When the hubbub of the city gets to be too much a botanic garden is the perfect place to escape on a city trip. A good garden should capture your imagination, calm you down and offer you a respite from normal every day life.
Check out these amazing arboretums around America. It would be fun to do a road trip and visit several of them, wouldn’t it? We’ve separated them by region to make it easier to find one near you.
30+ Botanical Gardens in the USA
Best Botanical Gardens in the WESTERN USA
- Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens, Santa Barbara, California: Japanese tea house, historic mission well, native plants – a nice place for a walk before wine tasting in Santa Barbara. Be sure to check out our favorite 6 things to do when visiting Santa Barbara.
- Huntington Botanical Gardens, Pasadena, California: desert garden, chinese garden, japanese garden and more
- Lotusland, Montecito, California: an exotic collection of spiky plants and more collected by opera singer Madame Ganna Walska at her fabulous home. Be sure to check out our favorite 6 things to do when visiting nearby Santa Barbara.
- San Diego Botanical Gardens, Encinitas, California: unique undersea themed garden is worth the stop, also check out the low water gardens. Click here for places to stay near these gardens.
- Santa Cruz Arboretum, Santa Cruz, California: these small gardens are part of the university and have a nice collection of Australian plants and a native garden, stop here when having fun in Santa Cruz
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg, California: located by the sea in one of the most beautiful areas of the state, don’t miss the pretty rhododendrons in early spring. Here are some wonderful places to stay nearby.
- San Francisco Botanical Gardens, San Francisco, California: located in Golden Gate Park, check out the nearby Japanese gardens too
- Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon: five traditional gardens including a strolling pond, tea garden with a tea house, sand and stone garden, flat garden, and natural garden. Click here for places to stay nearby.
- Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, Washington: take an autumn scenic drive through the grounds and be sure to see the springtime cherry blossoms
- Allerton, McBryde & Limahuli Gardens, Kauai, Hawaii: visit a secret beach and a hidden waterfall at these amazing gardens with a huge collection of native Hawaiian plants which are part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden
- Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona: probably the most well known cactus garden in America. Click here for places to stay nearby in Scottsdale.
- ABQ Botanic Garden, Albuqueque, New Mexico: these gardens include a children’s area as well as a zoo
Best Botanical Gardens in the MIDWESTERN USA
- Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, Missouri: this large garden has both indoor and outdoor displays
- Greater Des Moines Botanic Garden, Des Moines, Iowa: check out the orchids in the conservatory and the bonsai collection then go have a beer at one of our favorite local breweries
- Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, Colorado: a section of the gardens showcases drought-tolerant plants that are ideal for this environment. Click here for places to stay nearby.
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, Ohio: the many greenhouses make it perfect for a visit any time of year. Click here for places to stay in Columbus.
- Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, Illinois: this enormous garden is home to one of the world’s largest bonsai collections. Here are some places to stay nearby in Chicago.
- Olbrich Botanical Garden, Madison, Wisconsin: don’t miss the beautiful golden Thai pavilion
Best Botanical Gardens in the SOUTHERN USA
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia: this garden invites famous artists, like Chihuly, to showcase their work in the gardens, and don’t miss the canopy walk too.
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, Florida: located on the shores of Lake Kanapaha, this garden has native swamps and manicured rose gardens
- McKee Botanical Garden, Vero Beach, Florida: unique sculptures are scattered throughout the plantings in these interesting gardens
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida: check out the butterfly conservatory and the tropical fruit gardens. Here are some wonderful places to stay near charming Coral Gables.
- Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Dallas, Texas: in fall don’t miss the crazy pumpkin exhibits at this botanical garden
- Fort Worth Botanical Garden, Fort Worth, Texas: visit this garden for free and pay a few bucks to visit the Japanese gardens next door
- Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: if you love art, be sure to visit these gardens, they have an impressive collection of sculptures
Best Botanical Gardens in the EASTERN USA
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia: if you love the classic greenhouses of European gardens, check out this place
- United States Botanic Garden, Washington DC: located near the Smithsonian museum, these historic gardens are definitely worth a visit
- New York Botanical Garden, New York, New York: a huge botanical garden in the middle of the city, with multiple plant habitats including desert and rain forest. Click here for some places to stay nearby.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York: watch a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or visit in March to catch the cherry trees in bloom
- Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania: these classical gardens are famous for their fabulous fountains
We hope you liked this list of some of the best botanical gardens in the USA. Taking a trip to Europe? Check out 30+ botanical gardens you should visit there!