The Missouri Botanical Garden, founded in 1859, is the oldest continuously operating botanical garden in the country and a National Historic Landmark. The garden’s 79 acres (32 hectares) include an impressive Japanese strolling garden, one of the world’s largest collections of orchids, and some 4,800 trees.
The Missouri Botanical Garden has been an oasis for St. Louis residents and visitors for more than 150 years. General admission includes access to the gardens as well as daily docent-led walking tours that depart from the Ridgeway Visitor Center. Visitors can also enjoy the garden aboard a narrated tram tour of the grounds. The garden hosts workshops, as well, ranging from small-space gardening and drawing backyard birds to cooking and crafts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Missouri Botanical Garden is popular among families, couples, and anyone else looking for a break from the city bustle.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Book online ahead of time to avoid lines at the ticket office.
- The gardens are fully wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach the Missouri Botanical Garden is to drive (parking is free), but it’s also possible to take the metro bus to the corner of Tower Grove Ave. and Shaw Blvd., or to the corner of Alfred Ave. and Shaw Blvd.
When to Get There
The gardens are open 364 days each year (closed Christmas), with extended early morning hours on Wednesday and Saturday. Spring tends to be the most popular season in the garden, but there’s always something blooming.
Dining Green at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Hungry visitors have three cafés to choose from at the botanical garden, including Sassafras Café, the first certified green restaurant in the state of Missouri. Meals made from local ingredients (whenever possible) are served on reusable plates in a setting that lets in plenty of natural light. Food waste and napkins are composted for use in the garden.