Cornell Botanic Gardens, Ithaca

#4 of 12 in Parks in Ithaca
Garden · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Cornell Botanic Gardens is a botanical garden located adjacent to the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. The Botanic Gardens proper consist of 25 acres (10 ha) of botanical gardens and 150 acres (61 ha) of the F. R. Newman Arboretum. The greater Botanic Gardens includes 40 different nature areas around Cornell and Ithaca, covering 4,300 acres (1,700 ha).

The origin of the Botanic Gardens dates back to Cornell's beginning in the mid-19th century and are part of the university's longtime interest in agriculture, forestry, and the natural sciences. The Botanic Gardens saw a major planting effort during the 1930s and assumed the name Cornell Plantations in 1944. Gardens and facilities have continually expanded, including a construction program at the start of the 21st century. The Botanic Gardens also maintains four gardens on Cornell's central campus. The Botanic Gardens offers three courses for academic credit, are used as a resource by other classes, host a number of informal lectures and tours, and have played a part in many scholarly papers. As of 2009, the Botanic Gardens had a $2.9 million annual operating budget. The name was changed to the current form in 2016.

The gardens specialize in trees and shrubs native to New York State. The themed herb garden is especially noted. The Botanic Gardens have been the subject of several books and films over the years, are open daily without charge, and have been recommended as a visitation site by a number of travel books and newspaper travel sections.

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Cornell Botanic Gardens reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
355 reviews
  • Very nice but not so special. If you are in town go and see it. Part of the university and free of charge. Nice place to walk and relax.  more »
  • From Ithaca's downtown take University Ave. which at the campus becomes Forest Home Drive. Make a right turn into Arboretum Road. Look for parking, on the left, for Gardens visitors; payment required....  more »
  • This is the second time coming to the Cornell Botanical Gardens. It was very relaxing and interesting to see all the different flowers and herbs they grow. The center courtyard was my favorite with the different sections dedicated to different categories of flowers and herbs. I had been there before but didn't realize the plaques with the flower and herb names also had descriptions relevant to the section of the courtyard they are in. VERY COOL. It was fun to see the herbs I cook with in my kitchen growing in a garden, having never seen the full plant before. And it's awesome to see so many dedications to great men and women of the past who helped build such a beautiful and lush space for anyone to walk through. Definitely a must see for any visitors looking to see what beauty Ithaca has to offer.
  • This place is as tranquil as it gets. Almost every plant was labeled. You feel like you're walking in a magical place. We came in the Fall so there were little blooms happening but I'm sure Spring will lighten this place up.
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