In Full Bloom: Gorgeous Botanical Gardens in All 50 States

Fuller Gardens, North Hampton, New Hampshire

CrossCurrent C./Yelp

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Fuller Gardens, North Hampton, New Hampshire
CrossCurrent C./Yelp

Gardens Across the Country

A garden in bloom is a picnic for the senses, and an escape from the hustle of daily life — and some are open during the pandemic, though with mask and social distancing requirements. Beautiful botanical gardens across the country are dedicated to education, research, and conservation, offering a chance to unwind, learn, and find inspiration for creating a plot at home. Enjoy these spectacular photos of these gardens for some virtual peace of mind.

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama
Crystal C./Yelp

Alabama: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

With more than 67 acres and 30 separate gardens, there is always something blooming at  the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Themes include Japanese, all-American, crape myrtle, rose, fern, and rhododendron, as well as gardens for the disabled and the bereaved.

Alaska Botanical Garden, Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Botanical Garden/Yelp

Alaska: Alaska Botanical Garden

Alaska's botanical garden is on the pricey side from May to September, but since daylight lasts almost 24 hours in summer, patrons can really get their money's worth. Perennial, wildflower, and herb gardens as well as trails adorn the garden's 110 acres.

Related: Gardening Gifts for Anyone With a Green Thumb

Botanical Garden of The Ozarks, Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Arizona: Tucson Botanical Gardens

Claiming 5 acres in central Tucson, this garden covers several different themes, including cacti and succulents, butterflies, birds, and children's discovery — and a miniature train runs through it. Some garden and gallery spaces may be closed due to the pandemic.

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Betty Road Alpine Gardens, Vail, Colorado
Kristen W./Yelp
San Francisco Botanical Garden
Saxon Holt

California: San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco
It's hard to choose among the many beautiful gardens in California, but this one located right in Golden Gate Park has unmatched diversity. The microclimate of the 55-acre park allows plants from all over the world to thrive. A California garden features native redwoods, while other gardens showcase the flora of South America, Asia, Australia, the Mediterranean, Mexico, and South Africa.

Related: 20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in San Francisco

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail, Colorado
Matthew G./Yelp
Elizabeth Park Conservancy, West Hartford, Connecticut
Emily C./Yelp

Connecticut: Elizabeth Park Conservancy

West Hartford
For people who can't get enough of roses, Elizabeth Park is the spot, with more than 450 rose beds. Dating back to 1894, this is the oldest public rose garden in the country. There are also shade, annual, and herb gardens; perennial borders; and greenhouses, as well as a wooded park area and tennis courts.

Related: 15 Foods You Can Grow in a Container Garden

Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware
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Delaware: Mt. Cuba Center

With more than 50 acres of gardens and 500 acres for hiking and strolling, Mt. Cuba features dogwoods, meadows, a trillium garden, a formal garden with perennials, ponds with aquatic flora, and a picnic area. A trial garden evaluates plants for ornamental value, as well as resistance to pests and disease.

U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia: The U.S. Botanic Garden

Washington, D.C.
George Washington's vision of the capital included this botanical garden, in operation since 1820. The National Garden features plants native to the mid-Atlantic, a butterfly garden, and a First Ladies Water Garden. A plant library contains 65,000 species, including medicinal and carnivorous plants, orchids, cacti, bromeliads, ferns, and exotic plants confiscated at the nation's borders. Due to the pandemic, gated outdoor gardens and the conservatory are temporarily closed but Bartholdi Park and the Terrace Gardens are open.

Related: The Best Lakes in All 50 States

Florida Botanical Garden, Largo, Florida
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Florida: Florida Botanical Gardens

Along with formal gardens, a demonstration garden, and displays of tropical plants, Florida Botanical Gardens contains an aquatic habitat and natural area that showcases the diversity of plant and animal life unique to this landscape. Native fruits, butterflies, succulents, and palms are among the highlights. The garden features a children's trail, too.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Rick T./Yelp

Georgia: State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The gardens here include shade and native flora, herbal and medicinal plants, an international garden, and a heritage garden that celebrates the region's horticultural history. Flower gardens are designed to attract native pollinators, and there are greenhouses and nature trails. This garden is active in plant conservation and research, too.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Papaikou

Hawaii: Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

In this preserve, visitors can follow a long boardwalk through a lush tropical forest. Other trails lead through a world-class collection of 200 species of palms and gardens of giant ferns, passing waterfalls, heliconias, banyan trees, orchids, bromeliads, a giant koi pond, and abundant wildlife. The garden supports a tropical plant database, and a florist ships lush bouquets anywhere in the U.S.

Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise, Idaho
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Idaho: Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden's many horticultural holdings include a typical English garden, a rose garden, and greenhouses. Demonstration gardens highlight plants that thrive in the Rockies and High Plains. Other garden areas showcase xeric, native, and fire-wise plants, succulents, and vegetables.

