United States Botanic Garden
Set on the grounds of the US Capitol Building, the United States Botanic Garden sees more than a million visitors each year. The elaborate gardens are included on many city tours. Stop by on a hop-on hop-off bus, take it in on a private sightseeing tour of the city, or see the garden’s holiday highlights on a Segway tour. For tips on how to capture the gardens on camera, join a professional photographer on a small group photo tour of Capitol Hill.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The United States Botanic Garden is a must-see for plant enthusiasts.
- The gardens are free to enter and open daily.xa0
- All areas are wheelchair accessible, including elevator access to the Conservatory’s jungle canopy.
- Visitor guides are offered in nine languages and sign language interpretation is available if you request it in advance.
- Cameras and lap easels for sketching are welcome at the exhibits, but to set up a tripod or free-standing easel you will need to reserve a permit in advance.
How to Get There
The United States Botanic Garden is on Maryland Avenue, a block southwest of the US Capitol Building. To reach the site by Metrorail, stop at the Federal Center SW station two blocks from the Conservatory (take the Orange, Blue, or Silver line). Metrobus routes 32, 34, and 36 and the DC Circulator National Mall route also stop beside the gardens. To simplify your visit, choose a tour with hotel pickup.
When to Get There
The Conservatory and National Garden are open year-round from 10am to 5pm with the National Garden staying open until 7pm from Memorial Day until Labor Day. You can explore Bartholdi Park from dawn to dusk every day of the year. Exhibits and attractions are constantly changing so look ahead to see what’s blooming. The Conservatory’s prized titan arum, also known as the corpse flower, only blooms every few years so catching it in action is a rare treat.
Season’s Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden
Visitors flock to the botanic garden’s annual holiday show to see toy trains coursing through the festive displays of poinsettias and model replicas of DC’s monuments. Each year’s Season's Greening is centered around a new theme drawing both tourists and locals to the decorated conservatory. On select Tuesdays and Thursdays in December the Conservatory stays open until 8pm for special holiday concerts.
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