If you’ve been following Backyard Destinations for some time, then you probably can tell that I love the outdoors and nature. Whether it’s a hike at Yosemite or simply sitting at a bench at a park, I don’t think I could imagine being somewhere where I couldn’t go outside.
With that, one of the things I’ve come to like adding to my list of places to see while traveling are gardens. Two of my favorites include the Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge and Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in Saint Paul.
And when I was in Madison, I made a stop at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
There are two sections of the gardens: the outdoor one (which is free, but donations are accepted) and the Bolz Conservatory (which costs $2 to get into, but is free on Wednesday and Saturday between 10 a.m. to noon). That’s amazingly cheap so I was happy to hand over $2. (Note: they only accept cash.)
The gardens are absolutely beautiful, and it’s always a relaxing experience to just walk around amid a collection of plants. There’s tons of space to meander around – 16 acres to be exact – and lots of benches.
But one of the most interesting finds at Olbrich is the Thai Pavilion: It’s only one of four located outside of Thailand and it was approved by Thailand’s royal family. It’s also the only Thai pavilion outside of Thailand surrounded by a tropical-style garden.
In the Bolz Conservatory, which has more than 650 plants and has a tropical feel to it, the highlight to look out for are the birds that get to fly around freely. It can be relaxing to just watch animals sometimes, so I spent a good couple of minutes observing them hop around and eat food 🙂
This gem in Madison is unquestionably worth a visit if you like nature and being outside!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704