The 12 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the US

chicago botanical garden
The 12 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the USNurPhoto - Getty Images

What better way to spend your day than exploring a botanical garden? Often filled with thousands of different flowers, plants, and trees, these calming oases are great places to rest and relax while taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

Hundreds of these gardens exist right here in the United States, so we called attention to some of the ones you simply cannot miss. From a gorgeous garden located at the top of the Rocky Mountains to one flush with over 10,000 rose bushes, here are some of the most amazing botanical gardens in the country. One may be just a quick drive away from you.

Bellevue Botanical Garden - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue Botanical Garden is beloved for its relaxing woodland trails, natural wetlands, and top-notch gardens. Located in downtown Bellevue, Washington, this lush botanical garden offers free admission seven days a week.

yao japanese garden at bellevue botanical gardens bellevue
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Chicago Botanical Garden - Chicago, IL

The Chicago Botanical Garden is one for the books—it features 27 gardens thoughtfully arranged throughout 385 acres of land. Opened more than 50 years ago, over one million people stop by the garden each year.

chicago botanical garden
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Limahuli Garden and Preserve - Kauai, HI

Located on the island of Kauai, this 1,000-acre garden and preserve is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a Hawaiian organization committed to preserving tropical plant life. Here, you’ll find countless plant types, including ones that are rare or endangered.

visitor model released at limahuli botanical garden on
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Betty Ford Alpine Gardens - Vail, CO

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, located in Vail, CO, is considered one of the highest altitude botanical gardens in the world. Named in honor of former first lady Betty Ford, the garden is perched 8,000 feet above sea level in the picturesque Rocky Mountains.

the betty ford alpine garden in vail is the highest altitude botanic garden in the world
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New York Botanical Garden - The Bronx, NY

Just a short subway ride from the center of Manhattan, the New York Botanical Garden has been a must-visit for locals and tourists alike since the 1890s. Besides an impressive collection of over one million plants, visitors can find plenty of special events, art exhibits, and educational programming here.

new york botanic garden
New York Botanic Garden

San Francisco Botanical Garden - San Francisco, CA

Nestled in the Golden Gate State Park, the San Francisco Botanical Garden is a garden oasis that has over 8,000 kinds of flora and fauna. The garden was dreamed up over a century ago and finally became a reality in the 1940s.

the conservator of flowers is a botanical greenhouse in golden gate park, san francisco
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Desert Botanical Garden - Phoenix, AZ

For a change of scenery, visit Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden, a gorgeous desert sanctuary where you can get up close and personal with countless varieties of cactus, agave, and aloe. This garden, which opened in 1939, has become quite the tourist attraction, with over 400,000 people visiting annually.

desert botanical garden
Desert Botanical Garden

Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Garden, San Marino, CA

A popular California attraction, The Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanical Garden is made up of 130 acres dotted with 16 beautifully-themed gardens, thousands of living plants, and a laboratory for botanical research. The garden, just a 30-minute ride from the center of Los Angeles, was originally part of San Marino Ranch.

chinese garden at the huntington library art museum and botanical gardens
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New Orleans Botanical Garden - New Orleans, LA

The New Orleans Botanical Garden has been a haven for Louisiana residents and visitors for over 75 years. It’s also known as the city’s first classical garden.

new orleans botanical garden
New Orleans Botanical Garden

Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve - Ojai, CA

In Ojai, California, Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve takes the cake. This highly-curated 15-acre garden is surrounded by 200 acres of California Open Space, which is land protected by the Conservation Easement with the Wildlife Land Trust. Visitors can explore the lush area filled with plants, trees, sculptures, and thoughtfully-placed art pieces.

springtime bloom in taft botanical gardens, ojai ca
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United State Botanic Garden - Washington, D.C.

Stunning and serene, this Washington, D.C. garden is just steps from the National Museum of the American Indian. Here, you’ll find breathtaking statues and fountains integrated seamlessly into lush landscapes full of colorful trees, flowers, and plants.

united states botanic garden dc
United States Botanic Garden

International Rose Test Garden - Portland, OR

If you love roses, you must put Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden on your bucket list. Sprawled over six acres, this one-of-a-kind place is where more than 10,000 rose bushes bloom yearly from May to October.

international rose test garden, portland, oregon
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