Hawaii is full of vibrant and beautiful gardens full of unique flowers, tropical plants, and a whole lot of knowledge. When you visit a botanical garden, you get to learn so much more about the science of these individual plants while also admiring their beauty. Because of the popularity of our island gardens, we thought it would be a great idea to reflect on all of the most beautiful botanical gardens state by state and around the globe!
What We Did
HawaiianIslands.com researched the top botanical gardens in each destination and looked at reviews from highly reputable sources. We mainly focused on botanical gardens where the garden was the main attraction and there weren’t numerous other attractions within the garden.
The botanical gardens with the highest reviews made it to the top of the list along with the gardens with the highest % of “beautiful” mentions in the reviews. For each garden listed, we also analyzed the number of 4 and 5-star reviews vs. 3 and below-star reviews via TripAdvisor.
- North Carolina’s Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Maine’s Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens have the highest percentage of great and excellent reviews at 97%. That means only 3% of each garden has average or below-average reviews.
- Out of the most beautiful, Mississippi’s Mynelle Gardens Arboretum & Botanical Center has the highest percentage of visitors who rated the garden center 3 stars and below or thought it was below average at 34%.
- Out of Europe: Scotland, London, and France all held a spot for the most “beautiful” garden in the continent. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in Scotland steals first place with 26.6% of its reviews mentioning the word “beautiful”.
What Do Travelers Think of Each State’s Gardens?
The beauty of each state is that they all have a little something different to offer in the garden department. Some states have large sculptures and archways to showcase the different range of plants and flowers while others have smaller areas with ponds and lit pathways. Some have more desert-based plants while others have mountain wildflowers. Luckily, travelers love to visit new destinations that offer something different than the last.
When it comes to the most reviewed, Nevada’s Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden has over 14,000 reviews on TripAdvisor alone. Another 28,805 reviews on Google and 888 reviews on Yelp. About 3% of those reviews rate it average or below average, while the other 97% of reviews label it as above average. Out of the total number of reviews, a little under 6,000 mention the word “beautiful.”
While Mississippi’s popular Mynelle Gardens Arboretum & Botanical Gardens has one of the highest percentages of the mention “beautiful” in the state, it also has the highest percentage of reviewers ranking it below average. While most of the reviews state that the garden “could use more love”, many reviews also state that it “is a beautiful place.”
Several other gardens like Brookside Gardens in Maine, the Elizabeth Park Conservancy in Connecticut, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden all have over a 90% satisfaction review rate as well, each with over 300 reviews. When it comes to the top liked gardens, North Carolina and Maine tie at 97% of their reviews rating them as above average.
Montana’s DanWalt Gardens: A Beautifully Maintained Garden
These gardens are a hidden beauty. There are many things at DanWalt Gardens which delight the senses. The grounds are well kept, colorful and ever changing. There is plenty of space to get your very own piece of zen. The owners are hard working, personable and knowledgeable…– Karen
The top garden with the highest percentage of “beautiful” mentions in North America is actually in Montana at a place called the DanWalt Gardens. While DanWalt Gardens only has a little over 100 reviews, 66% of those reviews mention the word “beautiful.” About 95% of DanWalt Gardens’ reviews rate it as above average while about 5% rate it below.
Following Montana, we have Mynelle Gardens with 62% of “beautiful” mentions, Arkansas’ Garvan Woodland Gardens with 60%, Nebraska’s Sunken Gardens with 60%, New Jersey’s Skylands New Jersey Botanical Gardens with 59.90%, and North Carolina’s Sarah P. Duke Gardens with 57%. Out of these botanical gardens, Sarah P. Duke has the highest percentage of high reviews, while Garvan Woodland Gardens has the highest number of reviews.
While the top in North America consists of a lot of U.S. states, Canada does not lack an abundance of beautiful gardens either. In fact, The Butchart Gardens in Canada is one of the most popular with over 11,000 reviews and a 95% satisfaction rate. 44.70% of their entire reviews mention “beautiful”. Other Canadian gardens like the Montreal Botanical Garden, Halifax Public Garden, and the Van Dusen Botanical Garden also have high satisfaction rates of 90% and above.
