Tours

In every season there is an opportunity to experience the beauty of Duke Gardens, and we appreciate your interest in a guided tour!

You can reserve a guided trolley or walking tour below via our online reservation system.

We do our best to offer as many tours as possible, but we also appreciate your patience and understanding if the tour you are hoping for is not available.

General Information

  • Tours available March through November, with specific dates and times listed in the reservation system
  • Registration closes a week in advance of each scheduled tour. For example, tours on Tuesday, May 24, will close on May 17.
  • Allow ample time to arrive and pay to park prior to the tour start time. Parking is $2/hour. More info here.
  • Bring water and any other supplies needed, and wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.

Guided Walking Tours 

  • Available by reservation only 
  • Tuesdays through Fridays at 11 a.m.
  • $10 per person
  • Accommodates up to 15 people. For groups with more than 15 participants, call us at 919-668-1707 to make arrangements.
  • One-hour walking tour of the Gardens will be led by a volunteer docent who will introduce you to the Gardens’ plant collections and history
  • Please note: These tours are shared with other individuals. If you are seeking a private tour, call us at 919-668-1707 to make arrangements.
  • Reservations are not held without payment and and an email confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please call us at 919-668-1707.
  • Click here for reservations.

Guided Private Trolley Tours 

  • Available by reservation only.
  • Tuesdays through Fridays at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.
  • $50 fee for private trolley.
  • Accommodates up to 5 people (excluding tour guide).
  • One-hour trolley tour of the Gardens will be led by a volunteer docent, who will introduce you to the highlights and history of Duke Gardens.
  • The trolley cannot accommodate any pets, with the exception of service dogs.
  • All participants, including children, must use seatbelts.
  • Reservations are not held without payment and and an email confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please call us at 919-668-1707.
  • Click here for reservations

Free 30-minute Orientation Walks 

  • Drop-in; no reservations required.
  • Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Accommodates up to 15 people on first come, first served basis.
  • Meet at the Gothic Gate and take a short walk with a volunteer guide, who will provide a brief orientation to the Gardens’ areas so you can continue to explore on your own.

Weather Policy for Tours and Walks

Tours will go on rain or shine, with the exception of lightning. 

Safety Protocols for All Tours and Walks

Any unvaccinated guests must wear a mask at all times while entering any buildings onsite (snugly covering nose, mouth and chin). Additionally, Duke Gardens’ masking policy may be updated and changed as needed in accordance with Duke University’s masking requirements in place at the time of your visit (Covid-related updates will be posted here). Disposable masks will be available if needed.

If you or any person in your group are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please notify us immediately and we will work with you to reschedule or cancel your tour. COVID-related symptoms include any of the following: temperature over 100°F, atypical headache, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, runny nose (aside from typical seasonal allergies), change in taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

If you need to cancel your tour due to illness and are not able to reschedule, we will refund your tour registration fee.

Questions about guided tours or walks? Please call 919-668-1707 or email gardenseducation@duke.edu