FIND YOUR PATH
There are so many opportunities to create your own adventure at the Wildflower Center. You can visit again and again and still find something new as seasons change, plants grow and new features arise. But navigating a large space can be overwhelming too.
To get you started, our experts have created the following itineraries:
Explore the Center’s cool, shady places for a break from the Texas sun.
- Find a perpetually refreshing spot under the Family Garden‘s waterfall or next to Dinosaur Creek.
- Enjoy shaded picnic tables throughout the grounds and shaded swings in our Texas Arboretum.
- Catch some air atop the Observation Tower, and check out Robb’s Roost on your way up — after all, what’s cooler than a green roof?
- Come early for a morning walk or birding hike; members get in starting at 7:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Tykes in tow? Pop into the Little House for an educational, creative interlude.
- Stop by the babbling Hill Country Stream in our Woodland Garden for a butterfly-watching shade break.
- Chill out while browsing books, apparel and more in the Gift Store.
- Our air-conditioned Wildflower Café offers lemonade, iced tea, and cool sandwiches and salads.
- Sit for a spell and watch a short film on Mrs. Johnson in the Great Hall.
Follow this path to find opportunities for play and learning throughout the gardens.
- Hike to the top of the Observation Tower to peer down at the surrounding world, including downtown Austin peaking over the horizon.
- Explore the Family Garden’s giant bird nests, creek and play lawn.
- Step through the tiny door to the Little House to find all sorts of fun indoor activities.
- Walk 1/3 mile out to swing in the Arboretum‘s Cathedral of Oaks. Not to be missed!
Walk the Wild Side
The Center’s natural spaces provide an engaging retreat into nature.
- The Texas Arboretum Trail (1 mile round-trip) is a great place to catch a glimpse of roadrunners and wildflowers.
- Take a shaded stroll along our 1/10-mile Woodland Trail and keep an eye out for sculptures of native wildlife.
- The shorter Savanna Meadow Trail provides nice views of wildflowers and the Center from afar. Great photo spots.
- The short John Barr Trail is a quick 1/4-mile loop that will give you a feel for our natural environment.
- The 3/4-mile Restoration Research Trail highlights the plots where we study how fire, grazing and mowing affect native grasses and landscapes.
Looking for some good ideas for your garden?
- Find unique collections of Texas native plants in the Theme Gardens, such as edible plants, grasses and plants named for famous botanists.
- The Homeowner Inspiration Gardens provide examples of different garden styles using native plants.
- The Pollinator Habitat Garden and Nectar Garden are great places to see what kinds of plants attract pollinators, such as monarch butterflies and bees.
If you are a plant nerd (or an aspiring one), this is the walk for you.
- Get thee to the Great Hall pronto for an up-close look at what’s blooming, fruiting and setting seed today.
- The Theme Gardens are full of different species of plants collected under common motifs, such as sages and cacti.
- Beat the heat in the Woodland Garden, where you’ll find a diversity of plants adapted to shade and riparian areas.
- Before you arrive, explore the What’s in Season collection and our native plant database.