We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Highly Recommended - Even in October”

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Walking Dinner Tour in Downtown Middleton
Ranked #1 of 98 things to do in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: One of Madison's most popular attractions, this oasis of green includes a sunken garden, perennial garden, rose garden, rock garden, herb garden, wildflower garden and a tropical conservatory.
Level Contributor
297 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Highly Recommended - Even in October”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Went on a fall morning in late October (outdoors area is free). Had some sun but cool. Not much blooming at this time in the outdoor garden, but still the hardscape and water features are very nice. Many plants lost their leaves by now. Enjoyed the circular walk around the grounds outdoors with the Thai Pavilion the highlight of course, in it's gold leaf spendor. We were very fortunate to come upon a Red-tailed Hawk at the Thai pavilion that was roosting on a bush nearby and cooperated for a number of photos before flying to a nearby bridge railing, then leaving the area entirely. Went on a weekday so not so crowded. It is relatively small, but very attractively laid out. There is no food for purchase available.

In the cold weather the tropical conservatory is a big plus. It costs $2 for adults to get in, but worth it. I came in from the cold to the humid environment so my camera lenses all fogged up immediately. Couldn't take photos for 15-20 minutes. I really enjoyed the tropical imported birds in the conservatory. They had Common Quail, Painted Quail, Orange-cheeked Waxbill (didn't see), Diamond Dove (didn't see) and Domesticated Canary. If it isn't too crowded go to the second level walk and wait for them to come out in the bird feeder area near the entrance.

They have a small gift shop. Ladies at the payment/information desk are very talkative and helpful.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Skytrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,226 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Lake Delton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful and relaxing”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We went for the Butterfly exhibit this past summer but enjoyed the whole garden. It was my first time here and if I lived in Madison, I would probably take a book and find a place to sit and read. It is so relaxing. The part of the gardens that has the lavender and other scents is truly amazing. Took many pictures and I will be sure to return next year. Over-the-top beautiful!

Visited July 2013
Thank Colleen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
89 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great find in Madison”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Lovely garden with an interesting Thai pavilion. And it's FREE! We had some time to spend with a friend while visiting Madison. The garden was the perfect solution.

Visited August 2013
Thank BJ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“All Pluses”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I was only there for about an hour as part of a contemplative photography shoot but managed to walk a good portion of the gardens. The grounds are packed with a huge variety of plants , flowers, trees, ivies, grapes and more. The lawns are beautifully done and the labyrinthine paths are well managed. There are ponds and fountains that are beautifully maintained and displayed. I saw no litter or other detritus anywhere I was walking. The gardens are free but there is a $2 fee to visit the indoor conservatory. Photography for casual and personal use is welcomed and unrestricted. However, photography of posed subjects such as weddings, anniversaries, and the like require a permit whether the photographer is a professional or not. Such permits are $30. I did not have time to get into the conservatory so am not able to comment. Olbrich has a well done website.

Visited August 2013
Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
156 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Word Class Garden”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

If you are local or a visiter you should not miss this free botanical garden. With it's many walkways and fountains it is a spectacular showcase of native plants, trees and flowers. The indoor butterfly area is also worth seeing. Don't miss it if you are here during the warmer growing months or the holidays displays that are indoors when it gets colder.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank LorenD1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Olbrich Botanical Gardens also viewed


Been to Olbrich Botanical Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing