Four of the Best Botanical Gardens in the United States

When traveling with the family, we love to head to the botanical gardens. It’s the perfect blend of relaxing nature and fun family activities. Check out our list of the best botanical gardens from coast to coast.

best botanical gardens in the united states

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco, CA

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is located in Golden Gate Park, and it doesn’t get more picturesque than that. If you’re there in the spring, you can catch the nearly 100 rare magnolias for which the garden is known. In summer and fall, you’ll love the towering redwood grove and rare cloud forest plants. Outside the botanical gardens, in Golden Gate Park, you’ll also find a Japanese garden and flower conservatory.


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Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix may bring to mind visions of a toney and lifeless desert landscape, but that misconception will be swept aside when you visit the Desert Botanical Garden. It’s 145 acres are dedicated solely to desert plants and feature more than 50,000 plants, including a unique collection of cacti. You can enjoy the garden year-round, but if you’re there in the spring don’t miss the annual butterfly exhibit and wildflower blooms.


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United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

The United States Botanic Garden was established by Congress in 1820, making it one of the oldest botanical gardens in North America. Today it’s located adjacent to the Capitol and offers free admission, so it’s right in the heart of your DC visit. The garden’s conservatory and two outdoor areas feature some 65,000 plants, among them some rare species such as ferns dating back almost as far as the garden’s founding.


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best botanical gardens in the united states

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has something for everyone. Its interactive children’s area features a giant accessible tree house for kids of all abilities. In the spring, the breathtaking classical domed conservatory houses offer an impressive orchid collection. From Memorial Day weekend through mid-October you can see their famous annual butterfly exhibit. In the winter months, the garden is brought to life with a dazzling display of more than half a million lights.


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