Botanical Gardens: A Haven for Plant Enthusiasts

Spectacular floral displays highlighting an area’s natural beauty, educational opportunities for visitors to learn about local flora, and introductions to unusual or distinctive plant life all play a part in making a botanical garden shine. Visitors and locals visit them year-round all over the world. But our fascination with gorgeous gardens is no surprise because they give us the opportunity to stroll through a conservatory filled with butterfly-enticing plants or contemplate the borders of a lovely stone walkway as we wind our way through a forest of trees.

These stunning floral displays make visiting the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens a must for your next trip.

1. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Singapore City, Singapore. Supertree Grove at the Gradens by the Bay.
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This USD$1 billion botanical garden is in a class by itself. The Gardens boast several unique features. Firstly, they include a large Flower Dome, designed to mimic the arid Mediterranean climate. Next, there’s a waterfall located in the Cloud Forest. This addition enhances the natural and tranquil atmosphere of the Gardens. Further enhancing the experience is an elevated skyway. It is suspended between two Supertrees, providing a perfect vantage point. From here, visitors can view the three gardens that constitute this futuristic botanical garden. This view is not only breathtaking but also surprising, making the visit to the Gardens an unforgettable experience

2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden during sunset in Cape Town South Africa
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Nestled into Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch offers over 1,300 acres of wild and cultivated botanical gardens. This impressive garden includes formal gardens with winding pathways up the mountain, art gardens, and a statue garden including a bust of Nelson Mandela. Life-size dinosaurs roam around the garden bringing attention to South Africa’s nearly extinct beautiful cycad plants while Kirstenbosch offers many educational opportunities to learn about the unique plant and animal life that calls this southern tip of Africa home.

3. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, London

View on fthe Palm House, an orangery inside Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England on sunny day. Generative AI
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Home to the most diverse and largest botanic collection in the world, the beloved Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage site only a short train ride from central London. The Kew’s Temperate House, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, along with a Japanese landscape, the Great Broad Walk Borders, and the namesake Kew Palace all provide gorgeous views here but the Arboretum made up of over 130 ha of botanical plantings and seminatural woodlands, is where the Kew began.

4. Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jardim Botânico
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This botanical garden in Rio has been enchanting guests for over 100 years with over 240 acres of rainforest, an orchidarium, and a Queen Victoria water-lily pond. Jardim Botânico, an oasis of flora and fauna, is conveniently located in the heart of the city near the iconic giant Jesus statue. Accessing it is a delight through the magnificent Isle of Palms Drive. Be sure to explore the traditional Japanese gardens and watch out for the over 140 species of exotic birds that call Jardim home.

5. Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, Canada

Fountain in Butchart Gardens
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A gorgeous 55-acre park that began as a backyard project has blossomed into a year-round destination that guests can boat, seaplane, or drive to. Butchart’s hillside gardens feature a lovely Rose Garden and Rose Carousel for the littlest explorers to enjoy, Japanese, Mediterranean, and Italian gardens as well as the original location, now called the Sunken Garden. Dining at Butchart’s Blue Poppy restaurant, housed in a former greenhouse, is also a popular stop for visitors at this genteel botanical garden.

6. Saihō-ji, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto Gioji Kokedera
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The 1,200-hundred-year-old Moss Temple at Saihoji is the standout here, and the grounds of this unusual botanical garden are home to over 120 different species of moss. But this UNESCO site is also a religious destination and Saihoji limits the number of visitors here by requiring a letter of request for a reservation a few months ahead of time. Some of the favorite areas for guests to explore here are the main pond of the garden called Ogon-chi, the Shonantei tea house, and the ancient rock garden style of the Karesansui area.

7. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kaua’i, Hawaii

Lawai Stream Waterfall at Allerton Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai, Hawaii.
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As if the Hawaiian islands weren’t already impressive enough, the NTBG of Kauai ups the ante with its five botanical garden locations that honor the beauty and history of these stunning tropical islands. The Allerton Garden, the McBryde Garden, and the Limahuli Garden and Preserve are found on Kauai while the other two are scattered across the other islands. Allerton is located in the dramatic Lawaʻi Valley and has been the backdrop for many movies throughout the years while nearby McBryde provides visitors a peek into the lifecycles of Breadfruit and a walk along the Tree of Life Trail. Limahuli, on the north shore of the island, focuses on the ancient Hawaiians and the island’s botanical past.

8. Denver Botanic Garden, Colorado

View of the pond of the Botanical garden in Denver,United States.
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One of the most visited gardens in the US, the Denver Botanic proves that high elevation is no match for spectacular horticulture. This massive botanical garden is a wildly popular destination year-round, offering six children’s areas and a robust music program. It also features a huge variety of gardens, including 18 arid gardens and Japanese, Chinese, and South African gardens. Denver’s garden oasis is a magical sight with blooming ornamental gardens, including irises and other lovely varieties. Monet’s water garden further enhances its enchanting beauty.

9. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri

footpath in a botanical garden with orchids lining the path
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largest rare and endangered collection. In addition, this outstanding garden is home to the rainforest-themed Climatron, a geodesic dome conservatory. Furthermore, the Missouri Botanical Garden boasts the world’s oldest and continuously operating greenhouse. Known as the Linnean House, it first opened its doors as an orangery in 1882. Guests here take the tram to learn about the displays around the sprawling property or savory a slow stroll through Seiwa-en, the Japanese garden dedicated to “pure, clear harmony and peace.”

10. National Botanical Garden, Washington DC

Rose garden in bloom in front of The United State Building, Capitol Building, Summer in Washington DC
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The National Botanical Garden, first proposed by President George Washington in 1820, has remained open continuously since 1850. This longevity began with the opening of its Victorian Conservatory building. Today, visitors can experience the First Ladies Water Garden and the Rose Garden in this compact, always-free garden. It is nestled next door to the Capitol and nearby Smithsonian museums, and also features the beautiful Bartholdi Fountain.

11. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York

flowers brooklyn botanical garden
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a quiet respite in bustling New York. The garden spans 52 acres and features meandering pathways that lead visitors around the Water Garden. They can also stroll down the Cherry Esplanade and enjoy the beautiful arbors of the Osborne Garden. Spring cherry blossoms bloom during the Sakura Matsuri Festival, lining the esplanade with explosions of color from the 70 trees here. They give way to summer roses while the fall’s herb orchards are awash with pumpkins and other seasonal foods are grown in this urban sanctuary. Truly a year-round experience, this botanical garden also offers educational opportunities for budding naturalists of all ages.

12. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida

Palm Trees Reflection Fairchild Garden Coral Gables Florida
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Sunny, warm Florida is the perfect venue for a botanical garden and the Fairchild is a tropical oasis for lovers of flora and fauna found in just such locales. Visitors here can encounter over 700 species of tropical trees and flowers in the Geiger Tropical Flower Garden, learn about how water impacts gardening with Fairchild’s 11 lakes and seven pools on the property, and can take in the wonders of a tropical rainforest all without leaving the massive 83-acre garden.

13. San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco, California

Japanese Tea Garden - San Francisco
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Adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge, this beautiful botanical garden boasts an unusual succulent garden as well as a fantastic magnolia festival featuring over 200 varieties that bloom during January and February. A visit to San Francisco would not be complete without experiencing the majesty of a redwood forest. This botanical garden offers the opportunity to explore one, along with an Andean Cloud Forest and a Moon Viewing Garden. The Moon Viewing Garden is especially captivating, featuring authentic Japanese stone pagodas.

14. Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Botanic Garden
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Not only can Chicagoans visit their botanical garden’s almost 400 acres of manicured and teaching green spaces, but they can also find farm-fresh food at markets around the city that were grown and cultivated there, too. Visits to this massive botanical garden can be facilitated with a tram ride or guests can even bike the huge property. The garden in Chicago serves as a living museum, emphasizing plant conservation research. However, many visitors are particularly drawn to the Sensory Garden, which delights with its multi-sensory approach to gardening.

15. Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon

Autumn view of the landmark Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon
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This relatively small destination packs a punch with its authenticity. It offers gorgeous views of Mt. Hood, towering just a few miles from this hillside botanical garden. With a Japanese Tea House hidden back behind meandering walkways and across the Moon Bridge, a visit here is tranquility defined. Guests love the Sand and Stone Garden near the Moon Gate, which instructs viewers on “the beauty of blank space.” Additionally, the Strolling Pond Garden leads visitors to Heavenly Falls across the Zig Zag Bridge. And the Flat Garden’s weeping Cherry Blossom trees create a striking entrance to the Shoji-screened Pavilion Gallery, exemplifying the integration of garden and home in Japanese culture.

16. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas, Texas

Crepe Myrtle Alley at the Dallas Arboretum
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The spring Dallas Blooms festival at the Arboretum is the largest in the southwest with over 500,000 blooms making their yearly debut to wowed visitors. This 66-acre marvel sits on the shores of White Rock Lake, a verdant oasis that hosts regular music events, weddings, and seasonal activities. It is also known for the popular fall interactive pumpkin village, created with over 50,000 pumpkins. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offer a variety of gardens to explore. A Tasteful Place, an ornamental garden, provides daily samplings of food grown on-site. The Women’s Garden, featuring sculptures and water features, adds to the garden’s allure. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a top destination to spend a day learning and admiring. With its brilliant blooms and dazzling garden design, it offers a captivating experience.

17. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Desert, California

Living Desert Zoo Gardens State Park
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A natural reserve, desert garden, and zoo make up the Living Desert, making it one of the more unusual botanical gardens you should visit. Stunning arid beauties like useful agave and adorably-named Teddy Bear Cholla cactus share the property with endangered black rhinos, jaguars, and the desert tortoise. Perfect for anyone adventurous, the Living Desert’s nature preserves and three hiking loops provide an up-close experience through this fantastic arid landscape.

18. Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Fort Worth, Texas

Tulip alley - Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Texas
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Almost a century old, the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens are home to the acclaimed Japanese Gardens as well as a huge collection of rare orchids, a cactus garden, and the Native Texas Boardwalk that provides ideal viewing of local flora. The romantic Rose Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and includes the historic Shelter House overlooking four distinct rose gardens and the gurgling Reflection Pond, complete with turtles and goldfish occupants.

19. Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, Washington

Suspension Bridge
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Situated on 53 acres, this botanical garden is located right in the heart of bustling Bellevue. However, once you enter the gates, you’d never know it due to the serene ambiance it offers. With winding walkways through acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, Bellevue Botanical Garden provides eco-conscious surprises at every turn. The Waterwise Garden exemplifies the area’s attention to the nearby Puget Sound while the Urban Meadow shows visitors native plantings along with a Mason Bee exhibit. Visitors trekking the Lost Meadow Trail, a 1/3 mile loop, to experience the 150-foot suspension bridge in the Ravine Experience will be delighted to discover the lovely Night Blooming sculpture during their stroll.

20. Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Canada

Flowers in the entrancwe to the Montreal Botanic Garden
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The Montreal Botanical Garden is truly one of the world’s best gardening destinations. It boasts 10 greenhouses, over 30 thematic gardens, and is home to over 22,000 plant species. As part of the city’s Space for Life, this botanical garden includes a First Nation Garden, focusing on the indigenous peoples and their connection to the earth, the Chinese Garden with stunning bridges crossing its Dream Lake, and the unusual Alpine Garden that explores mountaintop flora across the continent. The Food Garden is a popular attraction at the Montreal Botanical Garden. It is always bustling with visitors, drawn to its educational offerings. At the Montreal Botanical Garden, visitors have the opportunity to learn about plants that have played vital roles in society. These plants have contributed to food production, healing practices, and the creation of diverse products such as cosmetics and textiles.