Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Need a breath of fresh air? We’ve got just the thing. A 16-acre oasis of sprawling gardens and hidden treasures.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a year-round destination for nature-lovers, green-thumbers and respite-seekers. The Gardens, voted one of the top 10 most inspiring gardens in North America by Horticulture Magazine, sit on Madison’s eclectic, quirky eastside across from the expansive Olbrich Park.
At Olbrich, take in 14 outdoor gardens within the grounds, including the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, the Meadow Garden and Serenity Garden. Maps at the visitor's desk help visitor's stay on track, or get lost in the greenery and wander through the wildflowers and roses. Free tram rides are available for guests who would like a guided, non-walking tour. If you do chose to walk, the outdoor gardens have no stairs, and you'll find benches galore to rest and take in the beauty. Full details on accessibility in the gardens can be found here.
Looking for something really unique? You can search for a golden gift from Thailand's government that was also approved by their royal family. The Thai Pavilion and Garden is one of just four such pavilions to exist outside of Thailand. It contains gold-leaf etchings and, spanning 40 feet long, it was assembled with no nails or screws.
Inside the Gardens
When it's time to head indoors, enjoy Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory, a year-round tropical oasis complete with a waterfall, birds and fish. You'll also find the gift shop and the Schumacher Library indoors. The library holds over 3,500 horticulture-focused books. There are also classes routinely offered for garden-goers of all ages. Olbrich Botanical Gardens was first envisioned in 1916 by Michael Olbrich. Under the design of John Olin, it came to fruition in 1952.
Take a stroll. Take a deep breath. Take it all in. Olbrich is the perfect oasis to explore nature’s beauty.