A Texas spring wouldn’t be complete without rolling patches of bluebonnets. The state flower has flanked our highways and filled fields every spring but received even more acclaim after the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. President Lyndon B. Johnson helped to pass the act, but the best place to spot the beloved Lupinus texensis in Dallas is the result of another former U.S. president from Texas.
Every Saturday from Saturday to June 2, flower fans can enjoy a docent-guided Bluebonnet Tour at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The tours, which start at 10 and 11 a.m., wind through a network of walking trails on the grounds, but bluebonnets won’t be the only botanical beauty visitors will behold.
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“This 15-acre urban park reflects President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush’s longstanding commitment to environmental conservation and restoration,” Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, said in a press release. “Case in point, they landscaped with the native prairie grasses that once flourished right here in this part of the state. In addition, they had nearly 930 trees planted, including a wide range of native species such as pecan, Texas redbud, chinkapin oak, Eve’s necklace, and rusty blackhaw viburnum.”
The tours are first-come, first-served, so plan on getting there early. However, if crowds aren’t your thing, the center is also open for self-guided tours from sunrise to sunset. And the library's exhibit First Ladies: Styles of Influence details the behind-the-scenes impact presidents’ wives have had over the years. The tours are free, but checking out the exhibit will cost you around $20 — discounts are available for eligible guests.
Larger groups are also welcome with advanced booking, and scavenger hunt brochures and information can be found on the center’s website. Bring a good pair of shoes and plan the whole day around the state’s favorite flower.