Request a Tour
For everyone's safety and enjoyment, no more than five visitors are allowed to enter the Kaplan Orchid Conservatory. Advance notice is expected for health and safety reasons. Organized tours with the Associate Director Darrin Duling have been postponed due to COVID-19. We ask that you complete the online request form to make a scheduled appointment.
The Kaplan Orchid Conservatory is open Monday through Fridays from 10am to 2pm. However, you can schedule private tours. The orchids on display are constantly changing throughout the year, so multiple visits are encouraged.
The Kaplan Orchid Conservatory offers an opportunity for visitors to discover a hidden gem where exotic orchids and tropical plants thrive in a naturalistic setting. While Winter through early Spring is the best time to see the greatest number of orchids in bloom, there is always something new to encounter year-round.
The gardens immediately outside of the Conservatory also reflect the diversity within, offering opportunities to witness local wildlife interacting with a wide array of plants; at various times during the year you will see monarch butterfly caterpillars feeding on milkweeds, birds gathering materials for their nests, and pollinators visiting flowers.
Moving beyond this area, the entire ODU campus landscape continues to develop as a delightful haven for everyone to appreciate and study plants and the creatures that depend on them for their survival.
The display conservatory at the KOC is wheelchair accessible, however, anyone interested in attending a behind-the-scenes tour is encouraged to contact Associate Director Darrin Duling in advance to discuss your particular situation.
There are designated handicapped parking spaces in the ODU parking garages (Parking Garage A is closest to the KOC). There is an accessible public restroom in the Webb University Center. Around campus, most of the paths are paved, with a few exceptions.
Food & Drink
Consumption of food and drink, other than water, is prohibited in the KOC. This may be waived during special public outreach events.
The Webb University Center is the closest place to grab a bite to eat. With a Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Subway, Panda Express and more, you and your tour group will find plenty to enjoy. During the summer and school breaks, they often have reduced hours, so it is best to check and make sure they are open when you are visiting.
Directions & Parking
The KOC is located in the heart of the ODU campus between Hampton Blvd and Elkhorn Ave. at 44th St. near the Perry Library.
Parking is available at parking lot A on Elkhorn Ave.
From Hampton Blvd. turn West onto 43rd St. (a right turn if coming down Hampton Blvd. from Terminal Blvd./Navy Base/Peninsula—or a left turn if coming from Downtown Norfolk/Midtown Tunnel). Turn right onto Elkhorn Ave. and turn right into Parking Garage A. Metered parking is available on the ground level, or you can request a visitor's pass from the parking office. Please obey all parking instructions—including those on visitor passes!
Exit the parking garage from the side door (opposite the parking office, walking away from 43rd St.), and you will see the KOC approximately 160 paces down the red brick road.
Photography for personal enjoyment of visitors is welcome, however any equipment other than a hand-held camera device, such as tripods, reflectors, diffusers, lighting, flash units, etc. are not allowed without prior permission from the Associate Director. Props, such as chairs, step stools, blankets, vases, living plants, animals, artificial flowers/foliage, etc. are not allowed. Visitors taking photographs are asked to please keep in mind that the KOC is a public facility and maintain utmost discretion with conduct and attire at all times.
In adherence to its mission to serve all sectors of the community, reservation and private use of the KOC for commercial photographic sessions is only available on a limited, first-come, basis, and only outside of regular open hours (10:00am-2:00pm, M-F). Photographers seeking to use the KOC and its immediate surroundings for any commercial purposes involving public media release, including non-profit advertising and for-profit education and publication, must submit a proposal to Associate Director Darrin Duling with a complete description of intent, usage and timing. All requests will be reviewed by the KOC Advisory Committee and ODU Communications Department and, upon approval, an on-site preliminary meeting and review will be arranged. Photography sessions will be conducted via scheduled appointment only and an ODU-designated representative must be present at all times. Commercial photography sessions are subject to fees for usage.
Thanks for Visiting!
- Guests are asked to please stay on the walkways at all times and not step or place items into planted areas.
- Damage and removal of any plant material (flowers, leaves, twigs, etc.) are strictly prohibited.
- Primarily for safety reasons, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Anyone not observing these rules may be asked to leave.