The Best Gardens to Visit Around the U.S.
Gardens are inherently magical. Even though we understand the science behind flowers and how they grow, their beauty continues to inspire our imaginations. The fragrance of a flower garden fills us with hope and longing, and walking through its rolling landscape is one of the many joys of spring and summer.
The United States offers a number of botanical gardens that will satisfy your need for nature. Every state has at least one gorgeous garden, but many states provide several opportunities to witness these stunning displays of nature. Designing a garden is an art form, which is why gardens that may have the same types of flowers can look so different. It depends on the layout of the space, its ornamental accessories, and the flower arrangements. You can create a garden with a theme, like one that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, or design around a color scheme, such as patterns of red and yellow flowers. The Japanese garden in Portland and the Chinese garden in Seattle incorporate cultural design ideas and philosophies into the flower choices and layout of the garden. Other gardens, such as the Holden Arboretum, celebrate native wildlife and flowers.
Plan your summer vacation around visiting as many of these beautiful spaces as you can. If you love flowers and wildlife, you can get an experience that you will never forget. These gardens may also inspire you in your own backyard design. Create a landscape that embodies the beauty of nature and speaks to your imagination. And while you walk these gardens, remember to stop and smell the flowers.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Explore 50 acres of gardens year-round in Richmond, Virginia. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers more than a dozen themed gardens that you can walk through. You also have opportunities to visit little shops and dining spots as you experience all the beauty that flowers have to offer.
Portland Japanese Garden
The former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, once said that Portland Oregon's Japanese Garden was "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan." The garden expresses Japanese culture, tradition, and aesthetics, and inspires serenity and tranquility as you walk through it.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, located in Columbus, Ohio, features botanical biomes and stunning displays of horticulture and art exhibitions. Walk through an Amazon Rainforest Biome right in Ohio. Lush gardens, like the Crane Ornamental Grass and Conifer Collection, provide a beautiful and vibrant experience for visitors.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Retired nurseryman Ernest Schoefer and his wife, Betty, founded the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in 1961. Today, the Gardens in Fort Bragg, California, span 47 acres fronting the Pacific Ocean and provide an unforgettable experience to visitors. Go for the Rhododendrons, its most popular flower species, and stay for the birdwatching—you'll have a chance to see over 180 species of fowl.
Desert Botanical Garden
Flowers in the desert? That, and more: The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, is a true botanical oasis. Situated on 140 acres of land, of which 55 acres are under cultivation, this garden offers visitors the chance to see over 50,000 species of plants on display in outdoor exhibits. Succulents and flowers bring color to such an arid landscape.
The Holden Arboretum
With over 20 miles of trails and the spectacular Murch Canopy Walk, visitors can get a truly awesome botanical experience at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio. The canopy walk is an elevated walkway 65 feet above the forest floor, providing a magical view of the trees and wildlife. It also offers the Kalberer Family Emergent Tower for an unforgettable 120-foot elevated view of the surrounding landscape.
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis features the Butterfly House, Carver Garden, Children's Garden, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, and many more. Learn about the different flowers available such as flowering cherries, water lilies, orchids, and lotuses. The Butterfly House showcases 100 species of exotic flowering tropical plants and, of course, an assortment of butterflies for a magical experience.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Tropical flowers and plants get the star treatment at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, a research and conservation garden found in Coral Gables, Florida. The indoor Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House features rare palms, cycads, ferns, orchids, aroids, bromeliads, fruit trees, and unusual vines. At the William F. Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion, get a taste of exotic tropical fruit species only found in places like Indonesia, Thailand, Borneo, and the Amazon.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Visit 31 gardens, meadows, and botanical wonders at the Chicago Botanical Garden in America's midwest. The Waterfall Garden features a gorgeous waterfall among the flowers, and the Sensory Garden activates all of your senses for a colorful and fragrant experience. You're even welcome to touch the flowers.
Forestiere Underground Gardens
Tour the underground gardens designed by Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere in Fresno, California. In the early 1900s, his design was inspired by the underground catacombs in Italy, and he built the tunnels using simple farm tools like a pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow. At the Forestiere Underground Gardens, you'll see orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees growing from underground.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
With 30 acres of outdoor gardens open to visitors, you could spend an entire day (or weekend) exploring all that Georgia's Atlanta Botanical Garden has to offer. A unique Canopy Walk takes you through the Storza Woods, while the Skyline Garden gives you an extraordinary botanical view.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
Alabama's 112-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden boasts a picture-perfect aquatic garden, plenty of wildflowers, and gorgeous nature trails. If you love butterflies, be sure to make a stop by the 9,000-square-foot Anderson Education Center. The nation's largest open-air butterfly house is located within it.