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Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

Spend a day exploring historic buildings and an indoor rainforest at the oldest botanical garden in the U.S.

The Missouri Botanical Garden was founded by botanist Henry Shaw in 1859, making it the oldest botanical garden in the U.S. The 79-acre (32-hectare) garden west of downtown is a National Historic Landmark. 

Visit Shaw’s country residence, Tower Grove House, which was built in 1849 and later restored with many of Shaw’s belongings intact. Explore the surrounding Victorian Garden, filled with flowers and plants. The grounds also include a small labyrinth, herb garden and conservatory. Shaw is buried in a mausoleum near the house.

The Seiwa-en Japanese Garden sits on 14 acres (5.6 hectares) north of Tower Grove House. The focus here is the large lake, dotted with four islands. Use the footbridge to get to one of them. Nearby, walk through the English Woodland Garden, which is planted with bluebells and dogwoods. The Bavaria Garden displays flora and fauna native to Germany.

The award-winning Climatron dome conservatory near the entrance to the garden houses a tropical rainforest. Wander through the dense foliage and search for fish in the indoor river aquarium. Families should visit the seasonal Children’s Garden west of the conservatory. April through October kids can work in the garden, which grows vegetables and flowers.

A narrated 30-minute tram tour also operates only from April through October. This relaxing and informative ride is free with garden admission.

Events are held on the grounds throughout the year. (See the website for a current schedule.) The Orchid Show runs February through March and features 800 exotic plants. Come in May for the Chinese Culture festival, and the Japanese Festival, held on the Labor Day weekend. Outdoor concerts are held on Wednesday evenings May through July.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is open daily except Christmas Day. There’s a small admission fee that goes towards maintaining the grounds. Parking is free and several bus routes stop here.


Guide to Exploring around Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum


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Best Lodging Options Near Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

See all 584 properties near Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum
The Parkway Hotel CA $133
The Parkway Hotel

The Parkway Hotel

4550 Forest Park Ave, St. Louis, MO
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central West End, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Forest Park, Barnes Jewish Hospital and World Chess Hall of Fame. Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and St. Louis Science Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Central West End Station is 6 minutes by foot.

    New! That Special Someplace You're Looking for CA $109
    New! That Special Someplace You're Looking for

    New! That Special Someplace You're Looking for

    4170 Flad Ave, #1E, St. Louis, MO
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Shaw, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis University are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Quaint and Charming + Perfect Location W/ Garage CA $54
      Quaint and Charming + Perfect Location W/ Garage

      Quaint and Charming + Perfect Location W/ Garage

      1903 Alfred Ave, A, St. Louis, MO
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly St. Louis apartment building is located in Southwest Garden, within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis Science Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

        Modern Shaw Apt. Steps Away From Botanical Garden
        Modern Shaw Apt. Steps Away From Botanical Garden

        Modern Shaw Apt. Steps Away From Botanical Garden

        1903 Alfred Ave, St. Louis, MO
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Southwest Garden, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis Science Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Family Friendly , Fully Renovated 3BR Luxury Home. Centrally Located in St.louis
          Family Friendly , Fully Renovated 3BR Luxury Home. Centrally Located in St.louis

          Family Friendly , Fully Renovated 3BR Luxury Home. Centrally Located in St.louis

          4458 Russell Blvd, 2nd FLR, St. Louis, MO
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly St. Louis apartment building is located on the riverfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis Science Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Family Friendly , Safe & Artsy Near Botanical Gardens W/patio & Parking CA $109
            Family Friendly , Safe & Artsy Near Botanical Gardens W/patio & Parking

            Family Friendly , Safe & Artsy Near Botanical Gardens W/patio & Parking

            4458 Russell Blvd, St. Louis, MO
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Southwest Garden, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis Science Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Brand New! The Shaw Fox's Den: Cozy, Fun, and Beautiful! CA $77
              Brand New! The Shaw Fox's Den: Cozy, Fun, and Beautiful!

              Brand New! The Shaw Fox's Den: Cozy, Fun, and Beautiful!

              4118 Flad Ave, St. Louis, MO
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Shaw, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis University are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Perfect for Families & Groups - Safe & Near Everything! W/patios & Parking CA $240
                Perfect for Families & Groups - Safe & Near Everything! W/patios & Parking

                Perfect for Families & Groups - Safe & Near Everything! W/patios & Parking

                4458 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, MO
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly holiday home is located in the city centre, within 1 mi (2 km) of Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Forest Park and St. Louis Science Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).