Life can be a busy blur, with each season somehow busier than the last. It’s so important to live in the present; to adopt a “yes, and” mantra and never pass up the opportunity for a bucket-list adventure. Today we’re inviting you to quite literally stop and smell the roses at these stunning botanical gardens in the U.S. As these blooms explode in a spectacular rainbow of color and variety, don’t miss your chance to revel in the resplendence of Mother Nature’s most marvelous seasonal show.
Portland Japanese Garden – Portland, Oregon
Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
One of the most resplendent treasures in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Japanese Garden is a real-life Eden tucked away in the hills of Rose City. With its cool canopy of trees, vibrant and verdant foliage, and sonorous score of babbling cascades and fluttering wildlife, the Portland Japanese Garden is 12 acres of perfect and pristine paradise. Beautiful all year long, the spring brings bountiful cherry blossoms, the summer is verdant green and glorious, autumn is awash in fall foliage, and winter is an ice-frosted fantasy of stillness and serenity. Simply put, the Portland Japanese Garden is a total sensory experience sure to calm your busy mind and bring a sense of peace. If you’re a nature lover looking for the most sublime escape within city limits, nothing compares.
San Francisco Botanical Garden – San Francisco, California
San Francisco Botanical Garden, 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Golden Gate Park might be California’s most iconic place, but within this American treasure there is a botanical garden that beckons all to come and revel in its beauty. While best-known for its magnificent magnolias that brighten the most dreary winter day in the Golden City, the garden’s towering redwood grove is perhaps its most splendiferous feature. In fact, the park is home to some of the only albino coastal redwoods in the entire state, and they are commanding monoliths that anchor the park and make it an immensely special place to experience.
Ethel M Chocolates Botanical Cactus Garden – Henderson, Nevada
Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden, 2 Cactus Garden Dr, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
Ethel M.’s Botanical Garden is a four-acre botanical cactus garden located at the eponymous Chocolate Factory in Henderson, just south of Las Vegas. It’s home to 300 species of plants ranging from ornamental, cacti, and other succulents native to the American Southwest, as well as desert trees and shrubs from the Southwestern U.S., Australia, and South America. It’s the largest botanical cactus garden of its kind in all of Nevada — and among the largest in the world, in fact. The garden is a completely unexpected treasure that will challenge everything you thought you knew about Nevada.
Desert Botanical Garden – Phoenix, Arizona
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA
Another surprising oasis tucked away in the Southwest, Desert Botanical Garden is so beautiful, it almost seems like a mirage. Luckily, it’s as real as it gets, and home to an abundance of native flora and fauna that will give you a whole new appreciation for this striking region. This Arizona treasure boasts 140 acres flush with over 50,000 plants representing 4,000 different species, nearly 400 of which are rare or endangered. Five scenic trails wind through the lovely landscape, each offering a unique and scenic perspective. Whether you like wildflowers or cacti, there’s a hike here for everyone; though, with all five (paved) hikes totaling just over a mile, this is a wholly accessible and immersive adventure that’s a quintessential part of the Desert Botanical Garden experience.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – Dallas, Texas
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218, USA
Located on the shores of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is considered by many to be one of the country’s most beautiful and colorful gardens. While known primarily for its beautiful spring blooms, this Texas treasure is open — and ravishing — all year-round, offering visitors 66 acres of natural beauty to explore in each and every season. It features over a dozen different exhibits, each with its own distinct landscape. Some of these areas include a children’s adventure garden, a pecan grove, and a tree tunnel whose striking beauty has earned it a spot on every photographer’s bucket list.
Huntsville Botanical Garden – Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
Huntsville Botanical Garden isn’t just one of the most beautiful places in Alabama, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the entire South. This beautiful botanical garden, which covers 112 acres, receives visitors year-round from all across the state and beyond, who come to delight in its myriad ecosystems, lush landscapes, bountiful blooms, and, during select times of the year, the seasonal, open-air butterfly house. Families adore the Children’s Garden, which, with its whimsical sculptures and fanciful flowers, is the perfect place to foster a love and appreciation of the Great Outdoors in the littlest explorers.
Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Nestled in the Midwest, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a glorious oasis that’s one of St. Louis’s best-kept secrets. Locals know and love the garden for its beautiful spring blooms, but its Chinese Garden, English Woodland Garden, and Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden are year-round favorites for families and photographers alike. Come and stroll along its lush garden maze, and you’ll be transported back in time to an enchanting manor on the English countryside… right smack in the middle of the Midwest!
