Walk among azaleas, camellias and rosebushes. Watch pelicans in flight and absorb the scents of exotic blooms.
Covering 155 acres (63 hectares), Norfolk Botanical Garden is filled with thousands of plants spread across many themed gardens.
Discover what’s in bloom and see the sights on foot, by boat or by tram. Follow the 12 miles (19 kilometers) of paved trails that wind in and out of the gardens.
From March 16 to October 20 a narrated tram tour travels through the attraction, stopping at seven locations. The free journey is offered every hour on weekdays and every half hour on the weekends. For a small supplementary charge, take a floating journey along the garden’s canal system and across Lake Whitehurst. This 45-minute narrated boat tour is operational between April 1 through May 27 as well as September 4 through October 20. The vessels are wheelchair accessible. For prices and timings visit Norfolk Botanical Garden’s website.
Step into the Enchanted Forest, a wooded wonderland of oak, hickory and pine trees. Admire the beauty of Renaissance Court, a re-creation of a 16th-century Italian Renaissance garden with its neat rows of grass terraces. Picnic at one of the tables next to Lake Whitehurst and enjoy views across the water. Bird lovers should bring binoculars for good views of some of the 95 species that have been spotted among the forest’s trees and shrubs. These include herons, pelicans, eagles, ospreys and kestrels.
The botanical garden also caters to children. Let them dig in the dirt and learn about bugs at The Dirt Factory in the WOW (World of Wonders) Children’s Garden. This 3-acre (1.2 hectare) garden playground also houses several other interactive learning experiences including fountains and jet sprays and six themed habitats from around the world.
Situated next to Norfolk International Airport, the garden is only a short drive from downtown Norfolk. You may park free adjacent to the main visitor center.
The Norfolk Botanical Garden is open daily.