Related: 24 Earth-Friendly Habits That Can Save You Money

Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, Illinois

Illinois: Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago is home to one of the country's largest botanic gardens, with 385 acres and more than 2.6 million plants. The 27 gardens range from an English walled garden to a Japanese garden and include aquatic, prairie, rose, sensory, residential, and model railroad gardens, as well as a large bonsai collection. All visitors must pre-register for timed entry.

Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, Valparaiso, Indiana
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines, Iowa
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden/Yelp

Iowa: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Des Moines
Tropical plants fill the conservatory while temperate gardens adorn the outdoor spaces at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. An allée of maples comes alive in the spring with a display of 3,400 irises. The rose collection intermingles with herbs, and a waterfall garden contains swaths of lilacs and shrubbery as well as thousands of spring bulbs.

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Overland Park, Kansas
Steve D./Yelp

Kansas: Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Overland Park
A majority of this 300-acre park in the Kansas City area is devoted to the preservation and restoration of native ecosystems, including prairie. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, a Monet garden with pastel blooms, a xeriscape garden that requires no watering, and a model train garden, as well as quiet glades beside waterfalls, brooks, and ponds.

Related: Beyond Niagara: Where to Find Waterfalls in All 50 States

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Crestwood, Kentucky
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Kentucky: Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Once the home and grounds of a noted plantsman, Yew Dell hosts an English walled garden, serpentine garden, sunken rock garden, seasonal annual gardens, more than a mile of hiking trails, and impressive collections of hellebores, camellias, and ferns, among others.

Gardens of The American Rose Society, Shreveport, Louisiana
Janis H./Yelp
Mclaughlin Garden and Homestead, South Paris, Maine
Frank B./Yelp

Maine: McLaughlin Garden and Homestead

South Paris
This old farm plot, planted for almost 60 years by a self-taught gardener, houses the largest collection of lilacs in New England. The formal garden contains phlox, hostas, succulents, lilies, native Maine wildflowers, and ferns. Walk under a serene canopy of trees alongside many varieties of woody shrubs.

Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland
Lone Wolf Photography/shutterstock

Maryland: Brookside Gardens

A 50-acre display garden, Brookside contains two conservatories housing tropical plants. Seasonal events such as a butterfly exhibit and winter holiday show dot the calendar. Displays include aquatic, Japanese, azalea, butterfly, children's, and fragrance gardens. Face coverings are required.

Related: 14 Fast-Growing Flowers and Plants Anyone Can Grow

The Gardens at ELM Bank, Wellesley, Massachusetts
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Massachusetts: The Gardens at Elm Bank

Situated on 36 acres, the Gardens at Elm Bank are managed by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Visitors will find a trial garden of new and unreleased annuals, a four-season display garden, and themed gardens for children, herbs, daylilies, rhododendrons, and seed-to-table vegetables. A library holds one of the country's oldest and largest collections of horticultural books.

Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan
MaryLiz S./Yelp
Munsinger Clemens Botanical Society, St. Cloud, Minnesota
David O./Yelp

Minnesota: Munsinger Clemens Botanical Society

St. Cloud
Munsinger Gardens, on the site of a former sawmill, grew out of a Depression-era Works Progress Administration project that produced trees, flower beds, a lily pond, rock-lined paths, and a greenhouse. Clemens Gardens comprises a rose garden with more than 100 varieties, a rest area with fountains and vines, a white garden, a formal garden, a perennial garden, and a treillage garden with a giant arbor surrounded by four large one-color beds. Free public concerts, an art fair, and other events are on the calendar.

Crosby Arboretum, Picayune, Mississippi

Mississippi: Crosby Arboretum

The Crosby Arboretum, with 700 acres and more than 300 species of plants, teaches visitors about the habitats of the southeastern coastal region. The savannah contains trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers adapted to reduce the possibility of devastating wildfires. Wetlands showcase aquatic plants and wildlife, and woodlands contain more than 12,000 newly planted trees. There are several trails for exploring.

Related: Best Hikes in Every State to Get Your Heart Pumping

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri Botanical Garden/Yelp

Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden

St. Louis
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the U.S., Missouri Botanical Garden is known for its research, trial gardens, and work in conservation and sustainability. It attracts visitors with 79 acres of formal gardens, international gardens, demonstration gardens that teach home gardening skills, and conservatories, including a half-acre geodesic dome that houses a tropical rainforest. Many home gardeners are familiar with its excellent and descriptive plant database.

Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum, Jefferson City, Montana
Tizer Botanic Garden & Arboretum/Yelp

Montana: Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum

Jefferson City
Plants that flourish during Montana's short growing year include vegetables, roses, herbs, and wildflowers. The gardens feature plants for hummingbirds and butterflies and a meditation space with a large stone Buddha.

