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View of White Rock Lake from the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia

7 Beautiful Urban Gardens in the USA

By: Sery Kim

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  • States:
    Arizona
    Florida
    Massachusetts
    New York
    Oregon
    Texas
    Virginia

Serene green spaces might not come to mind when you think of the USA’s big cities.

Bustling urban centers in many cities, however, feature sublime gardens that act as peaceful green oases. Be sure to take a breather in these seven beautiful gardens.

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland, Oregon, has a unique gem only minutes from downtown. Tucked within the vast 162 hectares of Washington Park is a modest 2.2-hectare garden with breathtaking allure. The Portland Japanese Garden seemingly transports you to Japan. The Japanese ambassador to the USA described it as “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside Japan.” Each of the five gardens – flat, strolling pond, tea, natural, and sand and stone – is designed to impart peace, harmony and tranquility. Stone, water and plants are the three essential elements used to create authentic Japanese gardens. Be sure to visit in the spring when the delicate flowers burst forth in a kaleidoscope of color.

Waterfall in the Portland Japanese Garden

Waterfall in the Portland Japanese Garden
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New York Botanical Garden

No one ever really needs a season – or reason – to visit the iconic New York Botanical Garden in New York City, New York, but the fall and spring are particularly special times when the garden’s riot of color provides a welcome contrast to the city’s gray skyline. Located north of Manhattan in the Bronx, this 101-hectare historic garden draws over 300,000 annual visitors looking to soak up the aroma of roses, lilies and herbs. Visit the new Azalea Garden, a 4.5-hectare garden featuring thousands of azaleas and rhododendrons – designed to provide colorful blooms nearly every day of the year – amid dramatic rock outcrops.

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in the New York Botanical Garden

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in the New York Botanical Garden
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Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

When visitors arrive in Dallas, Texas, they usually hit a Cowboys American football game, J.R. Ewing’s Southfork Ranch or maybe the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. For a change of pace, spend an afternoon exploring the scenic 27-hectare Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Here, you’ll find areas devoted to specific types of flora. Of particular note is the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, a certified wildlife habitat complete with educational activities. Visit in the fall to see more than 65,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash that form the Pumpkin Village.

Manicured grounds at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Manicured grounds at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Miami, Florida, lures about 14 million visitors each year with its beautiful beaches, but tucked away from the shore about 14 kilometers south of downtown is the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a seamless blend of tropical plants and statuesque modern art fixtures. These 33.5 hectares in Coral Gables welcome over 350,000 visitors each year, and there are plenty of opportunities to visit since it is open every day except for Christmas Day. Be sure to stop by and see the famous cigar orchid, a spectacular burst of orange and yellow.

Florida flora at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Florida flora at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
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Boston Public Garden

One of the most popular gardens in the USA, the Boston Public Garden is a veritable Eden of relaxation. A stroll around this nearly 10-hectare garden in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, will lead you past many different types of plants. For a closer look, tag along on a public tour of the garden or take a cruise in one of the iconic swan boats. Consider a visit in the fall, when the colorful changes in foliage transform the landscape.

Statue of George Washington, the first U.S. president, in Boston Public Garden

Statue of George Washington, the first U.S. president, in Boston Public Garden
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Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix, Arizona, features more than 56 hectares of resilient flora, including the Southwest’s famous saguaro cactus. With so much to see and a variety of walking paths to choose from, come to the garden prepared with the Garden App, which can help you customize your experience. For those who are unaccustomed to the desert heat, visit in the winter, or embark upon the fun flashlight tour after sundown when the temperature cools. Visit in the spring to catch the Spring Concert Series.

Emphasis on cacti and hardy plants at the Desert Botanical Garden

Emphasis on cacti and hardy plants at the Desert Botanical Garden
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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

This picturesque garden in the heart of RichmondVirginia’s capital, is one of the state’s most popular attractions. Formerly a Powhatan Native American hunting ground, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has transformed the grounds into a beautiful 20-hectare bouquet of tulips, daffodils, roses and more. There are nine gardens, two woodland walks and a conservatory. Visit around the winter holidays when twinkling lights, handcrafted botanical decorations, model trains, holiday dinners, fire pits and hot chocolate create a holiday extravaganza.

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