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Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk

4.7
#3 of 29 in Things to do in Norfolk
Garden Nature / Park
Walk, take a tram, or boat your way through Norfolk Botanical Garden. These gardens are listed as a Virginia Historic Landmark and are on the National Register of Historic Places. They originally opened in 1938 on 30 hectares (75 acres) of land, though today they are slightly smaller due to the nearby airport. With 19.3 km (12 mi) of walking paths, you can visit the Bicentennial Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and English-style Border Walk, among many other landscape-themed gardens. Seasonal tours via tram or boat offer information about the habitat around Lake Whitehurst, or you can use the self-guided cell phone tour as you pass numbered signs within the gardens. Using our world travel planner, Norfolk attractions like Norfolk Botanical Garden can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
788 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • A must visit. We went after it rained most of the day and hardly anyone there. The roses were all bloomed and smelled so good. I loved all the different areas and easy to walk about.  more »
  • I attended my grand daughters birthday party here (and yes, it's an excellent place to host one). While the children enjoyed the splash pads we were able to leisurely take a stroll through the gardens...  more »
  • What a fantastic place! Everything is so well laid out, nice paved trails, employees are very helpful and plentiful! Wonderful kids area, that coveralls all age groups! Boat rides are even offered for...  more »
Google
  • I will be moving from Virginia Beach soon and I will miss the great botanical garden. There is so much to do for both adults and children, and the garden is very well kept and beautiful no matter the season. We got a family membership and the pricing is very reasonable, especially if you plan to go to any of the other gardens that have the reciprocal agreement with the garden membership. Over the summer, the splash pad area and Sandy hill are amazing places for hours of fun for kids to play. The changing area right by the splash pad is so perfect - this has not been an option at many other facilities that have similar water play areas. I highly recommend making a visit to this garden and considering a membership if you live locally!
  • Love, love love this incredibly beautiful gardens in Norfolk, VA. There is something here for everyone. Children's area is something of a small water park where kids can run through water spurting out from the ground; interactive activity tables; small buildings and things to learn around every corner and a sand dunes that they can play in and on! For adults beautiful walking trails with magnificat flowers on display in natural setting; a Rose garden that is breathtaking in it's variety and scope along with azaleas on full display throughout the garden.
  • Great place with lots to see and do. Lots of activities for toddlers and young children including a splash park and sand mountain. There's also a tram that takes you around the whole park. The kids will love it. Last but not least, there's an overlook to watch the planes at Norfolk Airport with the tower piped in.
  • We were able to finally go here with my parents who were visiting from California. We had never been able to go for one reason or another and we were all very excited. The place is huge and well kept, staff is friendly, and the gardens are beautiful. My only disappointment was that the driver we had for the tours said nothing about the butterfly area A) being closed and B) that it wasn't season yet for the butterflies in their little house they have for them. We got off there so we could see and to our disappointment it was closed and not the right season. He informed us about other places he wouldn't be taking us so why not tell us there are no butterflies and it's not open so don't get off? We had to wait for over a hour and a half for the next tram to come by so we can get on it. It's a shame that people can't do their jobs correctly to inform the guests of what is in season or what is closed. We do want to go back so we can take our daughter to the children garden since we didn't this time but I really hope that those in charge of the tours actually do their job better.
  • Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place. I was on site wedding coordinator for some friends on May 5th, 2017. This venue is gorgeous! The staff is amazing. Liz, Ashley and Lena did a stellar job. Between Thunderstorms, Torrential Rain and Tornado warnings, we were a bit worried. They went above and beyond to make sure everything went off without a hitch. From changing​ the location of the wedding ceremony, to safely removing a bee, I was impressed! This is just a lovely place to visit. The Rose garden is in FULL BLOOM! Take a leisurely stroll , enjoy the beautiful scenery, breathe in the wonderful scent of flowers! This place is a MUST See!

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Where to stay in Norfolk

A stay downtown is the best way to access all the central attractions and the harbor. Most of the downtown hotels are chains known for providing luxury and multiple amenities; however, there are a few independent inns and bed and breakfasts. Some of these offer full suites.
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