“Step into the garden, lift your face to the sun and breathe. It will help you remember all that is beautiful and right in the world.” -Unknown
In my hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, there is one place that we enjoy returning to year-round, again and again: Norfolk Botanical Garden.
As we travel, we enjoy visiting botanical gardens of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, at home, we have Norfolk Botanical Garden on our back doorstep where we can enjoy beautiful flowers all spring and summer and a spectacular holiday light display in the winter. This family-friendly spot is a great place to host a wedding or just spend an afternoon.
Founded in 1938, the garden is 175 acres of meadows and gardens that can be explored by tram, boat, or foot.
With over 60 themed gardens, the diversity in the garden guarantees that there is something for everyone. Our favorite time of year is April to the end of May when over 3,000 rose bushes in the Bicentennial Rose Garden are in full bloom and the fragrance of the blooms welcomes you as you approach along the path. Other gardens include the Japanese Garden, Kaufman Hydrangea Garden, Bristow Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Friendship Pond, Colonial Herb Garden, Hofheimer Camellia Garden, the NATO Overlook, Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden, and Statuary Vista, to name only a few. The garden also offers educational programs for adults, children, and schools, sunset kayaking, Yoga, and T’ai Chi classes, and even the family pooch can enjoy the garden on Sunday Dog Days.
The garden’s next-door neighbor is Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and while the sound of the jet engines can sometimes break the tranquility of the garden, there is an overlook from the garden onto the airport tarmac where visitors can listen to airport ground communications and watch jets take off and land. This is always a fun vantage point for kids of every age!
If you plan to visit the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, consider adding Norfolk Botanical Garden to your list of things to do. It is easy to find and depending on the time of year, the garden could be alive with color or an exhibit worth checking out could be open to enjoy.
The Norfolk Botanical Garden can be found online at https://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org. Be sure to check out their website prior to your visit for events and programs that may be of interest and for detailed ticketing information.