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Allen Centennial Gardens

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Address: 620 Babcock Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1210
Phone Number:
+1 608-262-1549

Located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, these public gardens...

Located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, these public gardens serve as outdoor classrooms in the study and research of plant identification, ecology and site management techniques in horticulture.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 86 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 66
  • 13
    Very good
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
Oasis in the midst of campus

I love going to Allen Centennial Gardens to check out what's blooming. Gorgeous spring tulips and flowers are a highlight. Throughout the year the garden is full of beauty. Not... read more

Reviewed February 21, 2017
Seattle, Washington
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86 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 83: English reviews
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 21, 2017

I love going to Allen Centennial Gardens to check out what's blooming. Gorgeous spring tulips and flowers are a highlight. Throughout the year the garden is full of beauty. Not exactly quiet (blowers on nearby University buildings spoil the ambiance a bit). Still, a wonderful place to relax in nature and take a break - especially if you are on... More 

Thank smiller1232015
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2016

Worthy of frequent visits with the changing seasons. Unique fauna not seen elsewhere. Very healthy plants among pleasant and low-volume visitors right in the middle of the University. Very unique.

1 Thank sparky731
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2016

Allen Centennial Gardens is in a strange location (surrounded by dorms and tall educational buildings), but it provides a sufficient escape from the chaos of campus life. The gardens are meticulously maintained and relatively quiet. They close at sundown but are open early in the morning. All in all, it's a great daytime study spot and a nice place to... More 

1 Thank aPilot98
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
726 reviews
425 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2016

Plan to visit Madison and stroll along Lake Mendota in the University of Madison? This garden is a must. It is located near the School of Agriculture and Washburn Observatory on Observatory road. Stop on top of the hill and strolling down to visit the garden. According to the information posted, the garden features 25 styles of gardens from around... More 

1 Thank Prawet J
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2016

University grounds crews maintain this diverse and complex garden area. There is something beautiful to see all during the growing season. Parking on campus is a bit of a challenge. One option is to park across University Ave. in the residential neighborhood and make the 5 or six block walk.

2 Thank jon4477
Level Contributor
119 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2016

I have been coming here for years but never thought to write a review. This little beauty of a garden is tucked away on the University campus. Even many long-time Madisonians overlook this place. It's free and beautiful. Despite it's small size there is a wide diversity of plant settings, ranging from alpine plants to a French garden to a... More 

1 Thank Madison025
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2016

I was pleased with my visit. Wasn't sure what all it was about, but was pleasantly surprised. I would go back with anyone who likes gardens

2 Thank DedraHarrisPeterson
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2016 via mobile

We hit this site on an overcast June morning, so of course the colors and photo ops were perfect. As you enter you notice the skillful combinations of colors and shapes in the pots and the beds. We found the plants healthy and the beds mostly well tended, except for a few outliers. There are a number of vistas across... More 

2 Thank SurfStrider
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2016

Anyone can enjoy the color and beauty of this garden and the paths through each section. Those who are interested in unusual plant varieties and ideas for small space gardens will appreciate this place. Just as an example, the alpine garden is a design by a Czech botanist with crevices to guard against the heaving that's so common in midwest... More 

2 Thank MinnesotaRobin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2016

These gardens are much bigger than they appear from the entrance with lots of super cool little surprises and tons of beautiful plants. Really enjoyed our visit. Exceeded my expectations and it is free to boot!

4 Thank Heather D

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?