Related: I Started Meditating and This Is What Happened

Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska
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Nebraska: Lauritzen Gardens

This living museum offers four seasons of displays on more than 100 acres. The Lauritzen Gardens include an arboretum and bird sanctuary, woodland areas for hiking, water features, English perennial borders, and Victorian, conservation, herb, tree peony, model railroad, and children's gardens. A conservatory hosts tropical plants and a revolving series of exhibits.

Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Reno, Nevada
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Nevada: Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Located in a transitional zone between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Basin Desert, where temperatures can fluctuate up to 40 degrees in a day, this 13-acre site is a testament to the hardiness of 4,000 species of plants, which survive in an arid climate with less than 8 inches of annual rainfall. Among the gardens are a secluded, shady grove bedecked with wisteria and honeysuckle, a songbird garden, a rose garden, a rock garden, and a wetland area.

Related: The Coldest and Warmest Cities in Every State

Fuller Gardens, North Hampton, New Hampshire
CrossCurrent C./Yelp

New Hampshire: Fuller Gardens

North Hampton
Once the summer estate of a New Hampshire governor, these gardens (designed by the esteemed Olmsted firm) have been maintained continuously since the late 1920s. A formal rose garden with 1,500 rose bushes, Japanese garden with a koi pond, English perennial garden, and shady hosta garden are interspersed with statuary and water features at Fuller Gardens.

Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown, New Jersey
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New Jersey: Deep Cut Gardens

This county-run nature preserve is dedicated to the home gardener, offering classes for beginners as well as experienced gardeners. There's a home-composting demonstration site, a vegetable demonstration garden, and a horticultural center. Those who want to just walk through and delight in the scenery will find shade, rose, and Japanese gardens, a bonsai display, meadows, ponds, and more.

Related: Where to Buy Plants Online

Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico: Santa Fe Botanical Garden

Santa Fe
There's plenty to see and learn at this 14-acre garden. Each location reflects a piece of New Mexico's geology and natural history. Arroyo trails demonstrate restoration of this landscape feature and Ojo y Manos combines art and landscape architecture.

Wave Hill, Bronx, New York
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New York: Wave Hill, Bronx

Just outside the concrete jungle of Manhattan, visitors can enjoy 28 acres of flower, aquatic, alpine, herb, and shade gardens; wooded walks of conifers; and flowering ornamental trees. At Wave Hill, the Palm House conservatory holds bulbs and plants from around the world. The mission of this garden is to combine plants with the arts through frequent exhibits, concerts, and family art projects.

Related: 43 Cheap or Free Things to Do in New York City

Botanical Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina
Mandy N./Yelp

North Carolina: Botanical Gardens at Asheville

The Botanical Gardens’ grounds are home to a botanically diverse collection of plants native to the Southern Appalachians. Sunny and dry locations, as well as shady and wet areas, showcase a wide variety of flora. A walking trail covers streams, meadows, woodlands, and wildflower groves.

Northern Plains Botanical Garden Society, Fargo, North Dakota
Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society
Toledo Botanical Garden, Toledo, Ohio

Ohio: Toledo Botanical Garden

In this 60-acre botanical garden, visitors can stroll through gardens dedicated to perennials, annuals, dahlias, roses, woods, and herbs. The facility operates an urban farm and agriculture center that supports more than 125 community gardens.

Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Leslie S./Yelp

Oklahoma: Myriad Botanical Gardens

Oklahoma City
This 15-acre horticultural museum and park is well-named: There are many gardens to explore, including a prairie garden and gardens for drought-tolerant plants. Several pools invite kids to splash around and dogs can run unleashed in a designated area.

Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon

Oregon: Portland Japanese Garden

Portland built this garden to honor its sister city of Sapporo, Japan. The harmonious 5.5-acre site features a tea garden; a flat garden that creates balance among the ground, stones, and clipped shrubbery; a strolling pond garden with a stream, waterfall, and moon bridge accented with irises and shrubs; a garden of indigenous deciduous plants; and a sand and stone garden.

Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stacie C./Yelp
Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Kathy X./Yelp

Rhode Island: Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

Visitors to this city-run park will find perennial gardens, a wooded garden, and a rose maze, but the preserve's best feature is a 12,000-square-foot indoor display. A conservatory contains tropical blooms and trees; a Mediterranean greenhouse represents a more arid climate; and a third, smaller greenhouse is filled with cacti and other succulents.

South Carolina Botanical Gardens, Clemson, South Carolina
Chuck N./Yelp

South Carolina: South Carolina Botanical Garden

On the campus of Clemson University, a geology museum, an art gallery, historic homes, and nature trails sit on a 295-acre site with the Senn Horticultural Gardens. Visitors will find a butterfly garden, wildflower meadow, and specialty gardens for camellias, hostas, magnolias, native plants, and more.

