Information on:

Garvan Woodland Gardens


About the Garden:

Garvan Woodland Gardensis  the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. Nestled in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas, the Gardens are a wonderful gift to all people from local industrialist and philanthropist Verna Cook Garvan.Garvan Woodland Gardens is an example of The Natural State at its best: a canopy of pines reaching skyward providing protection for delicate flora and fauna, gentle lapping waves that unfold along the 4 ½ miles of wooded shoreline, and rocky inclines that remind us of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.


Garvan Woodland Gardens' mission is to preserve and enhance a unique part of the Ouachita environment; provide people with a place of learning, research, cultural enrichment, and serenity; develop and sustain gardens, landscapes, and structures of exceptional aesthetics, design, and construction; and partner with and serve communities of which the Gardens is a part.

From the dynamic architectural structures to the majestic botanical landscapes, Garvan Woodland Gardens offers breathtaking sights (and fantastic photo opportunities) at every turn.

Verna Cook Garvan, a long-time resident of southern Arkansas, was founder and benefactress of Garvan Woodland Gardens. The Garvans made Hot Springs their home and were involved in several businesses affiliated with ABCO (A. B. Cook) Industries, the most notable being Malvern Brick and Tile Company. Now an independent department of the University's School of Architecture, the gardens continue to flourish and grow through the support of the Arkansas Legislature, Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, many generous private donors, and over 3,000 members.


Pier Carlo Talenti

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
What a wonderful jewel in the Hot Springs area! What looks to be a tremendous tree house was being built when I was there, so I wasn't able to access the wildlife preserve half of the gardens. What I did see, namely the botanical gardens themselves, were beautifully landscaped with surprises around every corner. Don't hesitate to walk out to the end of the peninsula to enjoy the vista of the lake from a beautiful vantage point. If I lived there, I would buy a membership right away and rely on the gardens to bring me peace and beauty throughout the year.

DeAnne D.

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Extraordinary. Gorgeous. A work of love and amazing groundskeepers. 700 acres of absolutely delightful finds. A golf cart style tour is available, and recommended, if only to learn the history of the place, and get a chance to see the vast majority of the property in a couple of hours, else traveling the trails and taking in all the sites could be an enjoyable all day trip. Entrance fees are more than reasonable, cafe prices are fair, staff and volunteers are delightful. This is truly a lakeside gem.

Megan Campbell

Monday, April 2, 2018
We visited the gardens while spending a weekend getaway in Hot Springs, Ark. The tulips were in full bloom & the weather was wonderful. The gardens are beautiful & very well kept. The staff was extremely nice and informative. The garden does require a lot of walking, but they do offer golf cart tours to make sure you see the entire park. My boyfriend and I walked around for a good hour and a half and still didn’t see everything. Great place to take family pictures. Some of the Park is under construction, they are adding a tree house that looks like it will be a lot of fun for the kids. Will definitely return if we are back in the area.

Mary McNay

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
What a beautiful place. We were too late for the tulips and azaleas, too early for much else, but the landscaping and trees were wonderful. Great parking; no specific area for a motor home, but enough room to park one across several car spaces without crowding available parking for cars. Also, decent turn around areas. The gardens are hilly, so it was a good workout; golf cart tours available for those who can't walk the gardens. Anthony chapel was impressive. We had lunch at the Squirrel Cafe, overlooking the train exhibit.

Tena Arnold

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Awesome place to go and take in some fresh air. The Gardens are beautiful, as is the chapel. Great place for a wedding or wedding pictures. At Christmas the lights are great and the train is great too. Rides are available for those who have trouble walking. The last time I was there, they had a craft beer bar that started at 1pm. Kids activities in the morning and adults activities in the afternoon. Just a great place to visit.

Garvan Woodland Gardens is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media