With the weather slowly warming up and all the spring flowers are beginning to bud, it’s the perfect time to head outdoors. But don’t feel overwhelmed trying to pick your next adventure. If you’re itching to get out, then we have the perfect place for you.
The Denver Botanic Gardens are not only close to home but are amazing for seeing all those spring flowers. The York Street Gardens, located next to Cheesman Park, is the closer of the two options when visiting Denver Botanic Gardens. Though we’ll be focusing on the main York Street Gardens, the other options are also great to check out when you’re looking to go a little bit further away.
Remember to check out the weather and their website for local updates before heading out for an in-person visit.
About the Park
One of the top botanical gardens in the United States, Denver Botanic Gardens began in 1951 and is recognized as a pioneer in water conservation. The 24-acre urban oasis has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Located in the heart of Denver, York Street Gardens offers a wide variety of plants. From the tropics to the tundra. All of them chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate.
There are 50 gardens for the whole family to explore. As well as the interactive Science Pyramid, Mordecai Children’s Garden and collections of natural history, art, and library holdings. Throughout the season, the gardens offer several special events and plan conservation research programs. Be sure to check out their page to see what’s coming next.
Additional sites spread throughout the Front Range include Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms in Jefferson County and Mount Goliath on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
The York Street Gardens branch of Denver Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city. Nestled next to Cheesman Park, the gardens are easily assessable from just about anywhere in the Denver area.
When arriving at the Gardens, there is limited free parking in the parking structure between York and Josephine streets. The complex is only available during regular hours of operation and only for Gardens’ visitors. There is also some available street parking in Cheesman Park or Congress Park. The main entrance into the Gardens is through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center at 1007 York Street.
The Gardens asks you to consider taking RTD public transportation if possible. Routes #24 (York and Josephine Streets) and/or #10 (12th Avenue) both give you access to the Gardens.
What To Do
Once you’ve arrived at the Gardens, there is plenty of things to do. And believe us, you’re going to want to see them all.
Start off with the Gardens of the West. They are 18 arid gardens showcasing plants that thrive in Colorado’s climate. Some of the things you can find in these gardens include the Cactus and Succulent House, the Dryland Mesa, and the Grant Family Cottonwood Border.
In the Internationally Inspired Gardens, you’ll find gardens inspired by Japan, China, South Africa and the Tropics. Many of these gardens include plants from regions similar to Denver in climate and soils. Here you can find the Ella Mullen Weckbaugh Tea House, the Rock Alpine Garden, and The Steppe Garden.
Over at the Ornamental Gardens, you’ll see loads of color. These gardens include the favorites, such as roses, daylilies, and irises. Be sure to check out the Fragrance Garden, the Lilac Garden, and O’Fallon Perennial Walk while exploring these gardens.
Shady Gardens provide a great place to linger on those warmer days. Among these gardens include the Birds and Bees Walk, Oak Grove, and Shady Lane.
And finally, don’t forget about the Water Gardens. These gardens are home to the aquatic plant collection. You’ll be able to find waterlilies, water platters, lotus, and canna. The system of pools meandering through the Gardens provides a beautiful garden for many others throughout the park.
While you’re at the Gardens be sure to stop by the Science Pyramid Exhibit. Here you can learn about how you are intertwined with millions of other living things. You can also take a break from all the walking to see easy ways to adapt your behavior to support the health of our shared home.
1007 York Street
Denver, CO 80206
When to go:
September 30 – May 9
9 AM – 5 PM, daily
May 10- September 27
9 AM – 8 PM, daily
How much does it cost:
Parking and Transportation: There are limited free parking in the parking complex between York and Josephine Streets during regular hours of operation. Parking in the complex is only for Gardens’ visitors. Street parking is available in Cheesman Park or Congress Park.
The basic do and don’ts of visiting:
Once you’re there: The main gardens are through the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center at 1007 York Street. The Mordecai Children’s Garden is located on the third floor of the parking garage. You can go on both guided and self-guided tours, as well as check out the gift shop and dining. Be sure to open up their site for a more interactive experience while you’re there.
There are many things to see and do when you spend your day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Let us know in the comments what your favorite thing to do there when you’ve visited.
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