps to Bus, Subway, Parks, Restaurants

              Jamaica Plain, MA
                 
                4.9 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0

                This was a great experience, especially since it was my first time renting from VRBO. The owners made it a very easy transaction. We were in walking distance from anything that we needed. The Green St Station on the Orange line was 1 ½ blocks away. The house was ready and very easily accessible when ...

                201 on Washington
                201 on Washington

                201 on Washington

                3389 Washington St, Unit #201, Boston, MA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in Jamaica Plain, this apartment building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Franklin Park Zoo, Longwood Medical Area, and Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Northeastern University and Fenway Park are also within 3 mi (5 km). Boston Forest Hills Station is 13 minutes by foot and Stony Brook Station is 15 minutes.