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Color year-round at South Texas Botanical Gardens

The South Texas Botanical Gardens hosts The Birdiest Festival each year to honor, study, and explore the vast variety of feathered creatures that make their way through the Coastal Bend. Courtesy photo

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offers color, classes, and coastal culture year-round. The beautiful gardens cover 180 acres that back up to King Ranch and are laden with lush greenery, exotic flowers, a butterfly sanctuary, and a hummingbird garden.

The center also has demonstration trial gardens, an imaginative sensory garden, exotic parrots and reptiles in residence — just to name a few of the many exhibits and features.

And since South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center only closes on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, it's a great place for family outings any time of the year.


Meet the gardens’ wide collection of more than 40 birds anytime, but visit at 1:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for special presentations.


Visit the Resident Reptiles exhibit anytime as well, but come at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays for special presentations at one of the newest exhibits. About 40 reptiles occupy tanks and other enclosures in the Visitors Center.

See beautiful flowers and exotic reptiles at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp


The Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory and the Sam Jones Orchid Conservatory are both enclosed structures filled to the brim with blooms. The orchid conservatory alone contains more than 2,000 orchids and 25 different species.

The bromeliad conservatory, which opened in 2009, contains 800-plus Aechmea bromeliads and other genera collected by Nelwyn and John Anderson, internationally known collectors and growers.

During the eight warmer months in the Coastal Bend, the Plumeria Garden provides a fragrant, exotic atmosphere that can be enjoyed on an elevated ramp with a bird’s-eye view of the treetop blooms. The area features more than 100 fragrant tropical plumeria in one of the largest displays in the continental United States.

Experience 300 breathtaking roses in the Rose Garden and Bates Rose Pavilion. The bushes are displayed in 12 raised beds around a large fountain midway to the pavilion. The walkway and pavilion are popular for weddings.

Enter into 2,600 square feet of beautiful butterflies in the Butterfly House, where you’ll see a display of cocoons, watch butterflies hatching, and marvel at the flowers and multitudes of mariposas that surround you.

Heighten your five senses in the Sensory Garden, where plants and sculptures come together for a unique exhibit.

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center also features a Hummingbird Garden, a Tree Demonstration Garden, and an Arid Garden as part of its extraordinary collection and displays of plants and animals.


Take a leisurely hike on the trails and boardwalk along Oso Creek with shaded native habitat, bridged ravines, and natural wetlands. South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center prides itself on its environmental education programs and creative horticultural design. Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome on the trails.


As a stop on Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the center also hosts the Birdiest Festival in America each year. The 2023 festival is April 22-25. The center is one of the best bird-watching sites in Texas. A birding tower overlooks Gator Lake and is open year-round.

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is located at 8545 South Staples St. in Corpus Christi. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). Admission is $9 for ages 13 and older, $7 for seniors, $5 for ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 and younger. Annual memberships allow free admission at any time and discounts in Nature’s Boutique and for classes and tours. Call 361-852-2100 for more information or visit Facilities are also available for rental.

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