Must-See Gardens Across the US: The Northeast

Reader Contribution by Bryan Traficante And Wiley Geren

In Part 1 of our 5-part series, we covered the best gardens to see across the southeast. From the Disney Flower & Garden Festival to The Elizabethan Gardens in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Instead of pulling over to see the world’s 4th most complete Bigfoot footprint, try something a little more worthwhile. This could be your only vacation of the year, so “fill your eyes with wonder” (as the travel bloggers say) and visit some unforgettable places! All over the U.S., there are publicly and privately funded, breathtaking gardens that can redefine your definition of horticulture. From pristine botanical memorials to fascinating plant sculptures, you will find your imagination running wild with your own backyard botanical ideas.

Plus, these gardens are prime for great pictures that are guaranteed to make your Instagram pop and may even inspire you to start a succulent garden, fruit garden, square foot garden, or ‘living’ sculpture garden of your own! So, if you are journeying through the northeastern U.S., carve out time in some of our nation’s most historic states to visit one or more of these amazing garden experiences!


Coastal Maine Gardens

Founded by grassroots organization passionate about horticulture and environmental education in Boothbay, Maine, this botanical garden covers 295 acres of tidal shore land. They offer a schedule of educational events, art exhibits, and sculptures that tourists and annual members can appreciate. The gardens also partake in substantial botanical research to propagate unique cultivars in New England.

They are only open from April through October, but visitors will be wowed by the variety of beautiful gardens throughout the compound.


Asticou Azalea Garden

In Northeast Harbor, Maine, the Asticou Azalea Garden feels both organized and natural. Pathways wind through colorful and aromatic gardens and forests with benches throughout for those who want to rest and enjoy the environment.


New York

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Along with the standard beautiful horticultural offerings, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden offers educational opportunities for schools, families, children, and adults. Butterfly walks, yoga classes, Medicinal lectures, certificates in horticulture, and internships are only part of the many opportunities they provide.

Their gardens are comprised of a variety of flowers that are seasonally changed, and the site blog offers frequent insights into their flora and fauna.


New York Botanical Garden

Similar to its cousin in Brooklyn, the New York Botanical Garden is known for offering a myriad of classes, horticultural opportunities, special collections, and educational experiences. Besides those, the gardens themselves are breathtaking.

Visitors can enjoy the Azalea, Daylilies, Native Plant, Perennial, Water Lilies and Lotus gardens as well as some fun musical weekends. They do provide membership opportunities for those who can’t get enough of this beautiful botanical garden.



Phipps Conservatory

Located in Pittsburgh, this conservatory is dedicated to researching sustainable landscapes, offer seasonal children camps, school tours, and how-to adult gardening classes. Additionally, they are known for being a picturesque location for weddings or corporate events.

They offer year-round and seasonal experiences including butterfly forests, interactive soundscapes, their green power drive, and a fascinating exhibit called, “Tropical Forest Cuba”. The Phipps Conservatory is dedicated to innovation and can’t be missed.


Longwood Gardens

One of the most diverse garden experiences, the Longwood gardens offer more than beautiful flora. Visitors can look forward to dining options, a beer garden, musical performances, and a spectacular illuminated fountain show set in the Main Fountain Garden.

They also offer educational opportunities for those interested in horticulture and art. For those just visiting, there are greenhouses, a breathtaking waterlily display, and a manicured Italian water garden.


Washington, DC

U.S. National Arboretum

Established in 1972 by Congress, this 446-acre property is run by the US Department of Agriculture’s Research Service. Their mission is to “enhance the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants through long-term, multi-disciplinary research, conservation of genetic resources, and interpretative gardens and exhibits.”

Boasting over seven flora collections in addition to a Bonsai museum and the national capitol columns, people passionate about America will love the Arboretum.


So, if travelling the northeast U.S. add these amazing stops to your itinerary for some tranquility and exploration.

Which gardens do you want to see and which have you been to? Do you prefer the gardens of the southeast featured in part 1 of our series? Tell us in the comments below!
Also, keep your eyes open for part 3 of this 5-part series as we explore the rest of the must-see gardens across the U.S.!

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