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Washington Park Arboretum

The Washington Park Arboretum, also known as the UW Botanic Gardens, is a hidden gem in Seattle offering a spectacular collection of plants, some rare and exotic, within a tranquil and beautifully landscaped setting.


The Arboretum is a part of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and is located on the shores of Lake Washington in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, with the main address as:

2300 Arboretum Drive E,
Seattle, WA 98112,
United States

Features and Highlights

  • Gardens and Collections: The Arboretum features a variety of gardens and plant collections, including a Japanese Garden, Azalea Way, and the Pacific Connections Garden which showcases flora from regions around the Pacific Rim.
  • Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden: Renowned for its winter-flowering plants, the Winter Garden is a highlight especially during the colder months when other gardens are dormant.
  • Japanese Garden: One of the oldest and most highly regarded Japanese Gardens in North America, it’s located at the southern end of the Arboretum and requires a separate admission fee.
  • Woodland Garden: A serene space with a meandering stream, this garden spotlights shade-loving plants.
  • Waterfront: The Arboretum borders Union Bay and has a waterfront area with docks, offering a unique perspective on the park and an opportunity to see waterfowl.

Activities and Education

The Washington Park Arboretum offers a range of activities and educational opportunities:

  • Walking and Jogging: Miles of trails wind through the collections, providing a peaceful environment for walking, jogging, and bird-watching.
  • Free Weekend Walks: Guided tours that explore seasonal highlights of the Arboretum are available to the public.
  • Educational Programs: The Arboretum offers a variety of workshops, classes, and tours for all ages, focusing on botany, horticulture, and environmental education.
  • Events: Seasonal events, plant sales, and special exhibits are held throughout the year.

Visiting the Arboretum

  • Hours: The grounds are open from dawn to dusk every day. However, the Japanese Garden has specific hours and is closed on Mondays.
  • Parking: There is free parking available within the Arboretum.
  • Public Transportation: Several bus routes serve the area around the Arboretum, making it accessible without a car.
  • Accessibility: While many paths are natural and may be uneven, there are also paved pathways suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.
  • Pets: Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times.
  • Facilities: Restrooms and water fountains are located within the park.


The Washington Park Arboretum is a haven for plant lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat from urban life. Its extensive collections provide interest throughout the year, with each season bringing its own beauty. Whether you’re an avid gardener, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a scenic place to unwind, the Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit and explore the natural world.

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