The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden


Nature is soothing – no doubt about that – but sometimes, that peaceful effect can only be felt if nature surrounds you. If you plan a trip to Texas, you will be surrounded by the typical countryside and natural scenery. If you want to appreciate the beauty of nature, especially flowers, try visiting the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden located in Nacogdoches district of Texas.

Despite being a part of a university, this garden has been opened to the public because more and more nature lovers have taken interest in it. If you want to visit the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, you should check out this guide.

Information on the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden


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The garden is conveniently located within Stephen F. Austin State University and easily accessible to visitors. There are ample parking facilities and clear paths throughout the garden, making it easy for everyone to explore and enjoy.

The garden is home to over 3,000 plant species, including azaleas, camellias, and Japanese maples. There are also gardens for conifer flowers, ferns, herbs, heritage plants, holly gardens, Asian valley plants, a butterfly area, a beehive exhibit, and a vine collection. Each themed section of the garden offers a unique visual and sensory experience.

The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden was established to showcase various plant species in a beautifully landscaped setting. It has grown into a beloved destination for both locals and tourists.

When Was the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden Formed?

The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, part of the 10-acre Mast Arboretum at Stephen F. Austin State University, covers 8 acres and is a significant attraction within the arboretum. The Mast Arboretum began as a class project in 1985 and, with continuous support, expanded into four distinct gardens.

The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden was established in 1997 and completed in 2001. Initially, it featured only a few shrubs and flowers. Today, it is ranked as the second top place to visit in Nacogdoches. You can find the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden at 2107 University Dr, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.

When Should I Visit Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden?

Pink azalea flowers in the park

During the spring

The best time to visit the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is during the spring season when the garden is in full bloom. The weather is pleasant, and the vibrant colors of the flowers make it a delightful experience. Visiting during extreme winter or the hot Texas summer might be less enjoyable, though the garden welcomes visitors year-round. Note that the garden may be closed on national holidays like Christmas, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.

On weekends

Free parking is available on weekends near the Johnson Coliseum and at the corner of University Drive and Starr Avenue. Frequent visitors can request a free visitor’s pass from Stephen F. Austin State University for easier access.

During special events

Special events like the annual Little Princess Tea Party are great times to visit. Group tours are available for those interested in the garden’s history and plant species.


The garden is open 24/7, so you can visit any time of day or night. Walking the full 20-mile track could take about two and a half hours, plus extra time for breaks, snacks, or photos. If you can’t cover it all in one visit, no worries—entry is free so you can return anytime.

Visitor Information

Admission and Parking Details

The garden is open to the public with free admission. Ample parking is available near the garden, making it easy for visitors to access the site.

Amenities and Facilities

Visitors can enjoy well-maintained restrooms and convenient snack stalls throughout the garden. Benches and shaded areas provide comfortable spots to rest and enjoy the scenery.


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What to Do in Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden

Walking and Cycling Tracks

Explore the garden on foot or by bike along the scenic 20-mile track. The well-maintained paths offer a peaceful way to enjoy the garden’s beauty.

Photography Opportunities

Bring your camera! The vibrant azaleas, camellias, and Japanese maples provide stunning photo backdrops. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just love taking pictures, there are countless beautiful spots to capture.

Events and Special Activities

The garden hosts various events, including the popular Little Princess Tea Party. Check the schedule for workshops, guided tours, and other special activities that can make your visit even more memorable.

Traveler Reviews

Visitors have given the garden a 4.5-star rating out of 5, praising it as a photography paradise, especially in spring when the flowers are at their peak. Some enjoy the fall season for its unique charm with fallen leaves. Many visitors describe the garden as a peaceful, heavenly place that they never want to leave. With clear directions and ample space, it’s also a popular spot for early morning exercise. Frequent visitor Sarah says, “Colors everywhere help me have a fresh start to the day.”

Bring your camera and capture the beauty of the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden—it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Guidelines and Etiquette

  • Follow the posted rules. Please follow all posted rules to keep the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden beautiful and enjoyable for everyone. Stay on designated paths, avoid picking flowers, and dispose of litter properly.
  • Be mindful of your impact on the environment. Respect the plants and wildlife, and take your trash with you to help maintain the garden’s natural beauty.
  • Enhance your visit with guided tours and workshops. These are great ways to learn more about the garden’s plant species and get gardening tips.
  • Support the garden by volunteering or making a donation. Your contributions help maintain and improve this beautiful space, which everyone can enjoy.


The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is a delightful escape, offering vibrant blooms, peaceful walking tracks, and plenty of photo opportunities. Its diverse plant species and themed sections make it a unique spot to explore. Whether you’re attending an event, joining a workshop, or simply enjoying a stroll, there’s something for everyone.

We encourage you to visit, experience its beauty firsthand, and participate in the various activities offered. Your visit supports the garden’s upkeep, ensuring it remains a beautiful destination for all.

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