Get outside and explore some natural luxury by participating in some of the most beautiful garden tours in America. Most of the tours on this list are self-guided, which means that you can peruse the grounds as slowly or as quickly as you wish as long as you visit within the gardens’ operating hours. Home tours are a bonus to a great garden tour. You get a chance to go inside an incredible home and learn about the famous or infamous people who lived there. This list include a selection of some of the most beautiful gardens in America, based on variety, color, and positive reviews from other garden fans.
The Biltmore Estate
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is a favorite destination for people who love gardens and home tours. The estate features both formal and informal gardens. The Walled Garden, pictured above, has bright flowers arranged in carefully planned flower beds. There are daffodils, hyacinths, chrysanthemums, and roses, to name a few of the flowers. Don’t forget to check the bloom schedule, on The Biltmore Estate estate website so you won’t be disappointed. You can also take advantage of the self-guided tours via audio wands. Many people enjoy touring the enormous Biltmore home, also. There’s even a plaza with restaurants, entertainment, and there’s a nearby hotel for easy access to the estate. Make sure that you get there super-early because the Biltmore gets extremely crowded.
Filoli is located in Woodside, California. The land was developed with a large home, formal gardens and a working garden (farmers grew fruits and vegetables for the home’s occupants). Chickens and cows were raised on the land as well. Today, the formal English garden has roses and other striking flowers. As you can see in the image above, the hedges are used to give Filoli garden a neat, well-kept appearance. Take the guided tour to experience Filoli.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
The spot for the most beautiful botanical garden could be debated all day, but if you want to spend all day viewing a variety of flowers, plants, art sculptures and plant sculptures, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is worth a visit. Anyone who loves roses might not want to leave the rose garden at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. You can literally surround yourself with roses. There are also plenty of rare plants in the large garden greenhouse, and there’s a water flower display, as well. The flowers are truly breathtaking and beautiful. By the way, the holiday lights show in the fall and winter is also amazing.
If you love manicured lawns and tulips, Longwood Gardens is waiting for you. With more than 200,000 tulips, Longwood Gardens is a fantasy destination for those (like us) who simply love flowers. Longwood sells tickets based on the day and time that guests plan to arrive, so it is advisable to plan ahead. Parking is free, but sometimes gets so busy that visitors have to park off-site and take a shuttle to the main area.
This Pine Mountain, Georgia paradise has been the home of dozens of proposals, weddings, and family reunions. The sprawling property at Callaway Gardens is home to a 40-acre azalea garden and a greenhouse that spans over five acres. If you like butterflies, you’ll enjoy seeing the different varieties at Callaway Gardens’ Butterfly House. Callaway Gardens is one of those somewhat hidden gardens, so it’s usually not as crowded as some of the other gardens (especially if you can manage to get there on a weekday when the kids are in school). Sometimes there are seasonal and special displays, like a topiary display, for example, featuring college mascots. Rent a golf cart if you do not want to walk.
Old Westbury Gardens
Visit these gardens for a peaceful experience, surrounded by nature. The historic grounds of Old Westbury Gardens, constructed in 1906 is about 200 acres. Visitors are invited to meander the grounds independently or participate in guided tours of the house and gardens. Roses, rhododenra, lilacs, and over 12,000 tulips bloom at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, New York. Sometimes those with a Bank of America card have free admission on the first weekend of the month.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, Florida has about 10 acres of formal gardens. The intriguing antique sculptures in the gardens are impressive for art lovers and those who simply appreciate art. While visiting Miami you should not miss an opportunity to visit the estate and gardens to learn more about this historical spot. Vizcaya is a noted Miami landmark that is a must-see.
U.S. Botanic Gardens
The U.S. Botanic Garden is a good break from Washington’s hustle and bustle. People who like plants and flowers and are willing to learn more will appreciate the information cards that label the plants in the gardens. The canopy walk and the orchid exhibits are favorites. There are also outdoor gardens and a pond. The U.S. Botanic Garden is picturesque, so don’t forget your camera or camera phone. You can even see and photograph the Capitol Building from the garden. Parking can be challenging here, so prepare to make your rounds until you find a space, or you could use public transportation to get here.
Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Japanese Gardens at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis is a favorite backdrop for photo, weddings and other private events. There is a historic home, Shaw’s House on the grounds of this garden, so don’t forget to tour that, too. Garden enthusiasts can also get helpful information for their own garden needs in a special education facility set up in the garden. There is often music and other entertainment in the gardens. Be sure to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens site first and look over the calendar of events.
Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore, near Mobile, Alabama has long expanses of pathways (two miles long) where you can see colorful flowers. The gardens houses several theme gardens, including a lovely American Rose and a Butterfly Garden. The large mansion is worth a walk-through, too. You should definitely check the website to see what is blooming to make sure that you arrive there when there is plenty to see. During the height of the blooming season, you can expect to spend about four hours, just touring the grounds.