If you love to garden, or even just to look at them, then this is the list for you! For this list, we’ll start on the West Coast and work our way to the east while explaining these beautiful locations. We will also talk about some beautiful gardens in the Northern United States and some in the South. In order to explore each one properly by being able to experience them entirely, therefore if you are planning a cross country road trip, you will need to devote at least a full day to each when devising your itinerary. You really will be singing America the Beautiful after you visit these five gardens.
Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
Eight gardens and a cultural centre are located at the Portland Japanese Garden located within Washington Park. See a 100-year-old five-tiered pagoda lantern that was a gift to the city from its sister city in Japan. Experience the tranquillity that the rake patterns utilized in traditional Japanese rock gardens along with the tea house built in Japan and constructed at this location. Editors with the Journal of Japanese Gardening surveyed 300 Japanese gardens across North America, and they declared this one the best of them all.
Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah
Fifteen themed gardens are available for viewing at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. Ashton Gardens is home to the world’s largest human-made waterfall. Consider renting a Segway or a golf cart allowing you to see this spacious garden spread across 55 acres. Nearby, visit the Museum of Ancient Life containing one of the world’s most extensive collection of mounted fossils, Farm Country where you can watch cows milked daily and the Museum of Natural Curiosity which has one of only 65 Arbor Day-certified gardens in America.
Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Dallas, Texas
Nineteen gardens are located at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Each of the different gardens is dedicated to people prominent in Dallas’ history. The gardens contain more than 200 camellias, 100 Japanese cherry trees and over 90 varieties of ferns. Guests can also tour the home of geophysicist Everette Lee DeGolyer that was constructed in the 1940s. Martha Stewart has named this garden one of the top 25 places in the United States to host a wedding while USA Today declared it as the best botanical garden in the United States.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama
Continuing to the east until we reach Birmingham where you will want to stop and visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This garden is home to more than 12,000 different types of plants spread across 25 gardens in the 66-acre facility. The wildflower garden contains over 400 species of wildflowers native to the state while the Fern Glade contains over 100 different species of ferns. This garden is home to the test gardens of Southern Living Magazine. Visitors will want to pay attention to the 30 sculptures spread across this garden.
United States Botanic Garden, Washington D.C.
The United States Botanic Garden on the grounds of the United States Capitol is the oldest continually operating garden in the United States. The first greenhouse at this location was funded by Congress in 1867, but the garden was already established by then. More than 10,000 plants can be seen at the gardens with some of them being more than 165 years old. Lord & Burnham Greenhouse is divided into eight rooms with each representing a unique ecosystem found in the United States.
There are more 300 public gardens in the United States operated by nonprofits, local, state and the federal government. Yet, these five are some of the best in the country. Exploring them on a cross-country road trip is a great way to reconnect with nature.
If you’re looking for more great ideas for your USA road trip, make sure to spend some time researching in our USA Travel Section!
Resources & Further Reading:
- A Day at the Garden | Portland Japanese Garden
- Gardens and Family Entertainment | Thanksgiving Point
- Plan Your Visit | Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
- 5 Things You Need to Know | Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- Gardens Overview | United States Botanical Garden