Of course, we also had to look up Mexico! The Vallarta Botanical Gardens has almost 3,000 reviews with a 94% satisfaction rate. One reviewer goes so far as to say “From the moment we arrived we were enchanted. The flora and fauna of the garden felt magical. This garden is a work of love.” 42.59% of the total reviews mention the word “beautiful.”
Rio de Janeiro is a Royal Palm Tree Delight
In South America, Brazil has 3 top gardens on the list alongside Argentina and Costa Rica. Rio de Janeiro’s Botanical Garden has the highest percentage of “beautiful” mentions at 4.50%. Only a couple of the gardens we researched in this area had over 20,000 reviews. Rio de Janeiro and Jardim Botanico de Curitiba both had 22,096 and 26,179 reviews respectively. While Jardim Botanico de Curitiba had a higher satisfaction rate at 94%, the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro had only slightly less at 93%.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens had the second-highest rating of beautiful mentions out of fewer reviews at only 3,202. The percentage of reviewers that rated it above average was 91% while only 9% rated it as average or below average. In Argentina, Jardin Japones had 3.10% of reviews mention “beautiful” from over 13,000 reviews. It did, however, have the highest dissatisfaction rate with 14% rating it as average or below average. Some of the reviews stated that it was a “tourist trap” or felt like the “Japanese culture was underrepresented.”
Finally, Amantikir Park in Brazil has a little over 12,000 reviews with a 90% satisfaction rate, with only .40% “beautiful” mentions. This botanical garden has an incredible layout and is well spaced out, but the parking and payments are known to be a little frustrating. All in all, South America offers unique tropical gardens that everyone is sure to love.
The Royal Botanical Gardens Make Quite the Appearance in Europe
This is a BEAUTIFUL place not to be missed in Edinburgh! So much beauty, plant diversity, and a great place to walk and enjoy nature.– Tom C
Scotland, London, France — who doesn’t love the charm and romance that Europe has to offer? Europe had several amazing gardens to choose from, but the one that rose to the top was the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. 26.60% of its 7,806 reviews mentioned “beautiful,” and 95% of those reviews rated it as above average or excellent. It’s known to be a truly magical garden with 72 acres of glasshouses, tours, and history.
Another popular Royal Botanic Garden that made second place on this list was the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew with 23.40% of its 9,115 reviews mentioning “beautiful.” This garden is 500 acres and offers unique plant house architecture as well as vibrant and colorful flowers cleanly spaced out and represented. Alongside this garden are two gardens in Paris and one garden in Giverny, France.
The Luxembourg Gardens, Fondation Claude Monet, and the Jardin des Tuileries are three French gardens that made it in the top 5 European gardens list. All have over 15% of “beautiful” mentions and over 7,000 reviews dedicated to each garden. In fact, the Luxembourg Gardens have the most amount of reviews – 35,382 to be exact. 95% of those reviews rate it as above average. Make sure you have a full day if you want to check out this garden because it is quite large compared to the others.
Morocco: Home to 2 Top Botanic Gardens in Africa
It’s no surprise that Morocco is a beautiful country in North Africa, and there are two gardens in the top 5 list that prove just that. Taking second and third place on this list, we have Le Jardin Secret and Jardin Majorelle. Each has over 16% of reviews that mention the word “beautiful.” Le Jardin Secret has fewer reviews at only 3,251 but has a higher satisfaction rate than Jardin Majorelle at 89%. While Jardin Majorelle has the most reviews out of all top African gardens at 51,291, about 17% rated it as average or below average.
In the number one spot for the highest mentions of “beautiful,” we have Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at 34.80%. This stunning garden in Cape Town, South Africa has over 10,000 reviews with a satisfaction rate of 96%. It’s a full-on nature reserve and cultivated garden with unique flowers and well-kept grounds. One reviewer even states, “…was such a great experience – like being in a planted earth documentary!”
