These beautiful & unique gardens in the United States have towering desert cacti, enormous water lilies, and underground fruit trees…
I don’t know about you, but Jennifer and I love gardens. Walking through an impeccably landscaped garden is refreshing and relaxing.
There's a wide variety of gardens in the United States, from California to Maine. Some are located in big cities, while others can only be found by venturing to small towns.
The following list covers everything from a hand-carved underground garden to huge botanical gardens. So, buckle up and hit the road to these beautiful destinations.
And you can use our nifty interactive MAP to get instant information on all the gardens we mention in this post! Give it a try – just click on any of the location points and then click Details. You’ll see the address, the phone number, the website link, the Ratings, and more!
10 Amazing Gardens in the United States
The following are some of the most beautiful and unique gardens in the United States. Whether you like cacti or roses or secret gardens, you're sure to find something for you on this list.
(By the way, you may also want to check out these 10 Best Waterfalls Hiking Trails in the U.S.)
If you are traveling through the Seattle area, you don't want to miss this gorgeous gem of a garden.
Washington Park Arboretum is a botanical garden that borders Lake Washington and features 230 acres of plant life. You can see paperback maple trees, witch hazel, and honeysuckle as you meander down the stone pathway.
Tucked away in the city of Spokane is a tranquil Japanese garden that was completed in 1974.
It was designed by a well-known Japanese architect, Nagao Sakurai. The garden features Japanese plants like flowering cherry trees, along with a koi pond.
Fresno, California, is usually a pass-through destination as people travel to Yosemite National Park. It's known much more for its farming than its gardens, but there's a hidden gem that combines both.
Tucked in a developed area of the city is an incredible underground garden. That's right, it's underground, which is a huge (refreshing) relief to those visiting in the heat of summer.
When you first pull up, you'll wonder if you wasted your time (& gas) coming to this “garden,” but hang in there! It's an incredible hole-in-the-wall (or rather, hole-in-the-ground) destination.
The gardens were carved out of the ground by one very industrious man using only hand tools. The Sicilian immigrant and citrus farmer turned useless farmland into his home and a vast network of rooms, tunnels, and courtyards with the tops of trees poking out at ground level.
It may not be the most luscious of the secret gardens on this list, but it is truly a sight to see.
Okay, so those of you that are familiar with the Portland area are not surprised by seeing a rose garden on this list. I mean, they don’t call Portland the City of Roses for nothing!
This garden takes you into the gorgeous and historic Piedmont neighborhood. That is cool in and of itself!
It is also home to Portland’s official rose called Madame Caroline Tesout.
The best news is that it is free to visit the park that is more than 100 years old. It has a lovely central fountain and features more than 5,000 stems to walk around and view.
Speaking of Oregon, we visited this incredible Lavendar Farm a few years ago, which you can see in this video…
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If you find yourself meandering through Maine, then make sure you stop off to see this wonderful garden.
Asticou Azalea Garden is a Japanese-inspired garden that features water lilies, cherry trees, and breathtaking azaleas. You can take it all in along a raked gravel path.
If you like more natural gardens, this ones for you. Featuring a plethora of native plants that form a backdrop of American history, Bird Haven Farm is an off-the-beaten-path destination.
The farm features barns, outbuildings, and an original stone house built in the nineteenth century with the gardens to match.
You can explore 25 acres of orchards, hay meadows, perennials and shrubs, and a pond. There is also a children’s maze garden as well as an elf’s stump.
If you are looking to replace hiking with an enjoyable, meandering walk for the day, this is the place for you.
At the top of a hill in northern Manhattan, you can get lost in time in medieval gardens. The museum's three onsite gardens are devoted to period-appropriate flowers and medicinal herbs.
The Middle Age gardens also boast an incredible view of the Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades. Among all of the European architecture and picturesque gardens, you'll forget you're standing in the most populous city in the United States!
This one is for the history buffs! It's a small topiary garden located in Columbus, Ohio, and is entirely based on a famous painting: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by George Seurat.
There is no other place where you can walk through dozens of topiaries as if you are part of a famous work of art.
There are well more than 50 sculpted topiaries, including people, boats, and animals. Talk about a unique experience!
If a desert oasis is more your speed and you find yourself in the Phoenix area, this garden is worth your time.
The Desert Botanical Garden is made up of more than 140 acres. There are five different loops to explore, like the Hummingbird Garden Cactus and Succulent Galleries, and an Edible Garden.
There is also a loop called the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, which offers the best views. There you can see panoramic mountain views of the surrounding landscape.
Florida isn't all beaches and palm trees. Tucked inside Miami is a “breathtaking Gilded Age estate on Biscayne Bay surrounded by ten acres of formal gardens, a mangrove shoreline, and rockland hammock.”
The geometric gardens are just the beginning of all there is to see at this 5-acre estate. on Biscayne Bay. This estate used to be the private winter home of businessman James Deering, but is now open to the public to enjoy.
Your Favorite Gardens in the United States
Of course, this list is only a glimpse of all of the amazing gardens in the United States. We'd love for you to share some of your favorite gardens in the comments below.
Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!
We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter.
That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys.
Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.
Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content!
FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers
What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?
The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.
Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?
One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities.
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.
Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?
Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.
But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?
Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.
Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?
While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.