7 Best U.S. Botanical Gardens

Arboretums and botanical gardens have the unique opportunity to present the public with gorgeous plants from all across the globe, to educate people on horticulture and sustainability, and to commit to research. These botanical gardens stand out from the rest for their amazing innovations, beautiful aesthetic creations, and creative combinations making them lovely and educational attractions to visit on any student trip.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

What sets the Atlanta gardens apart from the rest is the Imaginary Worlds exhibit featuring 28 giant topiary structures including the 25 foot tall Earth Goddess. Upon entering the exhibit, the Earth Goddess captures your eye with over 18,000 annuals in her creation, reposing tranquility among the fountains and water features. She watches over other gardens including the Fuqua Orchid Center, the largest permanent collection of orchids in the U.S. and the Kendeda Canopy Walk which leads through one of the last remaining urban forests in Atlanta.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

This 79 acre St. Louis attraction is one of the top destinations in the city. With over 20 formal gardens, 6 international gardens, three conservatories, and a number of demonstration gardens to choose from, the Missouri Botanical Gardens keeps all of your senses busy. The Climatron, the first geodesic dome to be used as a conservatory, is the gardens' top attractions and inside you'll find over 2,800 plants from the tropical rainforest. Also visit the Victorian District where you can visit a true Victorian garden, hedge maze, herb garden, and 1849 house built by the original owners of the estate.

Mo Botanical Garden Art Credit Danielle Breshears

Denver Botanical Gardens

Set over 23 acres in the heart of Denver, the Botanical Gardens on York Street are set to preserve and display unique formations of European horticulture highlighted with amazing artistic expressions. Marnie's Pavilion is one of the top gardens with over 30,000 species, waterfalls, and statuary complimenting the natural beauty of the flora. The Denver Botanical Gardens also brings together cultures with the Sacred Earth garden featuring plants used by the Native Americans of the Four Corners region.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

An intensely interactive, multi-sensory experience, the Dallas Arboretum ranks as one of the top botanical gardens for its abundance of visual stimuli, fragrant collections, and inclusion of all ages. First, if you have children, visit Rory Myer's Children's Adventure Garden and discover an educational wonderland. Also see the lily pond and fountains of the Magnolia Glade, the tranquil views of A Woman's Garden, and check out the Autumn at the Arboretum festival in the Pecan Grove when the area is covered top to bottom in pumpkins.

Dallas Flora Pixabay Public Domain


National Tropical Botanical Gardens

Spanning five gardens in four separate locations, Hawaii's National Tropical Botanical Gardens upholds the native and extinct flora of the Hawaiian islands. On Kauai, you can find the McBryde Gardens and the Allerton Gardens where you can take a self-guided or guided tour of the magnificent ancient trees with twisted, exposed roots of the Lawai Valley, the plants from ancient Hawaii in the Canoe Garden section, and more. Other locations island-hop to Maui's East Shore and the south coast of Florida where you can find ancient temple ruins, plantation structures, and an abundance of preserved tropical flowers.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Ranked as the most visited botanical garden in the U.S., the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a paradise in the heart of one of New York's busiest Burroughs. Spread across 52 purely botanical acres, this beautiful garden exemplifies what it means to cultivate a supreme garden. Since its founding in 1910, the gardens have acquired additions including the Lily Pool Terrace, the Fragrance Garden, the Tropical Pavilion and Bonsai Museum, as well as a Shakespeare Garden holding over 80 plants mentioned by Shakespeare in his plays and poems.

Water Lilies in Brooklyn Botanic Garden Pixabay Public Domain

Longwood Gardens

Originally a private estate owned by the DuPont family, Longwood Gardens was created and cultivated as a sublime representation of the ultimate botanical landscape. Spanning an incredible 1,077 acres, Longwood Gardens is home to the country's largest conservatory. Inside you will find the Exhibition Hall, the conservatory's centerpiece, once used by the duPont's for dances and dinner parties. You can still find musical performances inside the glass walls, set inside the sunken marble floor. Other amazing features include the Canopy Cathedral, Mediterranean Garden, and the Children's Corner and indoor Children's Garden among others.