Here are the results. Consider visiting these beautiful gardens next time you are in these states.

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Tripadvisor’s Most Stunning Botanical Gardens? Surprise

By Jill Brooke

beautiful lush green garden

To my surprise and others, the celebrated Longwood Gardens and New York Botanical Garden did not make the list for Tripadvisor’s survey of most “breathtaking” national gardens.

Instead, it was Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida taking the top prize.

Pergola and pavilion designers at Pergola Kits USA, analyzed the number of Tripadvisor reviews that contained positive descriptors, such as ‘stunning’, ‘beautiful’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘gorgeous’ across 260 botanical gardens in the US. Each botanical garden has been ranked based on the percentage of reviews containing these beauty keywords. 

Botanical gardens were ranked according to the percentage of reviews that contained any of these keywords. 100 of the botanical gardens which had the most reviews were considered for this final ranking. 

Here are the results and consider visiting these beautiful gardens next time you are in these states. Keep in mind that this survey, as garden expert Linda Lee observes, is ranked by people on vacation. “Perhaps that’s why Florida ranks so high,” says Lee. “There were some surprises here.”

 1.Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida

Topping the list of America’s most stunning botanical gardens is Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida, with 77.96% of its Tripadvisor reviews containing keywords describing the beauty of the garden. 

First planted in 1923 by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay after they purchased the property for their winter home, this stunning garden features spectacular architecture, a secret garden, a reflection pool and hundreds of camellias and azaleas. 

garden by a pool

 2.Blue Spring Heritage Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

In second position is Blue Spring Heritage Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, with 77.35% of its Tripadvisor reviews describing its stunning features. 

This rich cultural experience honors the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears, encouraging visitors to connect with the beautiful native gardens. The Blue Spring pours 38 million gallons of crystal-clear water every day, providing a true spectacle.  

tulips blooming in a garden

3.Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngtown, Ohio

The third most stunning botanical garden in America is Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngtown, Ohio, with 76.61% of its total Tripadvisor reviews describing its beautiful setting. 

This free public garden is a twelve-acre display of magnificent roses of all classes, seasonal arrangements, flowering bulbs and a diverse abundance of vibrant plants. Fellows Riverside Gardens also boasts special events, weddings and art exhibits. 


4.Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut

 Fourth on the list is Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut, with 75.86% of Tripadvisor reviews referencing the beauty of this botanical garden. 

Harkness Memorial State Park charms with a Renaissance mansion, which was built in 1906, beautiful gardens and scenic trails, offering historical charm and 230 acres of natural wonder to explore. 

creek and a bridge

 5.Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Following in fifth place is Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with 75.35% of its Tripadvisor reviews complimenting the garden’s breathtaking features. 

As the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, Garvan Woodland Gardens showcases a rich assortment of flora, fauna and pines while impressing visitors with the scenery of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains. 

house with a garden

 6.Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania, takes sixth spot, with 74.85% of its total Tripadvisor reviews containing keywords relating to the stunning nature of this botanical garden. 

With 23 acres of botanical beauty, Hershey Gardens features gorgeous flowers and shrubs, as well as a rare collection of trees to enjoy on your visit. This garden was also voted ‘Travelers’ Choice’ in 2022 on Tripadvisor, marking its delight among visitors. 

Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania

7.Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama

In seventh position is Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama, with 72.88% of this botanical garden’s Tripadvisor reviews referencing its beauty.  

This public garden and home is the historic residence of Walter Bellingrath, who was one of the first Coca-Cola bottlers in the Southeast. Here you can enjoy more than 400 varieties of Alabama’s State Flower, camellias, as well as beautiful tropicals in the summer. 

Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama

8.Filoli in Woodside, California

Closely following, with 71.82% of its Tripadvisor reviews mentioning its breathtaking appeal, is Filoli in Woodside, California, in eighth place.  

Boasting 16 acres of spectacular English Renaissance gardens, the Filoli estate has been open to the public since 1975 and is considered one of the finest remaining country estates of the century.  

tulips blooming

9. Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, North Carolina

The ninth most beautiful botanical garden in America is Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with 70.76% of its total Tripadvisor reviews containing keywords of its beauty. 

Nestled between the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek, Cape Fear Botanical Garden is an approved field trip destination that offers students to meet live reptiles, sample soil cores and plant seeds.  

garden leading up to large home

10.Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina

And finally, completing the most stunning botanical gardens in America is Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina, with 70.15% of its Tripadvisor reviews referencing the garden’s stunning features. 

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden welcomes visitors to 30 acres of rich gardens to marvel at, including a children’s garden, a conservatory exhibiting tropical plants and orchids, walking trails to explore and more. 

 A spokesperson for Pergola Kits USA said, ““We hope this data analysis encourages you to explore a new botanical garden and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.” We hope so too. While these selections are in the U.S., here is also a story our Linda Lee did on gardens to see from around the world. Being around nature not only has health benefits but is a feast for the eyes and heart.


Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and a contributor to Florists Review magazine.