There is no question that we’re pretty spoiled by nature here in the PNW. While we love the wild outdoors, we’re also quite fond of the plethora of gorgeous public gardens in and around Seattle that we can all explore.
From Japanese-style traditional gardens to sanctuaries filled with colorful flowers and rare plants, Seattle is full of natural oases of all sorts. These spots are perfect to visit year round and each have their highlight season. Let’s take a look at 15 of the most beautiful botanical gardens you can find in or near Seattle.
Located on the north end of South Seattle Community College, this 4.6-acre garden includes some absolutely stunning views. We’re talking downtown, the Cascade Mountains, and even Elliot Bay. It’s also the best way to see an authentic Chinese garden in the city and you can even check out cultural events. Don’t forget your camera!
Where: 6000 16th Ave SW
Want something big to explore? Bainbridge has you covered. The Bloedel Reserve is 150 acres of forest/garden that houses an incredible amount of lush nature. This is a true getaway. And the best part is that you’ll still have tons of island left to explore after.
Where: 7571 NE Dolphin Dr, Bainbridge Island
Sitting on 3.5 acres of winding paths and gorgeous scenery, this urban sanctuary is the perfect escape from the city within the city. You can explore expertly manicured paths and see animals like koi fish and turtles. Plus it’s right next door to the arboretum!
Where: 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E
This Seattle botanical garden has a bird-watching area and a public library. For now, the library is closed but you can still wander 16 acres of land that is locally known as the Montlake Fill. You’ll get to see how land can be transformed over time and you’ll definitely see a few bids.
Where: 3501 NE 41st St
A well-known landmark in Seattle, the Volunteer Park Conservatory has become one of the crown jewels of Seattle’s garden community. The gorgeous Victorian-style greenhouse is actually modeled after London’s Crystal Palace, so expect to feel some regal-nature vibes.
Where: 1400 E Galer St
We’ll bet that at least a few of you are fans of this fragrant flower. You can visit one of the nation’s only Rose Test Gardens right at Woodland Park! It’s an amazing way to see some blooms and also check out rose varieties before they’re available to the public.
Where: 750 N 50th St
Another public botanical garden in Seattle that is free to visit daily, Highline boasts one of the world’s most unique gardens. And what’s extra cool about it is that two of the gardens were actually moved to prevent their demolition during SeaTac Airport’s third runway project. Crazy right?
Where: 13735 24th Ave S, SeaTac
There are 13 different gardens in and around the Seattle University campus and trust us when we say that all of them are worth a visit. Whether you’re taking a study break or just craving some nature, you’ll find a perfect spot at any of these locations.
Where: Various locations at Seattle University
For the serious nature lovers, Bellevue Botanical Garden features everything from woodlands to meadows, to wetlands and display gardens. It’s free to explore and is a great getaway for those of you living on the east side. You can also volunteer your time to help keep this garden beautiful.
Where: 12001 Main St, Bellevue
Although this is technically a private residence, the garden itself is open to the Seattle public during designated hours. The garden has more than 2,000 species, including native and exotic conifers, hardwoods, rhododendrons, magnolias, ferns, and more! Plus several trees are the largest or most rare in the state.
Where: 20312 15th Ave NW, Shoreline
20 acres of lush Japanese gardens right in the heart of Rainier Beach. As far as botanical gardens in Seattle go, this one is hard to beat. Plus it has a rich history and is an amazing cultural heritage site in the city. If you’ve never been before it’s well worth checking out and psst it’s free!
Where: 9817 55th Ave S
This free botanical garden is a perfect separator from the bustle of Seattle. There are 7 acres containing 500 species of exotic trees and plants that are all worth an Instagram picture or two. And you are of course right next to the amazing Ballard Locks which are always a sight to see.
Where: 3015 NW 54th Street
These stunning gardens will make you forget that you’re in Washington. It’s a prime historic example of when classic European design collided with America’s landscape masters. It’s both a beautiful and romantic place to enjoy a stroll outside of the city. Plus it’s one of the only places where you can see almost 800 Rhododendrons.
Where: 12317 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, Lakewood, Washington
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Seattle’s crown jewel, the Arboretum. The 230-acre park is an amalgamation of several gardens full of walkways and water features. You can see rhododendrons, azaleas, wildlife, and much more in this spectacular urban garden.
Where: 2300 Arboretum Drive E
This incredibly unique garden is actually Seattle’s largest urban farm. If you aren’t able to get out of the city much to check out Washington farmland this is a great way to learn about farming within the city. And if you really fall in love with it you can volunteer your time!
Where: 5513 S Cloverdale St
There you go, nature lovers! Now get out there and explore some of the best public gardens and outdoor spaces that Seattle has to offer. Enjoy!
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