Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Bluebonnets and Hiking Trails

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin’s southwest includes botanical gardens, hiking trails, as well as a research center including the Restoration Research Trail. After leaving Washington DC Lady Bird Johnson worked to encourage the beautification of Texas highways.

Mrs Johnson’s passion for the environment and wildflowers eventually lead to the creation of The National Wildflower Research Center just east of Austin. The membership expanded rapidly and in 1995 the current location opened, renamed in 1998 as The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Former First Lady - Lady Bird Johnson - My special cause... at the Wildflower Center bearing her name

Lady Bird Johnson – My special cause…

Whenever my mom visited Austin we would go to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to see the flowers and walk some of the trails. My mom is an avid gardener and turned her entire front lawn and most of the back lawn into a gorgeous English-style garden which I refer to as Mumsy’s Garden and I photograph every time I visit Calgary. She can quote all the Latin names whereas I usually stick with simple descriptions such as  ‘pretty blue flower’ or ‘tiny pink blooms’.

Stacked turtles sunning on a rock in the lily pond at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Stacked turtles sunning on a rock in the lily pond

I love the lily pond and water feature near the entrance of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The turtles always seem to be posing for visitors – particularly the two above! The turtles are adorable. There is also a pair of owls that have been nesting at the center for the past four years. The staff told me they had three chicks this year. I took a photo but my camera wasn’t sharp enough (or perhaps it was me!) to capture much detail but you can make out mama owl at least.

Mama owl at her nest at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Great Horned Owl – Mama owl on her nest

Crossvine decorate the stonework at the entrance of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Tangerine Crossvine decorate the stonework at the entrance of the Wildflower Center

My favorite time of year to visit the Wildflower Center is in the springtime when the bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brush are in bloom. Early March through mid-April these wildflowers show off their gorgeous colors.

In spring the Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brush bloom at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

In spring the Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brush bloom

There is always something blooming at the wildflower center. It is amazing how many gorgeous flowers bloom through the brutal Texas summer heat. Mrs Johnson’s legacy lives on and Texas looks more beautiful thanks to her efforts. Town Lake was recently renamed Lady Bird Lake in honor of Mrs. Johnson.

Coral Honeysuckle blooming at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Coral Honeysuckle blooming at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Yucca plant in bloom at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Yucca plant in bloom on the grounds of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Tangerine Crossvine blooming along a fence at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX

Tangerine Crossvine blooming along a fence at the wildflower center

When you get tired and hungry stop by the Cafe and enjoy a treat. I recommend the Hibiscus Mint tea – it is a gorgeous color and very refreshing!

Hummingbird sandwich and cheesecake at the Wildflower Cafe - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin TX

The Hummingbird sandwich with fruit and yummy cheesecake at the Wildflower Cafe


Practical Information:

Address: 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX
Phone Number: +1-(512)-232-0100
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9AM – 5PM (closed Mondays)
Admission Cost (as of July 2015): adults $10, students and seniors $8
How to Get There: directions can be found here.
Visitors Info


About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter

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