Beautiful Gardens & Parks
Collected by Jenna Francisco , AFAR Local Expert
Walking in nature is one of my favorite activities whether I am at home or on the road. Here are some of the world's wonderful gardens and parks where you can spend time in nature and relax during your travels.
Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This beautiful Lady is all about outdoors. With its hills, cascades, fauna and exuberant flora, Rio will always be a motherly paradise for hikers, climbers, cyclists, runners, surfers, paddlers and dancers alike. Rio is so magical that she even...
1761 Anna Paulowna, Netherlands
Hands down Keukenhof Gardens, the world’s largest flower garden would be the ideal place to experience Tulipmania, right now. Over 50 million visitors from every corner of the globe have discovered the delights of Keukenhof Gardens, also known as...
Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
Monasteries, Modernista buildings, lush green spaces, and historic cemeteries are tucked away into hidden corners in and around Barcelona. In the city proper, visitors can spend an afternoon snapping shots of gorgeous funerary art at Montjuïc or...
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Japanese Tea Garden has been a special place for multiple generations of my family. It may be small, but it feels like an entire world apart, a pocket of beauty and peace in Golden Gate Park and the ever-busy city. For me, a visit here always...
Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Many city parks offer green grass, fresh air, and open space (that's kind of their m.o.), but few include ancient Roman ruins! Villa Borghese is as breathtaking as it is vast, and it's the ideal place to lounge with a book or get in a quick run to...
611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Portland is not lacking for parks and gardens—I've heard the Chinese garden in the Pearl district is a stunner—but I highly recommend the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Portland's a relaxed place anyway, but the Japanese gardens, said to be...
239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
I have to admit that when I saw that one of the tourist attractions in Portland was the International Rose Test Garden I didn't get all that excited about trekking to the outskirts of the city to check it out. This is probably because I consider...
800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada
The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay that receive more than a million visitors each year. In 1907, 65 year old garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama came to Victoria, at the request of his son, to build...
990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA
Participating in the Japanese tradition of hanami, or "flower viewing" at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during springtime is one of the simplest pleasures I've had that didn't involve food. For four weeks, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to pink...
Rua Pacheco Leão, 915 - Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22460-036, Brazil
Corcovado. Check. Sugarloaf. Been there. Ipanema. Yeah, I saw that girl on the beach too. Botanical Garden. Now that’s a new one. Located at the base of Corcovado Mountain, and under the right arm of Christ the Redeemer, you will discover the...
Skradinski Buk is the name given to the series of tiers of cascades and waterfalls located in Krka National Park. The water flows from the Krka River and the volume is so great that it literally thunders as it rages, full force, over the karst...
23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Cornerstone Sonoma is a collection of shops, galleries, and gardens that offers an unusual experience in the Sonoma wine country. The series of walk-through gardens showcase the work of some of the world's best landscape architects and designers....
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
Nieuwelaan 38, 1860 Meise, Belgium
I love the National Botanic Garden of Belgium. We went there last summer when the daisies were in bloom and it looked so beautiful. This year I am looking forward to the Magnolia walk which takes place from March 30th till April 30th. It's a...
200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
I had heard that the botanical garden at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, was worth visiting, but I didn't expect it to be so beautiful. Set among the hills that rise above the city, the botanical garden seems to go on and on, one beautiful...
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
One of my favorite places in the Seattle metro area is the Bellevue Botanical Garden, an oasis from urban bustle and a delight at any season. Prominent features include large lush perennial borders, a path lined with over 100 varieties of fuchsia,...
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