Around the world and especially in the US, there are places that people can go to have peace and quiet, and sit and reflect on life while being surrounded by nature. We're not talking about hikes, we're talking about botanical gardens. These gardens, sometimes featuring extraordinary trails while others are smaller and often enchanting, have a way to separate us, if only momentarily, from the mundane rhythm of everyday life. When the weather takes a turn for the better and spring is merely a whisper in the air, that's when botanical gardens begin to bloom with excitement and possibility for the season ahead.


There's such a difference between walking by gardens on the side of the street or stumbling upon a field of wildflowers during a local hike. The magic of botanical gardens lies in the fact that each plant has been grown with purpose and care to cultivate an experience that's akin to being in a fairy tale. You can find any number of plant species at any one botanical garden, ranging from flowers to shrubs and even trees. There's also no better way - or reason - to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, especially if you live near these gardens.

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden also happens to be the longest-operating botanical garden in the US and it's right in the heart of St. Louis. Registered as a Historic National Landmark, this garden should absolutely be on anyone's list of places to visit if they're ever in the neighborhood of the city.

With a total of 79 acres, there's no shortage of plant life to explore, as the garden is home to 686 different types of plants. This garden is also home to a Japanese garden that houses cherry blossom trees that peak in foliage during March.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

There's good news for those who live near Duke University in North Carolina: It's free to visit! Therefore, there's no reason to not take advantage of these beautiful grounds.

The park is also open 365 days of the year so if you need some extra sunshine before spring arrives, feel free to explore. While you're exploring, you'll have the chance to see species of plants local to the Carolinas as well as carnivorous plants, an English garden, and Japanese maples.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

In the middle of Brooklyn lies a little slice of heaven called the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Just like the fascination many people have with Central Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden makes you forget for a moment that you're in the middle of a city borough.

The fact that this garden has consistently been voted one of the best places to watch cherry blossoms bloom each year is only one reason to visit; the rest of its plant species and stunning landscaping are another.

Related: The Alnwick Poison Garden: 10 Things Visitors Will Only Discover There

Atlanta Botanical Garden

For over three decades now, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has been home to 30 acres of plant life to experience.

Many of the gardens there are themed, with a canopy walk to experience life from the treetops as well as a rose garden with more than 100 species of roses to gaze at. The Cascades Garden is also a favorite for those who have been there, featuring the famous Earth Goddess installation.

Desert Botanical Garden

It's a common misconception that nothing save for cacti can grow in the desert and the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, is proving that. This enchanting, unique garden is filled with plant life that you wouldn't expect to be growing in such a hot climate, and visitors have the chance to explore more than 55 acres of it.

Additionally, the plant species found here are from dry, desert climates all over the world, not necessarily specific to Arizona. On Tuesdays, admission is free, making it a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon among all manner of desert plant life.

Anderson Japanese Gardens

Perhaps hailed as one of the most relaxing botanical gardens in the country, the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, is just about as traditional as one can get without actually being in Japan.

Filled with calming nature walks, waterfalls, streams, and even koi ponds, this is the perfect place to take in the sights while embracing tranquility the entire time.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, is tremendous, to say the least. Make sure you have plenty of time for walking as visitors have the chance to explore 117 acres of this park, which features 17 different gardens.

One of the most unique aspects of this garden is the fact that it's home to several fruit tree species, including lemons, oranges, and even apples. In April, visitors will be happy to stumble upon the Field of Daffodils, which is home to 25,000 species of the flower that bloom in a full, spectacular array of color each spring.

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