Are you searching for the best botanical gardens in Virginia? Get ready for this jam packed list full of all the best places to visit that you won’t want to miss. We have you covered on all of the best gardens in Virginia, including arboretums too!
Immerse yourself in beautiful landscapes while being surrounded by history. Visit Virginia for the history and stay for some of the best gems of the southeast. If your passion is finding picturesque vistas and being surrounded by beautiful flowers and gardens, then this is your list!
Relaxing in these magnificent botanical gardens in VA may be a much needed breath of fresh air. Share a cup of tea on garden lawn terraces or watch butterflies flutter in the crisp Virginia air. Witness the brilliant display of colors throughout the seasons put on by local flora and exotic trees.
It’s okay if American history isn’t your thing. The list of magnificent gardens of VA will not disappoint. Find the perfect day trip to one of these many botanical gardens and arboretums for natural beauty. We know you will love these places just as we do! So let us not wait- here is the best compilation of public gardens in Virginia.
Best Botanical Gardens in Virginia You Must Visit
Maymont Arboretum in Virginia
The first place you cannot miss is the Maymont arboretum in Richmond. Spanning 100 acres, the arboretum is a magnificent sight to behold. Thousands of trees sweep the Maymont grounds in stunning natural beauty. Here, you will see native Virginia trees along with more than 200 exotic trees species!
Walk the grounds to explore even more at Maymont. With a hundred years of growth and care, the old Dooley estate has created some of the most stunning vistas Virginia has to offer. See why the arboretum here is so magical every season of the year. It’s no doubt that you will find some of the best botanical gardens in VA here as well.
Explore the enchanting Italian garden, botanical garden, and more specialty gardens when you visit. Stroll these public gardens in VA, take a tour of the historic Dooley mansion, and visit the nature center. Walk down Marnie’s Butterfly trail, stop by the Grotto, or meditate on the Mansion Ornamental Lawn. See the animals at the petting zoo for even more fun!
There is so much to see and do when visiting, its no wonder why Maymont is on our list of the 17 best things to do in Richmond. Mark the itinerary for at least a half day at Maymont to get the most out of it!
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens of Virginia
While hanging out in the area, check out the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. The garden spans a whopping 50 acres with more than 5,000 unique types of plants. On the grounds sits a large domed conservatory- the only of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. This massive 11,000 square foot conservatory hosts a suitable environment for their showcase of tropical plants, a sunken garden, and many orchids.
There is so much to see when visiting these grounds. Explore themed gardens such as Asian Valley, Rose Garden, Woodland Walk, and Cherry Tree Walk. Breathe in some deep relaxation here in such a beautiful setting. Enjoy a cup of tea on in the on-site tea house or visit the garden shop if you want to try planting some flowers at home.
It is no wonder why these gardens have been consistently recognized as one of the top botanical gardens in the U.S.. With year-round blooms, these beautiful botanical gardens in Virginia has something in bloom any time you visit. Visit in the winter to make a Christmas in Richmond even richer.
Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
For more fun with flowers, take the short drive from Richmond to visit the Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Witness the magnificent 18th-century tree and woody shrubs. Discover more than 30 historic gardens located confidently on the same grounds!
This Arboretum in Virginia is an award winning gem. Two national champions trees reside here- the Jujube and the Paper Mulberry. The arboretum also has 20 Virginia state champion trees including the Compton Oak which measures 97 feet wide!
Learn the history the Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum has to offer. Walk among the living history museum at this Level 2 Certified Arboretum. The gardens are perfect place to visit to see beautiful and thoughtful architectural design from the 18th-century.
For more ideas on what to do while in the city, check out our list of all the best things to do in Williamsburg.
Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virginia
Another one of the best gardens in VA is the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. It is a most impressive collection at 175 acres of gardens. No kidding! There are over 60 different gardens to explore here. Hands down, this is the largest botanical garden in VA.
It’s so much fun to spend the day at these reputable gardens. Aside from being totally amazed by the endless beauty of flowers, there are 7 miles of paved trails to choose from! Follow the unsaved trail for 7 more miles of gardens to choose from! The gardens are one of a kind in the country. They are the only to be surrounded by water on three sides.
When visiting the area check out these other things to do in Norfolk, Virginia!
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Meadowlark Gardens are one of the best botanical gardens in Vienna, Virginia. The grounds cover more than 95 acres! Here you will discover gardens with beautiful showcases of local Virginia flora. There are also peaceful ornamental display gardens.
Spend a day relaxing among their lakes, forests and walking trails. Learn the history of the grounds with the interpretive displays in the 18th century log cabin. Behold the unique Korean Bell Garden which features stone terracing and several reflection stations. Check out the gazebo which stands beside three sparkling reflection ponds. More than 20 varieties of weeping cherry trees are seen lining the picturesque gazebo!
Another great feature at Meadowlark gardens vista of the Piedmont Hill is stunning. It’s official, Meadlowlark is one of the best botanical gardens of Virginia.
