2024 UPDATE: I will let you know as soon as I know anything about when the peak for Tulips is going to be in 2024!
Once a barren peninsula on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, Garvan Woodland Gardens is now one of the most beautiful and lush gardens in the Natural State.
This 210 acre piece of property is a woodland fantasy with gorgeous second growth trees, manicured lawns, elegant gardens, well maintained walkways, exquisite bridges, and flowing water.
It is a place where nature has been tamed and made into something almost too perfect to be real.
We love visiting here year round but especially in the spring! In 2023 we took Emily’s little girl Lyla for the cutest photos!
Tulip Season At Garvan Woodland Gardens
Tulip season at Garvan Woodland Gardens is a must-see if you will be in the area in the spring.
However, do be aware that spring weather in Arkansas is capricious. Try to choose a warm and sunny day for your visit to Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs for the spring bloom.
You will love hearing the water spill over rocks and seeing the cherry trees in bloom.
But best of all are the tulips!
The crew at Garvan Gardens plant over 150,000 tulip bulbs and the display is breathtaking.
Christmas at the Gardens
Another amazing time to visit Garvan Woodland Gardens is in late November through December. The entire place is decorated with Christmas lights and becomes a winter wonderland.
Do note that the hours change during this time to allow visitors to be in the gardens after dark.
Anytime you visit Garvan Woodland Gardens is amazing. The fall colors glow in glorious fashion. Summers are steamy but lush and the park offers a tremendous amount of shade.
History of Garvan Woodland Gardens
Mrs. Verna Garvan purchased this piece of land in 1920. It is a peninsula with 4.5 miles of shoreline on Lake Hamilton. Sadly, all of the old growth trees had been logged only 5 years before she bought the property. Fortunately, she never allowed cutting of the trees again.
According to the Garvan Gardens website: “In 1956, as a self-taught gardener, she began to develop it as a garden and possible future residence. She was intimately familiar with the land and laid out each path, marking every tree to be removed. Verna also personally chose each new plant and selected its location.”
After her death she bequeathed the gardens to the University of Arkansas. She wanted them to continue to be accessible for the people of her state to enjoy.
General Information About Garvan Woodland Gardens
The gardens are located at 550 Arkridge Rd in Hot Springs, AR 71913. They are on the outskirts of the town of Hot Springs which has one of the smallest national parks in the US.
ENtry and Fees
The gardens have plenty of parking and you enter through a nice welcome center which also houses a gift shop and restrooms. Although they can get very busy in the spring and winter once you are inside the gardens and the people disperse it never feels crowded.
Be sure and check their website for hours as they may change during the year and for special events.
Entrance tickets may be purchased in person upon arrival.
How to get around the park and how long will it take
Expect to do quite a bit of walking in the gardens so wear comfortable shoes!
You are not allowed to ride a bike or use a skateboard or roller skates. If you have mobility issues a golf cart tour is available at an additional fee.
Much of the park is accessible to wheel chairs and stollers.
There are several miles of trials in the park, but obviously you do not have to walk them all. I would suggest that you allot at least 2 hours to see the park, but you could see it in less time or spend an entire day just sitting and enjoying the landscape.
What to see
Obviously the park contains beautiful plants and flowers. Be sure to also take a look at some of the stunning bridges including the moon bridge.
There is a snack bar, The Chipmunk Cafe, which is open at certain hours.
Pavilions, whimsical fairy gardens, trickling streams, and a waterfall are all part of the appeal of Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Be sure and check out the amazing Evan’s Tree House!
The tree house has 4 different levels and the area around it has a stream, boulders to climb, and features both natural and man-made to walk over and under. It is a delight for both children and adults.
Just outside of the welcome center of Garvan Gardens is the light and airy Anthony Chapel.
The wood and glass construction brings the outside in and makes this a lovely location for a wedding or just for those seeking serenity.
Anthony Chapel is one of three glass chapels in the state of Arkansas.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a perfect place to spend a beautiful day!
I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is just one of many other beautiful gardens in Arkansas.
As mentioned Garvan Gardens sits on the shores of Lake Hamilton. There are also many other lakes around the town of Hot Springs and lakes in Arkansas for you to enjoy!
While you are in Hot Springs be sure and visit Hot Springs National Park. You will enjoy seeing the old bath houses. There are some great spas in the area as well as some nice places to stay and wonderful restaurants.
Thanks for stopping by!