Other botanical gardens like Seychelles National Botanical Garden in Seychelles and SSR Botanic Garden in Mauritius also had a good amount of reviews that mention beautiful with 12.20% and 3.80% respectively. When it comes to the number of reviews each had, Seychelles has slightly over 1,000 while SSR Botanic Garden has 7,523. Out of the top gardens, Seychelles had the highest dissatisfaction rate with 28% of their reviews rating it as average or below average. SSR only had a dissatisfaction rate of 20%.
4 of Oceania’s Top Gardens Are Located in Australia…
They have a lot of super large trees that are hundreds of years old. Big ground to cover. Their Japanese garden is so serene and beautiful. Makes you want to have such a garden in your own backyard.– Michelle C
Oceania is full of beautiful countries like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. When looking at the top gardens for this continent, however, we found a recurring trend. Australia consistently had the most reviewed gardens. Australia also consistently had the highest satisfaction rate along with the most beautiful mentions. Australia did not take all 5 spots, though, and New Zealand quickly rose to the occasion with the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
In first spot for the botanical gardens with the most “beautiful” mentions is the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. There are about 2,777 reviews, 41.20% of which mention “beautiful”. About 94% of those reviews rate it as above average. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is Australia’s second-oldest garden and has a plant house, pond, and small waterfall that make for a scenic stroll.
Other Australian gardens like the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and the Adelaide Botanic Garden also make the list — each with over 30% of their reviews mentioning the word “beautiful.” An honorable mention would be the Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth. This park has over 12,000 reviews with the highest satisfaction rate of 98%.
When it comes to New Zealand, everyone has heard of the Hamilton Gardens as one of the best gardens in the area, and for good reason. However, Hamilton Gardens had fewer reviews that mentioned beautiful at 27.60% than New Zealand’s other favored garden – the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. In fact, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens had more reviews at 6,778 and had a higher mention of “beautiful” at 40.20%. It also has a satisfaction rate of 97% rating it as above average.
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is Sure to Take Your Breath Away
Asia is widely known for its landscapes and spiritual connection to nature, so it’s no surprise that there are several incredible botanical gardens in the area. Tokyo, Japan in all of its glory is home to the top Asian botanical garden — Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is about 144 acres of a blend of different Japanese garden styles, making the ideal combination for visitors to enjoy a little bit of everything.
While Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has 29.30% of its reviews that mention the word “beautiful”, a garden in Singapore actually has the most reviews total at Gardens by the Bay. Gardens of the Bay has over 60,000 reviews with a 95% satisfaction rate. Only 4.30% mention the word “beautiful,” however, which puts it last on the list of most beautiful in Asia.
Both the Yu Garden in China and the Lalbagh Botanical Garden in India have 19.40% of their reviews mentioning the word “beautiful.” The Yu Garden is a smaller garden of only 5 acres while the Lalbagh Botanical Garden is around 240 acres. The Yu Garden has much more reviews at 10,577 while Lalbagh Botanical Garden has 6,193. The Yu Garden also has a higher satisfaction rate. 84% of its reviews rate it above average while Lalbagh’s Botanical Garden has an 80% satisfaction rate.
Finally, the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden in Thailand and the Singapore Botanic Gardens are in the top 5 to round out the top botanical gardens in Asia. The Singapore Botanic Gardens has a high satisfaction rate at 95% while Nong Nooch Botanical Garden is slightly less at 86%. Nong Nooch has fewer reviews, however, at 6,271. Most of the average reviews stated that it’s seemingly too big and the park is too expensive.
Take the Time to Visit the Garden of Your Choice: It’s Worth It!
We’ve done the research so that you can decide which garden is the best fit for you. All around the world, you will never run out of endless opportunities to catch some of the most breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re in North America, Africa, Europe, or on a trip around the world, be sure to check out some of these gardens.
Methodology and Sources
HawaiianIslands.com searched the most reviewed botanical gardens for each continent and individual U.S. state. We then took the most reviewed gardens and gathered the number of reviews with the word “beautiful”. For each garden, we also calculated the percentage of reviews that were average and below average vs. above average.
HawaiianIslands.com is in no way affiliated with TripAdvisor. This data was collected in October 2023.