Los Angeles Gardens Help Visitors Escape the City and Relax

When vacationing in Los Angeles, gardens may not be top of mind. However, they provide a break from bustling city streets and showcase nature in new ways. Why not take a couple of hours to relax and stay active? When ready, here are the top Los Angeles gardens to see.

Los Angeles Gardens: 8 Places to Admire Nature and Unwind

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Exposition Park Rose Garden

Since 1928, Exposition Park Rose Garden has welcomed guests to enjoy formal displays of roses near a central fountain. Over the years, millions of people have visited making this one of the most popular Los Angeles gardens.

Exposition Park Rose Garden measures 7 acres and is the second-largest of its kind in the state. Today the site houses more than 200 different varieties of plants and flowers. Visitors also have access to four gazebos with reservations and permits available.

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens features year-round beauty only 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. This garden strives to tell the story of people who lived in the area and cared for the landscape over the centuries. Some say it serves as a living collection.

This attraction houses different types of gardens. Visitors will find a 5-acre rose garden, a Japanese garden, an oak forest, the largest collection of camellias in North America, and a garden dedicated to edible herbs and flowers. Other must-sees include California natives and the ancient forest. In addition, Descanso Gardens has a historic home, art gallery, enchanted railroad and dining.

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SuihoEn The Japanese Garden

This outdoor retreat ranks among the best public Japanese gardens in North America. Measuring 6.5 acres, this garden provides a place for meditation and connecting to nature’s beauty. Guests may easily walk from one point to another throughout the year.

Features include water and fragrance, dry zen, tortoise island, stone arrangements, waterfalls, lanterns, bridges and more sites. The Shoin Building represents residential housing used for upper-class monks, aristocrats, and samurai during the 14th and 15th centuries. Then admire the beauty of a tea garden. While strolling, visitors may attend events that showcase music, culture and bonsai.

South Coast Botanic Garden

South Coast Botanic Garden ranks among the best Los Angeles gardens for its family-friendly appeal. Plus, it offers more than 87 acres of blooming flowers and trees year-round. Guest may also customize their visit to last from 30 minutes to a half-day.

While blooms depend on the season, highlights include California native plants, a children’s garden, one for the senses and a volunteer garden tended to by gracious local residents. The New Rose Garden features more than 80 rose selections, pathways and a large fountain. Visitors also have access to a koi pond, desert garden and Mediterranean Garden.

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Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

While many travelers come to Los Angeles Zoo to see animals, the gardens should not be overlooked. The on-site botanical gardens house three main groups of plants and trees that provide shade and food to some animals.

At the zoo, see California wildflowers, native plants from Mount Whitney and Death Valley, ficus trees, island species, large grass species, parasitic plants, and sage. Los Angeles Zoo also has bird gardens. These outdoor spaces provide a place for birds to rest, groom and eat. Each garden strives to attract different species while providing a safe haven.

The Arboretum

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden serves as an escape with historical landmarks, endangered plant species, a lake, farm and gardens. Visitors come here to learn, admire nature and attend all-family yoga events.

These gardens showcase plants from all over the world. More than 10 distinct areas bustle with blooming beauty where guests escape from daily stress and connect to nature. To get the most from a visit, explore aquatic gardens, the herb garden, meadow brook garden, rose garden and tropical greenhouse. Those interested in agriculture enjoy garden for all seasons and Crescent Farm. After touring the gardens, visit Queen Anne Cottage, Santa Anita Depot and Baldwin Lake.

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Virginia Robinson Gardens

The Robinson Mansion, built in 1911, was one of the original homes built in Beverly Hills and once hosted parties. Today, the garden serves as a piece of history and beauty.

Guests must book a reservation for a docent-led tour through the gardens. During the trip, explore six gardens such as the majestic King Palm Forest, one of the largest in the world. In addition, visitors have access to a rose garden and Italian Terrace Garden. Tours last 90 minutes, and professional docents tell stories about the history and famous people who have graced the grounds.

Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Those searching for a place to meditate and pray should make a reservation at Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. This spot not only ranks among the best Los Angeles gardens but also a prime spot for religious practice. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam are all represented with respect.

The shrine welcomes all ages and faiths. Guests come to share in fellowship and discover peace through God and leadership. Highlights range from the meditation garden and golden lotus temple to the Windmill Chapel and Lake Shrine.

After exploring the best Los Angeles gardens, find more fun activities for all ages. Then book a luxury vacation home in Hollywood.