Longwood Gardens Wins Best Botanical Garden!

New York Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park also winners

Botanical gardens study, protect, exhibit and teach about plants. The best gardens boast extensive collections and stunning presentations, making them must-visits in their respective cities.

  • Longwood Gardens
    Kennett Square, Penn.

    More than a million visitors stroll the exquisite grounds of Longwood Gardens each year, and it's easy to see why. Indoor spaces, like the tropical Conservatory and the Orchid House with its 500 fragrant plants, offer a slice of spring throughout the year and always have something blooming. The Flower Garden Walk, a springtime favorite, takes visitors through Longwood's first (and very colorful) flower garden.
    Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

  • New York Botanical Garden
    Bronx, N.Y.

    Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the New York Botanical Garden encompasses 250 acres of verdant landscape supporting more than one million living plants. Highlights of this Bronx attraction include an activity-filled Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, a peaceful old growth forest, fragrant rose garden and a classic Victorian-style glass conservatory.
    Photo courtesy of Ivo M. Vermeulen / New York Botanical Garden

  • Missouri Botanical Garden
    St. Louis

    Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a registered National Historic Landmark. Its 79 acres of garden spaces include a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, one of the world's most extensive collections of rare and endangered orchids and a scented garden for the visually impaired.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Missouri Botanical Garden, Ian Adams

  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
    Richmond, Va.

    More than a dozen themed gardens on 50 acres provide year-round beauty at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond. Outstanding features include a classic domed Conservatory with ever-changing colorful orchids and tropical plants and a Children’s Garden with wheelchair accessible Tree House.
    Photo courtesy of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
    Grand Rapids, Mich.

    The 158-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. The botanical and sculptural collections are divided among five themed indoor gardens, as well as several outdoor gardens, nature trails and a boardwalk. The five-floor Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory is the largest tropical conservatory in the state.
    Photo courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

  • Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
    Boothbay, Maine

    The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens seek to preserve and display the natural landscapes of the region on its 270-acre grounds on the shorefront of mid-coast Maine. The gardens feature granite stone pathways winding amid rustic woodland, whimsical statuary and manicured and themed gardens, like the interactive Lerner Garden of the Five Senses.
    Photo courtesy of InAweofGod'sCreation / Flickr

  • Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

    Occupying 66 acres of manicured grounds, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has offered its green lung to Dallas residents and visitors since it first opened in 1984. The space is divided into 19 named gardens, including the family-friendly Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden and the iconic Crape Myrtle Allee.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

  • Chicago Botanic Garden
    Glencoe, Ill.

    The brilliant Chicago Botanic Garden features 385 acres divided into 26 gardens and four natural areas, all located on nine islands with a total of six miles of shoreline. The Japanese Garden alone spans three separate islands, and the 185-specimen bonsai collection is considered among the nation's best public bonsai displays.
    Photo courtesy of Bill Bishoff / Chicago Botanic Garden

  • Cheekwood

    The Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville features 55 acres of public garden space divided into a dozen themed areas. A recent near-million-dollar renovation revitalized the centerpiece of the estate, the Howe Garden, to include a state-of-the-art rain garden and added a completely new Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden with an amphitheater to host poetry and book readings.
    Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

  • Desert Botanical Garden

    Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden is considered one of the best collections of arid-land plants on the planet. The collection of some 50,000 flora come from desert climates around the world and are displayed along five themed trails, including the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Trail --  a fascinating look at how humans have adapted to a desert environment.
    Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden

Based on 10Best reader votes, these are the 10 Best Botanical Gardens in the nation:

  1. Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, Penn.
  2. New York Botanical Garden - Bronx, N.Y.
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden - St. Louis
  4. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Richmond, Va.
  5. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids, Mich.
  6. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Boothbay, Maine
  7. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden - Dallas
  8. Chicago Botanic Garden - Glencoe, Ill.
  9. Cheekwood - Nashville
  10. Desert Botanical Garden - Phoenix

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Cindy Brockway (The Trustees), Abby Hird (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) and Katy Moss Warner (American Horticultural Society) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of flowers and gardens.

Other nominees for Best Botanical Garden included Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta, Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York, Chanticleer in Wayne, Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley in Berkeley and the United States Botanic Garden in Washington.

Congratulations to all our winning gardens!

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AlertThe Experts

Cindy Brockway

Cindy Brockway

Abby Meyer

Abby Meyer

Katy Moss Warner

Katy Moss Warner