The Best Gardens to Visit in Memphis, Tennessee

The Memphis Botanic Garden comprises 31 specialty gardens
The Memphis Botanic Garden comprises 31 specialty gardens | © George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Claudia Glover
7 July 2020

The gardens of Memphis are steeped in culture. If a garden isn’t part of a gallery, they are near a museum or a planetarium, as most of them are in the same part of town. East Memphis is the fancy side, where you can spend the day learning and teaching kids about impressionists while you look at flowers.

Cooper-Young Gardens

Architectural Landmark
Map View

The Cooper-Young neighborhood has a collection of small, quirky gardens that are a lovely way to relax if you have an hour to spare. Memphis residents are passionate about keeping their gardens pretty, so expect nothing less than home-made mosaic wall art and improvised upholstery between the flowered paths. These gardens are near the Central Gardens area in the middle of Memphis, and the 02 bus takes you there easily.

Memphis Botanic Garden

Botanical Garden, Park
Map View
Memphis Botanic Garden lies in Audubon Park and is a must-visit when in Memphis. Boasting 96 acres (39ha) of gardens – 31 to be exact – and pretty patios open to the public, the botanic gardens’ management is deeply passionate about connecting the local population with nature and all it has to offer. The garden hosts fun community events throughout the year, including the popular Daffodil Dash and family egg hunt. To reach the garden, take the 57 bus up to Midtown.

Overton Park Formal Gardens

Botanical Garden
Map View

If you want a day that can include nine holes of golf, the Memphis Zoo and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, as well as gardens lined with pretty flowers, stones and benches, then Overton Park is the place to be. This 342-acre (138ha) public park in Midtown Memphis includes hiking trails, and one of the few remaining old-growth forests in Tennessee, along with many other exciting activities. To get there, take the 50 bus all the way up to the east side of town.

Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Map View
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens houses an art gallery at its center, which specializes in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The gardens are English, French and Italian in style and also comprise water features and sculptures. A visit to these gardens feels like stepping straight into one of Monet’s famous paintings. Take the 57 bus past Central Gardens and Cooper-Young to get there.

Chickasaw Gardens

Botanical Garden
Map View

Carrying on the tradition of culture at the heart of a Memphis garden, Chickasaw is very close to the Pink Palace Museum and its planetarium. In a neighborhood of the same name, these gardens boast a lake at the center, surrounded by benches and full of birds, a walking path and a wonderful community vibe. To get there, head to the Chickasaw area of Midtown.

Memphis Memory Gardens

Map View

For a more tranquil atmosphere, visit the Memphis Memory Gardens, which is a cemetery. A quiet and beautiful place to wander around, the gardens are well kept, and the monuments and mausoleums are both extravagant and tasteful. It’s an oasis of calm in a vibrant city; to visit, take the 53 bus all the way through town.

These recommendations were updated on July 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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