Trailways Traveler
Brighten up Your Winter With a Group Trip to a Conservatory

In many cities and towns, you can find a marvelous oasis for your group to enjoy a break from the cold: an indoor botanic garden or conservatory. When visiting one of these cities, leave the coats on the bus and step into a warm indoor oasis.




San Antonio Botanical Gardens — San Antonio, Texas

When you experience the Lucile Halsell Conservatory in the San Antonio Botanical Garden, you will feel as if you had stepped into a time machine and emerged into the future. You enter by walking down a tunnel that takes you underground. Beautiful glass roofs soar over your head. The Conservatory's futuristic design has won awards and acclaim from architects around the world. In this extraordinary setting, you will enjoy walking among plants from various parts of the globe. The Conservatory contains five rooms. Each one transports you to a different environment. Take a trip to the tropics, the desert, a rain forest canopy, and a fern grotto, and go back in time to see plants that grew when the dinosaurs roamed.

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The Botanic Gardens at Smith College — Northampton, Massachusetts

If you love beautiful historic greenhouses, don't miss the Lyman Conservatory at Botanic Garden of Smith College, which was built in the 19th century. In addition to its gorgeous architecture and rich history, the Conservatory features more than 3,000 species of plants, including orchards, ferns, palms, camellias, and succulents in rooms that are called "houses." Want to warm up? Tropical and subtropical plants are on view in the Warm Temperature House. Experience walking through a jungle in the Palm House. As you roam through the Conservatory, you will also step into a desert, a cool temperate environment, and other rooms filled with beauty and color.

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United States Botanic Garden — Washington D.C.

The historic Conservatory in the United States Botanic Garden was built in 1933. It underwent an extensive four-year renovation at the end of the 20th century that modernized the building's infrastructure while carefully keeping the appearance of the 1933 exterior intact. Today, the Conservatory contains ten garden rooms and two courtyards that delight visitors with a wide array of environments, including a garden court, a room for rare and endangered plant species, a tropical rainforest with a 93-foot dome, medicinal plants, and plants from Hawaii, the Mediterranean, and the world's deserts. If you visit during the holiday season, you are in for a special treat. Each year, the botanical garden hosts a poinsettia event called "Poinsettias Flourish", don't miss it!

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Garfield Park Conservatory — Chicago, Illinois

Landscape architect Jens Jensen designed the Garfield Park Conservatory, which was built in 1906. Jensen's vision and attention to detail created extraordinary environments that give visitors the sense that they are immersed in the natural world. Today, more than a century later, Garfield Park is still one of the country's most beautiful conservatories. Highlights include a 65-foot tall palm house, a fern room that evokes prehistoric Chicago, and environments built around the themes of air, water, sun, and sugar. The Conservatory also features special events year round, including an annual winter holiday flower show.

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Phipps Conservatory is conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Winter events include a winter flower show, light forest, and visits from Santa. Start your visit at the historic glasshouse's welcome center, which features a chandelier by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. Then explore the 14 rooms, which include a palm court, sunken garden, fern room, Victoria room, tropical fruit and spice room, and the popular tropical forest conservatory, where you stroll on paths that wind among lush plants, waterfalls, and a fish pond.

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Conservatory of Flowers — San Francisco, California

The Conservatory of Flowers, located in the northeast corner of San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Park, is a historic treasure. The beautiful Victorian wood-and-glass building is the oldest public conservatory of its type in the country. When it originally opened in 1879, it was an immediate hit with garden-loving locals and distinguished visitors. In 1995, the building was severely damaged in a storm where winds reached over 100 miles per hour. A six-year award-winning $25 million restoration lovingly recreated the building's original charm. Inside, you will enjoy lush displays of rare and exotic plants, including the infamous corpse flower, which smells like its name and blooms only once every seven-to-ten years.

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Visiting any of these conservatories on a cold winter day is like stepping into another world. You will instantly leave winter behind and enter a tropical world full of lush greenery and colorful flowers. Your group will love the experience. Make it easy on yourself by going with Trailways. Our professional drivers will take care of getting you and your group to your destination. All you have to do is relax and smell the flowers.

Want planning your tour to be a breeze? Consider our Affiliate Preferred Partner, Great Day! Tours. Serving groups in every state, they are the foremost professionals in planning multiday trips to save you time. From creating the itinerary, sub-contracting with Trailways, hotels, attractions and more. Book your trip today! For those preferring to speak with them direct, mention "Code TPP" (Trailways Preferred Partner); their nationwide Toll-Free Number is (800) 362-4905. Be sure to mention you heard about them here!
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