National Parks / Natural World

Riverside Botanic Gardens Riverside

Where is it at?

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Riverside Botanic Gardens
University of California
900 University Ave
Tel: 951-784-6962

Where are we going today?

If you want a family day out filled with beautiful nature, colors and an amazing variety of plants, you might want to check out the Riverside Botanic Gardens.

This piece of paradise is located on the University of California, in the foothills of the Box Springs Mountains, and is 40 acres of beautiful nature.

You can spend time wandering through the plants and flowers, or take a stroll on the four miles of scenic trails that are available!

The Riverside Botanic Gardens is literally a living plant museum, with over 3,500 plant species from all around the world. It's a great learning experience for kids too, as they can learn all about the biology and history of these amazing feats of nature.

Riverside makes a great place for gardens, given it's subtropical climate, as this creates microclimates which then allow for a number of diverse plants to grow (just one of the many cool botanic facts you could learn when you visit!) 

It's these plants, which also attract some pretty special wildlife to the area, including nearly 200 species of birds! Did you know that there were even that many species of birds in the country!?

Then of course, there are the gardens! Form the iris gardens, to the rose gardens, to the Australian section and even South African displays, there is a true variety that will make for a beautiful family day out!

Don't worry about seasons either, because to everything there is a season! From flowering plants in winter, to those fall colors and summer and spring blooms, there is always something to see

Get back to nature in Riverside! 

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$5 suggested donation
  • ChildrenSame as adult

When can we go?

8am - 5pm daily

Closed New Years Day, 4th July, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Teachers corner

They offer docent guided school tours, so just schedule ahead of time and let them help you out! .

I'm Hungry!

There are plenty of places in Riverside to enjoy some food before or after your visit! .

Healthy Eating!

It's worth taking bottled water in your bag so you can stay hydrated (just like all of the plants!).

Any Top Tips?

They offer docent led and self-guided tours! Groups more than 10 have to be arranged in advance. .

Doing our bit

The staff really have created an incredible garden, so support them by following any regulations they have so you can help protect them to! They originally created them for learning purposes, but now they are for everyone to enjoy!.

Need a little extra help?

All of the wheelchair accessible routes are indicated at the entrance. They are always looking to improve too! .

More information

There is limited parking by the main entrance which has a small charge .

What people are saying?

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    I have my nephews from out of town visiting and wanted to take them on a hike.... they're 10 and 16.
    I'm afraid of sycamore canyon in canyon crest because of several rattle snake warnings.

    at UCR Botanic Garden I'm concerned with mountain lion warnings now... how serious of a threat are they?

    any feed back would be greatly appreciated

    thank you

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    It's a nice walk, it's great exercise but there are other gardens that are a lot nicer. Too many weeds. Lot's of lizards, but lots of dried stuff too. I expected more flowers this time of the year. Don't buy the 3-4 hr parking pass unless you're gonna kick back on a bench, you can walk it taking your time in less then 2hrs. But you can't beat the price or proximity

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    As for now I rate it as "OK" since at least my guess is that high summer is not really the time to visit this place. I would love to give it a chance in spring, but my holidays are limited. :) It was mostly very dry and thus gave a dead impression in the back end, the front was ok, more lively looking actually. Good was the butterfly garden, liked that one, and interesting where definitely their selection of cactuses. So if I should make it at a better time of the year here, I will update my review accordingly.

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    Beautiful. This is a great place to take the family on a walk and just get away from the fast pace world. Its very well maintained and 25¢ parking for 1HR is awesome. Give this place a go. Treat yourselves to the outdoors and hike up to the top of the hill and back.

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    Nice place, but UCR parking will make you lose your mind.
    Note: the parking permit for the gardens lot is not transferable to other lots, so don't buy one until you actually have a spot.

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The Weather


Conditions: Clear
Temp: 96° F / 36° C
Humidity: 51 %
Wind: SW - 0 MPH


Conditions: Clear
Temp: 91° F / 33° C
Humidity: 34 %
Wind: W - 10 MPH


Conditions: Clear
Temp: 90° F / 32° C
Humidity: 36 %
Wind: W - 11 MPH

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