Explore and Enjoy The Botanic Garden

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is open! Starting April 1st, 2022 you can request a docent-led tour. To request a tour, give us a call at (231) 935-4077 or fill out the form.


Docent-led tours are available from April-October every year. Our grounds are always open to the public and there is a self-guided audio tour.

Self-Guided Audio Tour

You can also check out the self-guided Audio Tour year-round. Pick up a map in front of the Visitor Center and tour at your own pace. 

Three Season Art Show

The Featured Artist Three Season Art Show program takes place from April-October on the upper level of the Visitor Center.



Upon your visit to The Botanic Garden, you will be welcomed by our Visitor Center. This beautiful building was once the Traverse City State Hospital’s Granary, built around 1886. Come inside to see the original stone walls and tunnel that originally connected the farm’s root cellar to the Granary’s lower level.

The Visitor Center’s lower level includes a gift shop, information desk, restrooms and drinking fountains. In our display area, we feature a special artist of the month. Upstairs, on the second floor, is a classroom/meeting room where most of The Botanic Garden classes and workshops are held. This bright and beautiful room is also available for rental year-round for your special event.

Because environmental sustainability is a guiding principle of The Botanic Garden, many components of the renovation were designed for LEED certification. Energy saving lighting, heating & cooling and water conservation systems were incorporated. The Visitor Center’s V-shaped roof collects and stores rainwater for garden irrigation. Recycled materials were utilized wherever possible, including wood paneling from Manistee’s Vogue Theater. Even old cast iron cow water buckets from the adjoining barn now serve as lighting fixtures in the classroom!

Interested in renting the Visitor Center as a space for your next personal or professional event? Click here to learn more!


The Visitor Center is Open!

Mondays: 10am – 5pm
Tuesdays: 10am – 5pm
Wednesdays: 10am – 5pm
Thursdays: 10am – 5pm
Fridays: 10am – 5pm
Saturdays: 10am – 5pm
Sundays: Closed

We can’t wait to see you
There is no charge for admission, but donations are always appreciated.

Call us at (231) 935-4077 with any questions.

Click here for the self-guided audio tour.
To request a docent-led tour, click here.

Visitor Center: Spring
Visitor Center: Fall
Visitor Center: Summer
Visitor Center: Winter



 We offer Guided Tours of the Garden from April through October. We love to show off the Garden and share the transformative story of this historic park. Our Garden team looks forward to meeting and visiting with folks from all over America – and all over the world!

Tours are available 10am, 11:45am, 1:15pm, and 3pm Monday – Saturday.
To request a tour, please fill out this form online.
You can also stop by the Gift Shop, or give us a call at (231) 935-4077 to request a docent-led tour.

Our Botanic Garden Tours are guided explorations of our property’s unique past, present and future. Visitors are introduced to areas like our Visitor Center, Pavilion, multiple garden spaces (some that are currently works in progress), the Historic Barns, and more.

There is also a self-guided audio tour available year-round. Pick up a map in front of the Visitor Center any time to take a self-guided tour at your own pace!

T H R E E   S E A S O N   A R T   S H O W

F E A T U R E D   A R T I S T S

The Visitor Center is open from April – October. We exhibit art from featured artists on the upper level, above the gift shop.

Our Featured Artists for 2022:

Summer: June 15 – August 21
Sue Bowerman & Ruth Kitchen

Sue Bowerman (Oils and Acrylic)

Sue is a local artist who participates in plein air events in Northwest Michigan.

She shows her work at The Sanctuary Handcrafted Goods in the Commons Traverse City as well as in many special exhibits in our area.

She has painted in pastels, acrylics, water color but primarily paints with oils that provide a buttery texture and intense pigmentation. Sue has studied and taken workshops with many fine artists around the country and locally since she began to devote herself to more intensive painting in 2006, following a career in social work with children and families.

She continues to learn and to treasure the time spent painting directly from nature as well as in her studio.

A member of the Plein Air Painters Northwest Michigan, Crooked Tree Art Center, Leelanau Cultural Center, and the Glen Arbor Art Association, Sue has exhibited at Bonobo Winery, the City Opera House, Leland’s Old Art Building, Botanical Gardens, Crooked Tree Art Center in Traverse City and Petoskey and in several juried shows in Northern Michigan and Arizona. Sue feels so very fortunate to live in our beautiful area. She loves the challenge of capturing the light and colors around us. 

Ruth A. Kitchen (Oils & Gouache)

An emerging artist, Ruth currently lives and paints in Traverse City, Michigan. Her primary medium is oil painting, but she also creates using gouache, watercolor, ink, and graphite. For Ruth, each painting offers a new opportunity to capture the beauty and spirit of the landscape.

Her style continually evolves as she explores the many elements of art and painting. 

Ruth began her study of art after retiring from a 31-year career teaching social studies and language arts. She has studied with several artists in classes and workshops. She intensified her art studies in 2006. Summer workshops and painting with the Plein Air Painters of Northwest Michigan provide opportunities to study the Grand Traverse area in paint. Ruth participates in juried shows, plein air paint outs and exhibitions through the Grand Traverse Region.

Upcoming Artists:

Fall: August 22 – October 31
Kristy Avery (Acrylics)
Ragner Avery (Photography)

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1490 Red Dr
Traverse City, Michigan

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Give us a call

(231) 935-4077