Related: 12 Places Nature Is Thriving as Humans Retreat During the Lockdown

McCrory Gardens, Brookings, South Dakota

South Dakota: McCrory Gardens

This 25-acre formal garden on the campus of South Dakota State University serves as a testing ground for new species. Plants with their own areas include irises, lilies, mums, peonies, shrub roses, hostas, and ornamental grasses. Butterfly and hummingbird gardens feature plants that attract these fleeting pollinators, and a prairie garden showcases native habitats. A medicinal garden highlights plants used by local Native Americans. The adjacent arboretum offers nearly 2 miles of walking trails.

Knoxville Botanical Garden and Abroretum, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Tennessee: Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum

This preserve began as a nursery in 1786. Today the park's 47 acres hold eight display gardens, including beds designed and cultivated by Knoxville Master Gardeners, which are used for teaching. Local residents learn to grow food at the Center for Urban Agriculture, and visitors enjoy a dogwood trail, a butterfly meadow, and stone terraces shaded by old trees, where events such as dinners and fundraising galas can be held.

Related: Can You Guess Your State Flower?

Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth, Texas
Garry H./Yelp

Texas: Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Fort Worth
Texas' oldest botanic garden comprises 22 specialized gardens. A water-conservation garden features xeric plants, and a working vegetable garden includes fruit trees and a greenhouse. An elevated boardwalk through a shaded selection of native plants offers activities for kids.

Conservation Garden Park, West Jordan, Utah
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Utah: Conservation Garden Park

West Jordan
Like much of the Intermountain West, Utah receives little rainfall and uses significant stores of fresh water to maintain outdoor landscaping. Conservation Garden Park seeks to reduce the amount by testing and showcasing landscapes best suited to arid and semi-arid regions. Visitors will find artful displays and also plenty of resources, including classes, landscape ideas, and events — all geared toward helping nature lovers become better stewards of water resources.

Related: 22 Splash Pads and Spray Parks Kids Will Love

Historic Greatwood Campus
Historic Greatwood Campus by Goddard College Progressive Ed at en.wikipedia (CC BY-SA)

Vermont: Greatwood Gardens

Designed by a protégé of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Greatwood Gardens is on the campus of Goddard College. This is a small preserve for a small state. It consists primarily of two areas with perennial borders divided by a wide pedestrian walk. Noteworthy features include boxwood hedges cut into an intricate design in the formal garden, a fountain pool, and a rose garden.

Maymont Gardens, Richmond, Virginia
Sans A./Yelp

Virginia: Maymont Gardens

The grounds and gardens on this 100-acre estate are truly stunning, showcasing the style of landscaping favored by the wealthy during the Gilded Age. An Italian garden features stonework, fountains, and gazebos. A Japanese garden, shaded by pruned trees, offers a cool respite in an intimate setting. Also on the grounds are a farm for children, wildlife exhibit, butterfly trail, lily and daffodil display garden, herb garden, and wetland habitat.

Related: Beautiful College Campuses Across America and Beyond

Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, Washington
Mandy S./Yelp

Washington: Bellevue Botanical Garden

This 53-acre urban garden showcases the natural habitats of the Pacific Northwest. Gardens highlight collections of fuschias, dahlias, rhododendrons, ferns, and perennials. A Japanese contemplative garden and forest trail add to visitors' enjoyment. A water-wise garden demonstrates conservation practices — an unexpected feature in an area known for abundant rainfall.

West Virginia Botanic Garden, Morgantown, West Virginia

West Virginia: West Virginia Botanic Garden

This 82-acre site might be considered a “late bloomer.” It started in 2000 and is still developing but also offers much to see and do. Displays include an herb garden, a home landscape demonstration garden, and rock and sensory gardens. The park also features extensive trails through woodlands, wetlands, and display gardens.

Related: 14 Warm Weather Destinations for Reconnecting With Nature

Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin
Gerald A. DeBoer/shutterstock

Wisconsin: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

First envisioned by Michael Olbrich almost 100 years ago, these 16 acres of gardens have something blooming all year. The Bolz Conservatory – replete with orchids and other tropical plants, a waterfall, and free-flying tropical birds — is especially delightful in bone-chilling Wisconsin winters. A gilded pavilion, a gift from the Thai government, is surrounded by lush grasses and bamboo that look tropical but can survive the climate.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Cheyenne, Wyoming
John Victor U./Yelp

Wyoming: Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

The 27 specialty gardenson this 9-acre site include rose, herb, cactus, perennial, rock, sensory, conifer, and historic gardens. Situated in a difficult growing climate, the gardens feature water-saving xeriscaping. The Paul Smith Children's Village (closed Mondays) is a hands-on experience in sustainability with windmills, pumps, waterworks, a doghouse with a green roof, a color-coded geodesic dome, and more.