Green Springs Botanical Gardens
Just a short 20 minute drive from Vienna lies a must see garden in Virginia. The large 31 acre garden is totally worth the drive. It even has a greenhouse filled with tropical plants! Make the list complete with a visit to the Green Springs Botanical Gardens.
Explore and discover the beauty these gardens have to offer. Bask in the light filtering from the trees on a walk at the wooded stream valley. Witness over 20 different thematic demonstration gardens.
Experience the national historic site dated from colonial origins with a trip to the onsite museum. Come see the changing art exhibits on display. Grab a tea from the tea house and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on the way out for wind chimes! You’ll have so much fun when visiting the beautiful botanical gardens in VA.
United States Botanic Garden
Do not miss out on the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.. It is a piece great piece of living history that was constructed by the Architect of the Captiol in 1933. The large iconic greenhouse is the Lord & Burnham greenhouse. It contains two courtyard gardens as well as ten other garden rooms under glass. This dreamy space has over 28,000 square feet of growing space!
What truly makes the magic here is the state-of-the-art automated environmental control system. It controls everything down to the shade cloth, fans, and window vents giving the plants maximum growth opportunities. It makes the plants feel right at home and allows us to feel like we’ve been transported to a tropical land.
Include these Virginia gardens and more of our ideas for a great Washington D.C. itinerary.
A visit to Dumbarton Oaks is an incredible one of the public gardens in Virginia to experience. This place began back in 1921 when estate owner Mildred Bliss began to work with Beatrix Jones Farrand, a renowned landscape gardener. For the next thirty years the two women worked together to achieve the breath taking gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.
Discover the orchards and kitchen gardens and bask in the beauty on the meadows and wooded pathways. Along the way you will see the grounds adorned with thoughtful garden ornaments such as benches, finials, and sculptures.
Visit the terraces with soft light filtering from the trees. The Arbor Terrace is where you can see wisteria-covered terrace that overlooks the lower gardens.
Walk down Melisandre’s Allee for a dreamy woodland with blooms from daffodils and hyacinths. Surround yourself in blooming forsythia which turns bright yellow at the beginning of spring.
U.S National Arboretum
One trip to the U.S. National Arboretum and you will be hooked! Walking under the giant and colorful trees are one of the best things to do in Washington, D.C..
This is the best place to see cool aquatic plants, Japanese Maples, an incredible Fern Valley, and much, much more. Plan to visit the Asian, Azalea, and Dogwood Collections for amazing fragrant blooms. Walk under the enchanting Grove of State Trees or visit the year-round beauty of the evergreens of the Hollies and Magnolias.
The arboretum also holds another of the great Virginia gardens. See historic roses, the Knot garden, and the perennial collection of Daylilies, Daffodils, and Peonies. Be a part of the explosive changing colors these gardens produce.
State Arboretum of Virginia
The State Arboretum of Virginia, formerly known as the Orland E. White Arboretum hosts an impressive 172 acres of beauty. The grounds were established in 1930 and now holds over 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from all over the world.
The Arboretum collection proudly has the largest variety of boxwood cultivars in North America. They are known for a top notch collection of conifers, maples, oaks, and buckeyes. Their Ginkgo Groove turns a stunning bright yellow in the fall and is the absolutely the best.
There are many ways to explore the grounds. Take a drive for a rolling view of the trees along the 3-mile loop drive. Try our personal viewing preference by taking the 7-mile bridle trail. Yes, that means you can ride horses under the big beautiful trees. This is definitely a great place to experience fall in Virginia.
Quarry Gardens at Schuyler
If you are looking for botanical gardens of VA, visit the Quarry Gardens at Schuyler. With great variations surrounding the quarry pools, this is the place to be. Behold more than 850 species of flora and fauna along with with about 100 local species.
The grounds here are so beautiful they are referred to as ‘Galleries’. Witness the magnificent display of thoughtful and sustainable plants in the Galleries. With more than 34 designated galleries, there is bound to be something for everyone. See the prairies, vernal pools, a fern gully, and a waterside talus.
While visiting in the area, check out the Big Branch Waterfalls that made it to our list of the best waterfalls in Virginia. There is so much nature to enjoy in Virginia!
EDITH J. CARRIER ARBORETUM
Conviently located on the James Madison University campus is one of the best public gardens in Virginia. It’s called the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. The space encapsulates a public urban garden and a forested greenspace.
Experience the possibilities in the gorgeous outdoor woodland sanctuary. The woodland are home to centruty old oak giants. Enjoy the massive Hickories and the expansive collection of rhodendrons.
There is no going wrong when choosing any of these places to visit. Spending the day at one of the many gardens in Virginia will make for an unforgettable day. Surround yourself in beauty and breathe in that deep relaxation our plant friends give. Enjoy a very full experience of Virginia by exploring the other hidden gems in Virginia that we found!