Belle Isle Conservancy – Detroit, Michigan
Conservatory Drive, Conservatory Dr, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
Detroit often gets overlooked in terms of natural beauty, but that’s only because Belle Isle Conservancy is such a hidden gem. Once you’ve discovered this urban oasis for yourself, your entire perception of Motor City will change. Located just a stone’s throw from Downtown, this island park is home to a nature zoo, maritime museum, aquarium, golf practice facility, and plenty of open green-space. What also makes this island park unique is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, which features a wide array of beautiful and rare flora, including one of the nation’s largest collections of orchids. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory was designed by famous architect Albert Kahn and is the oldest continually running conservatory in the United States. Stepping into the conservatory will make you feel like you’re in another world… in the most magical, wonderful way.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA
The Cincinnati Zoo’s hippo starlet definitely put this Midwest gem on the map, but even before the #TeamFiona craze, this attraction was known for its world-renowned botanical garden. Of course, this is something Ohioans have long known, with the annual Zoo Blooms boasting a ROYGBIV explosion of over 100,000 tulips and fanciful flowers that’s scores of naturalists, photographers, families, flower lovers, and pollinators (!) for generations. Experts in horticulture tend to the abundant flora and fauna that paint the landscape of the Zoo, which, no matter what time of the year you visit, is an enchanting experience that will make you feel like Dorothy entering the magical Land of Oz.
Cypress Gardens – Winter Haven, Florida
Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, USA
Who would ever expect to stumble upon a beautiful botanical garden at LEGOLAND? But that’s exactly what you’ll find at this Florida attraction. This wondrous garden is home to a thriving population of exotic plants including varieties of palms, banana trees, azaleas, camellias, and more. Its most magnificent highlight, however, is the giant Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in 1939, the year Cypress Gardens was founded. Today as part of the Florida LEGOLAND experience, the Cypress Gardens is a glorious glimpse into the past that’s the true star of this popular attraction.
Naples Botanical Garden – Naples, Florida
Botanical Place Circle, Botanical Pl Cir, Naples, FL 34112, USA
Another Sunshine State gem, Naples Botanical Garden is 170 acres of pure paradise that’s wholly unique to this part of Florida. Characterized by flora and fauna found in the tropics, subtropics, marshes, and mangroves, this is one of those destinations in the U.S. that truly feels worlds apart from any place found on the mainland. The Garden, founded in 1993, also features 90 acres of natural habitats, trails, and a boardwalk and stage that plays host to local musicians, making for a delightful all-around destination for romantics and nature lovers.
Brookgreen Gardens – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Brookgreen Drive, Brookgreen Dr, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, USA
There’s no place in the entire country quite like Brookgreen Gardens, a place steeped in Southern beauty, culture, and history in the most magical of ways. Founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, Brookgreen Gardens is a real-life oasis that’s home to 250 year-old Southern live oaks, a beguiling butterfly garden, and myriad other gardens including the namesake Palmetto Garden. Aesthetes strolling the grounds will delight in the beauty of the sculptures and the bold garden designs, an artistic flourish that takes this botanical garden to the next level.
Biltmore – Asheville, North Carolina
Biltmore, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
America’s very own fairy tale, no place in America is more magical than the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore was built by George Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895; a 178,926-square-foot mansion located on 8,000 acres of pristine property just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The largest privately-owned home in America, it’s a place of stunning scenery, lush gardens, ornate architecture, and historic relevance. While the house itself is a major attraction (the Biltmore draws over a million visitors each year), the massive and meticulously kept gardens on the estate are absolutely heavenly and rival the home’s stunning beauty. The summer rose garden, spring tulip display, and sunflower fields add an enchanting, natural element to this commanding castle, and are worth seeking out during their seasonal blooms.
New York Botanical Garden – New York City, New York
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
Amid the hum and buzz of The Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden offers urbanites a 250-acre escape to paradise. One of the most beautiful day trips in New York, this garden is popular for visitors of all ages, in all seasons of the year. Kids love to explore the Children’s Adventure Garden, while the Seasonal Walk, a vibrant collection of perennials, grasses, and bulbs, is a favorite among photographers and nature admirers. Plant people, meanwhile, revel in the 3.5-acre Native Plant Garden, which focuses on flora native to the region. It’s more than a pretty face, however: the New York Botanical Garden showcases more than a million living plants and operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs.
Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden – Hilo, Hawaii
Hawai‘i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, 27-717 Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781, USA
There are numerous bucket-list-worthy reasons to visit Hawaii, and we think that this glorious bioreserve and botanical garden ranks among the most compelling. This oasis opened in 1984 in Hawaii’s secluded and sublime Onomea Valley, and today is home to over 2,500 tropical and subtropical plants from the islands and around the world. The crown jewel of this real-life Garden of Eden, however, is a three-tiered waterfall that many claim to be *the* most beautiful in Hawaii. And despite its diminutive stature — especially compared with some of the Aloha State’s most commanding cascades — this wondrous waterfall, surrounded by the most lush, emerald-green foliage and vibrant flora, definitely lives up to such praise.
Botanical gardens are some of our country’s most wondrous places, providing a perfect and accessible experience of nature unlike any other. We challenge you to pick a garden or two to visit this season for a colorful dose of awe and wonder.
Address: Biltmore, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
Address: Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden, 2 Cactus Garden Dr, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
Address: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA
Address: Brookgreen Drive, Brookgreen Dr, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, USA
Address: Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, USA
Address: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218, USA
Address: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA
Address: Hawai‘i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, 27-717 Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781, USA
Address: Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
Address: Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Address: Botanical Place Circle, Botanical Pl Cir, Naples, FL 34112, USA
Address: Conservatory Drive, Conservatory Dr, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
Address: Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Address: San Francisco Botanical Garden, 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA