The Missouri Botanical Gardens is one of the top attractions in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s absolutely beautiful and well worth the visit. Here’s what you need to know.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of my favorite attractions in St. Louis. The gardens are all so well done, there’s a large variety of environments, and it’s all so damn pretty.
I make a point of visiting botanic gardens everywhere I go while traveling, so it only made sense that I re-visit the one in my hometown! I had been to the Missouri Botanical Gardens when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally went back. I’ve actually been twice now in the last year, so it’s about time I show you guys how beautiful this place is.
Exploring the place that you live, the place where you grew up, can be difficult. I think we take our hometowns for granted, and tend to overlook places that we’d otherwise visit if we were tourists. But I’ve really been making an effort to see more of St. Louis while I’m home, and this garden is a must-see!
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest continually-operating botanical garden in the U.S.! It was founded in 1859 and has been running ever since. A variety of gardens are spread out among 79 acres of land, meaning there is plenty to do and see here.
The gardens are all beautifully-designed, well-kept, and inspired by a variety of cultures and climates. Among the many gardens, you’ll find the Chinese Garden, the Climatron, the English Woodland Garden, the Japanese Garden, a rose garden, and more.
One of my favorite things about this place is the beautiful architecture strewn about. The cultural gardens come to life with the addition of structures inspired by their country of origin (a pagoda in the Chinese Garden, a stucco and terracota structure in the Ottoman Garden). There is also an area known as the Victorian District, where you can find original, historic homes from St. Louis circa 1800s.
What to Do at the Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Climatron is the main conservatory, and it is one of the top things to see at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The geodesic dome houses over half an acre of gardens, and it is an iconic part of the garden’s landscape. Inside, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a jungle, following a path through the greenhouse, past waterfalls, and under rock bridges.
This area gives you a taste of Victorian-era St. Louis. You’ll find historic homes that have been maintained and protected, alongside beautiful Victorian gardens, red brick walkways, and even a maze. The Tower Grove House is one of the top things to see here. It was home to Henry Shaw, the founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and has now been turned into a museum.
The Japanese Garden at MoBot is the most serene area in the entire place. 14-acres sit at the back of the botanic garden, with a large 4-acre lake being the focus. A path winds around the lake with traditional Japanese plants and trees surrounding the garden. Bridges, islands, and waterfalls are dotted throughout the lake, creating a tranquil environment.
What else can you do at the Missouri Botanical Gardens?
There seems to be an endless calendar of events at MoBot. There are so many cultural festivals, events, workshops, and even concerts going on there all the time. Some of the most popular festivals throughout the year are: Garden Glow in November/December; the Japanese Festival over Labor Day Weekend; the Orchid Show in February/March; and Chinese Culture Days in April.
There is a cafe at the gardens, plus some beautiful garden shops. If you are interested in gardening, there is an entire center dedicated to home gardening, with lots of classes and workshops. If you have kids, there is a fantastic Children’s Garden, plus plenty of spots for them to take a break and play. There is also a tram tour available for an extra fee.
The Missouri Botanical Gardens is one of the tops attractions in St. Louis, Missouri, and definitely one of my personal favorites. It’s beautiful and seriously insta-worthy. You’ll want to give yourself at least 2 hours here, although I’d recommend a lot more if you really want to see everything. A 3-hour trip was too short for me, but I had time to return since I live here! 2-3 hours would be ideal for a basic stroll around the gardens, with time to stop and enjoy your favorite spaces.
Visiting the Missouri Botanical Gardens
Address: 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri (map)
Admission: Adults $12, Children (12 & under) free, St. Louis residents $6
Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
Parking: Free parking lots available
Notes: Some gardens, tours, and events will cost extra (entrance to the Children’s Garden, Tram Tours, and special event days).
Want to explore more of St. Louis?
- 22 Best Free Things to Do in St. Louis
- Welcome to Gateway Arch National Park
- Explore the Laumeier Sculpture Park
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