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Preplanned City Guides and Travel Itineraries

Arnold Arboretum

On this page you find practical information, photos and videos about Arnold Arboretum.

Arnold Arboretum features in these preplanned City Guides:

5-day Boston City Guide

Why visit / Interesting facts:

  • World-renowned plant collection
  • National Historic Site
  • National Historic Landmark

Time required: 90 minutes

Phone: +1-617-524-1718

Web site: http://arboretum.harvard...

Opening hours:

Time period Opening hours
All year round: Dawn - Dusk

Public transport:

  • Subway Orange Line: Forest Hills

Address: 125 Arborway, Boston, MA - USA

Things you need to know:

  • Arnold Arboretum is a 265-acre (1.1 km2) world-renowned plant collection, maintained by Harvard University, and located in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale sections of Boston
  • It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and is the second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace
  • The Arboretum was founded in 1872, when the President and Fellows of Harvard became trustees of part of the estate of James Arnold (1781-1868)
  • The Arboretum's living collection, as of January 2011, includes 15,441 individuals plants (including nursery holdings), belonging to 10,216 accessions representing 4,099 taxa. The plants tend to represent North America and eastern Asia
  • Historic collections include plant introductions from throughout eastern Asia, including Japan, Korea, and recently China and Taiwan, plus much more

What to do there:

  • Get oriented with a free guided tour, led by Arboretum docents. The tour includes Arboretum history and topics of seasonal interest. The tours last 60-90 minutes, and you don't need to pre-register. Tour season runs from April through November on select Saturdays at 10:30h, select Sundays at 13h, select Wednesdays at 12:15h, and select Fridays at 18h. The tours begin in front of the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center
  • Or create your own walking tour. You'll find beauty any direction you head. Just be sure to do this each season - the changes are remarkable
  • The second Sunday in May is "Lilac Sunday", and is the only day of the year when picnicking is allowed. It's also a great day to tour the lilac collection, and watch Morris dancing. Head to the Arboretum's website for more details
  • Catch an art show! Check the Arboretum's website to find out what's coming

Tips & Insights:

  • You can wander through the Arboretum from sunrise to sunset any day of the year. It's free of charge, though donations are certainly appreciated
  • If you're interested in learning more at the Visitor Center, keep in mind that it's open 9-16h weekdays, 10-16h Saturday, 12-16h Sundays, and is closed on holidays
  • Tempting as it may be, picnicking, barbeques, and organized group sporting events are not allowed
  • Feel free to bring your bike in, but stick to paved paths

Arnold Arboretum features in these preplanned City Guides: