At a time when enjoying the beauty and therapeutic benefits of exploring open green spaces is fueling our travel plans and inspiring the latest design trends, we’ve curated a guide to the most stunning botanical gardens in the US. The perfect backdrop for late summer picnics or weekend escapes, do take time to stop and smell the roses.
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Botanical Gardens do not need to be green to be spectacular and the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is living, thriving proof. The park’s committed focus on growing and showcasing only desert plants makes this one of the most unique botanical gardens in the US. Five trails cover the 145-acre property looping through desert wildflowers, herb gardens, and a sizable cacti collection. The garden is great to visit year-round but specifically in the spring for the annual butterfly exhibit and before the scorching summer sun arrives.
Tribe Tip: Schedule a visit before or after a stay in the Grand Canyon.
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
In a pulsating urban jungle of around nine million, it’s no surprise New Yorkers covet their green spaces like nobody’s business. The city’s parks, like the iconic Central Park, are sacred havens for locals and tourists. While not as famed, Central Park, New York Botanical Garden is a hidden gem worth exploring. A beloved fixture in the Bronx since 1891, the 250-acre garden is home to over a million different plant species, a dedicated rose garden, and a Victorian-style glasshouse exhibit featuring the world’s largest collection of indoor palm trees.
Tribe tip: Stay in one of the Travel Curator’s favorite New York City hotels. You can also explore New York Botanical Garden via a virtual visit.
Missouri Botanical Garden
The 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden opened in 1859 is the oldest and still one of the most popular Botanical Gardens in the country. Beyond its gorgeous plants and gardens, you’ll also find a rare collection of butterflies, birds, and exotic fish. Another highlight is the Geodesic Dome Conservatory, Climatron, where a tropical rainforest climate allows for the growth of vibrant exotic flowers and fauna.
Tribe tip: Book a table at Elaia an award-winning restaurant close to the botanical gardens know for imaginative dishes and a completely fresh take on fine dining. You can’t go wrong with the 4 or the 10-course tasting menu.
United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC
The undoubted highlight of the United States Botanic Garden – the idea for creation of the garden is said to have come from George Washington – is the First Lady’s water garden honoring some of the nation’s most iconic women. While it might be small as far national botanical gardens go, this hidden gem of a garden packs a cultural punch. It’s just steps from the capitol and Washington’s most historical and cultural landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and National Gallery of Art .
Tribe tip: When in Rome, or rather our nation’s capital, spend the night in a neoclassical church turned hotel in the heart of DC’s most eclectic neighborhoods. You can also take a virtual tour of the gardens here.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is one of the most photographed spaces in Dallas. Literally, an Instagrammers and nature photographers’ idea of heaven. The 66-acre garden is known for its Jonsson Color Garden of brightly colored seasonal flowers as well as the Woman’s Sculpture Garden with a reflective infinity pool. Another standout is the infinity pool set in front of White Rock Lake, one of the most romantic, intimate spaces within the garden, making it a coveted wedding venue.
Tribe Tip: The gardens are known for hosting elaborate holiday events including Autumn in an Arboretum, a fall festival complete with pumpkin village and vegetable garden.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida
Just nine miles south of Miami lies Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a 83-acre garden featuring lake gardens and a two-acre rainforest exhibit where you’ll see exotic fruit, butterflies and rare plants. July is a great time to visit when the gardens celebrate “Mango Days of Summer” an event series that includes cooking demonstrations from some of Miami’s hottest chefs.
Tribe Tip: Do a trip to the sunshine state in style, stay at one of Travel Curator’s favorite Miami hotels and resorts.
Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
No trip to historic Philadelphia is complete without taking the 45-minute drive to nearby Longwood Gardens, which is home to the popular Chimes tower that plays melodies from 25 chimes as well as a manmade waterfall. There is also a dedicated orchid house, expansive indoor gardens, and over three miles of meandering hiking trails leading you through smaller well-manicured displays of seasonal flowers.
Tribe tip: Summer is a great time to visit when there’s illuminated fountain displays and elaborate weekend fireworks.
PLANNING A NATURE ESCAPE?
Travel Curator has curated these outdoor adventures. Try a weekend in wide-open Big Sky Country or experience a luxurious back to nature experience inside the nation’s best National Park hotels.