Fortunately, for those not granted with a green thumb, many of the United States’ most beautiful gardens are open to the public. Explore larger-than-life flower fests, Victorian conservatories, and canopy walks at these 10 gorgeous gardens.
United States Botanic Garden
Established nearly two centuries ago in 1820, the United States Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country. Grounded in Washington, D.C., just a stone’s throw from the Capitol, the garden comprises roughly 65,000 plants, including species which date back to the 19th century. Happily, for history (and horticulture!) buffs, the garden boasts free admission.
United States Botanic Gardens, 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, D.C., +1 202 225 8333
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Elegance abounds at this Richmond, Virginia garden, where Southern charm is always in bloom. Comprising a classical domed conservatory, more than a dozen themed gardens, and an annual wintertime display featuring over half a million lights, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden makes every day feel like a special occasion.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave, Henrico, VA, USA, +1 804 262 9887
New York Botanical Garden
Amongst New York City’s iconic skyscrapers and urban scenes lies the 250-acre oasis, New York Botanical Garden. A National Historic Landmark, the garden boasts a 1902-era conservatory and century-old conifers in addition to timeless touches, such as a winter train show and a rose garden featuring more than 650 rose varieties.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
It should come as no surprise that one of the most stunning gardens in North America lies in sultry South Florida. Making the most of its hot habitat, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables cultivates a year-round collection of outdoor offerings, including a butterfly conservatory featuring close to 3,000 exotic butterflies and an assortment of rare fruit species, such as mangosteens and cacao. Occupying 83 acres, Fairchild provides visitors with the sights of summer year-round.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Home to the United States’ largest permanent display of orchid species, Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-visit for fans of the famous flower. Offering plenty more to see, this Georgian gem boasts a 600-foot-long (182.8 meters) canopy walk, where horticulture enthusiasts are granted a bird’s-eye view of azaleas, hydrangeas, perennials, and more.
Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, USA, +1 404 876 5859
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Working to promote the “enjoyment” of horticulture, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden certainly succeeds. Larger-than-life installations—it is Texas, after all—are the main attraction here, where flower fests (the Southwest’s biggest) feature over 500,000 blooms, and a seasonal pumpkin patch packs in more than 50,000 pumpkins and gourds.
Founded by the Polish-born opera singer, socialite, and fine jewelry fan Ganna Walska, the 37-acre Lotusland brings a touch of magic to Montecito. Boasting a collection as multifaceted as its founder, Lotusland is home to more than 170 types of aloe, a “blue garden” showcasing only blue-gray foliage, a shady palm garden, and during the summer, a stunning selection of lotus flowers. Tip: be sure to call ahead when visiting this grand garden, which is open to the public by reservation only.
Lotusland, Cold Spring Rd, Montecito, CA, USA, +1 805 969 9990
Desert Botanical Garden
Think gardens and deserts don’t mix? The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona boasts a collection so stunning that you won’t mind being proven wrong. Here, 145 acres are devoted solely to desert plants—over 50,000 of them, to be exact. An annual butterfly exhibit, wildflower blooms, and a curious cacti collection infuse arid Arizona with life.
Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ, USA, +1 480 941 1225
The Topiary Park
Why has one public park in Columbus, Ohio attracted visitors from around the country? Not your average city square, the Topiary Park boasts a garden so unique that it may very well be the only one of its kind. Modeled after Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat’s 1884 creation A Sunday on La Grand Jatte, the topiary garden is the world’s “only known topiary interpretation of a painting,” comprising 54 human figures, eight boats, and five animals, all made of yew.
The Topiary Park, 480 E Town St, Columbus, OH, USA, +1 614 645 0197
Portland Japanese Garden
Thanks to this Oregon garden, serenity seekers no longer have to travel to Asia to experience an authentic Japanese garden. At Portland Japanese Garden, Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto philosophies are all evident in the harmonious stone, water, and plant paradise. Welcoming more than 350,000 guests each year, the garden, with its bridges, pavilion, and authentic teahouse, is one of Oregon’s top tourist destinations.
Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 223 1321