Duke Gardens offers guided trolley and walking tours for adult audiences. Tours are led by trained volunteer docents and offer opportunities to engage in the history, ecology and plants of the Gardens.
Update: The 2023 tour season has ended. Registration for tours for the first four months of 2024 will open shortly.
Payment is due at time of booking. Registration closes one day prior to tour date. Please note that most trolley tours are booked months in advance.
One-hour private trolley tours allow visitors to experience the beauty of the Gardens from the comfort of a covered cart.
$60 flat fee
Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
March to November availability
Enjoy a one-hour walking tour with a volunteer docent and experience seasonal highlights in the Gardens.
$15 per person
Maximum of 15 participants
Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.*
*1 p.m. tours are not available in July or August.
Looking for a private walking tour for a larger group? Reach out via GardensEducation@duke.edu or 919-668-1707.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tours
What is the cancellation policy? We accept cancellations up to three days in advance of your reservation. You can change or cancel your reservation by selecting the "Add, change or cancel your tour reservation" link on the top right of the reservation page. Be prepared to fill in your email address and the confirmation number that you received by email when you registered for your previous tour. To receive a refund, you must contact us at 919-668-1707 or email your request to GardensEducation@duke.edu.
If you or any person in your group are experiencing any flu, Covid or other viral respiratory symptoms, please notify us immediately and we will reschedule or cancel your tour.
What is the weather policy? Tours will proceed rain or shine, with the exception of lightning. Please dress accordingly. Staff will reach out if the tour has been canceled due to weather. In the event of a cancellation, we will work with you to reschedule or refund your fee.
Where do I park? Parking is available but limited. Duke University Parking & Transportation charges $2 per hour, daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more on our parking information page.
The tour I want to attend is sold out. Is there a wait list? There are currently no wait lists for tours.
What payment methods are accepted? Registrants can pay online with a credit card. If you do not enter your payment information, you have not booked a tour. Payment is required. If your confirmation email does not include a tour date and time, then you have not paid for your tour.
What do I need to bring with me? We suggest you bring a water bottle, sun protection and comfortable walking shoes.
Are the tours accessible to all? Duke Gardens is working to increase accommodations for all visitors. Trained service animals are permitted on tours. All restrooms are accessible.
Trolley tours provide access to Duke Gardens for visitors with limited mobility. However, if you use a wheelchair, you must be able to transfer yourself independently into the trolley. Wheelchairs and walkers cannot be accommodated on the trolley.
Walking tours traverse trails with slopes that exceed the 5 percent standard set by the ADA. Some areas have steps and paths with loose gravel.
Wheelchair rentals are not available at Duke Gardens.
Who should I contact with any other questions regarding tours? Please email GardensEducation@duke.edu or call 919-668-1707.