Travel to any of these gorgeous botanical gardens in the South and be totally amazed at the breadth of natural beauty on display. Perfect for a family-friendly vacation idea that won’t break the bank. Or, perhaps you and your significant other can enjoy these relaxed outdoor escapes. Decorated with an array of seasonal blooms, trees, statues, sculptures, bridges and other fascinating architectural elements, these botanical gardens and museums promise a full day of both recreation and repose!

There are plenty of other gorgeous botanical gardens across the region that we have yet to visit, and we’ll be back showcasing more in the future as we have a soft spot for these gems!

Click any of the hyperlinked gardens below for more information.

Botanical Gardens in the South

ALABAMA

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

With more than 12,000 different types of plants cultivated, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is teeming with wildlife. With gorgeous Japanese gardens, sculptural installations and manicured paths, there is so much to explore. They also boast the largest public horticulture library in the country for those looking to brush up on botanical trivia!

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to spend a summer day.

This lush and shrouded patio at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to spend the balmy summer days. Image credit: Facebook

Bellingrath Gardens and Home (Theodore, AL is near Dauphin Island, AL)

Built in 1935, the historic Bellingrath Mansion in Theodore, AL, is surrounded by 65 acres of fantastic gardens. Adorned with salvaged brick, intricate ironwork and slated roofs, the home is open for tours and is an ideal backdrop for weddings and special events. Bellingrath has a variety of terraces that showcase an array of annuals, perennials, sculptures and architectural features.

The Mirror Lake at Bellingrath Mansion is a picturesque place for a family picnic

The Mirror Lake at Bellingrath Gardens is surrounded by beautiful blooms, a picturesque place for a family picnic. Image credit: Bellingrath

Aldridge Gardens (Birmingham, AL area)

This 30-acre property in Hoover, AL, was the home to renowned horticulturalist Eddie Aldridge and his wife Kay. With plenty of outdoor activities offered, including birdwatching, fishing, hiking and dancing, Aldridge Gardens has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. They also offer great music and art events including outdoor concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.

The Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Al offer a great range of outdoor activities.

The Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, AL, offer a great range of activities from hiking to planting workshops! Image credit: Facebook

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Huntsville is a total treasure to begin with including the US Space and Rocket Center and their GORGEOUS botanical gardens. The Huntsville Botanical Garden includes a butterfly house where you can have these fluttery friends land right on your hand. Also look for the Garden Railway, completely enthralling for all ages, but little boys who think they don’t like gardens will be especially entertained! The Dogwood Trail is beautiful year round, but with red leaves in autumn and white blooms in spring, it’s truly magical.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Huntsville Botanical Garden. Image courtesy: snipview.com

FLORIDA

Fair Child Tropical Botanic Garden (Coral Gables, FL)

Regarded as one of the best botanical gardens in the world, Fair Child Tropical Botanic Garden is a true paradise. Located in scenic Coral Gables, Fair Child is dedicated to conserving tropical plants and educating the world on this magical type of flora. With spectacular collections and exhibitions on display, they have over 34,000 species of plants available to view on their property.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a botanical garden in the south, hosts spectacular art exhibits.

The Chihuly exhibit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens illuminates the landscape. Image credit: Facebook

GEORGIA

Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is home to beautiful plants, great art and delicious food. Visitors can receive guided tours of the garden during the day, or come at night and enjoy live concerts, provocative art installations and special tastings composed by James Beard-nominated chef Linton Hopkins. They also have a great gift shop!

The Atlanta Botanic Garden is a great place to enjoy a summer night.

Featuring live concerts and site-specific art, the Atlanta Botanic Garden is a great place to enjoy a summer night. Image credit: Facebook

Callaway Gardens (Pine Mountain, GA)

Located in beautiful Pine Mountain, GA, Callaway Gardens is a historical, educational and charitable organization dedicated to connecting mankind to nature. The breathtaking property offers myriad recreational options including walking trails, a golf course, tennis courts, water sports on Robin Lake and road bike races. They also have one of best butterfly collections in the country, with more than 1,000 species on display.

A pink spring is in bloom at Callaway Gardens.

Here, pink blooms beckon exploration at Callaway Gardens. Image credit: Facebook

KENTUCKY

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens (near Louisville in Crestwood, KY)

Developed in 1941 on Oldham County farmland, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens was founded by plantsman Theodore Klein and his wife Martha. From splendid topiary gardens to traditional English gardens, there are so many inviting spaces to explore at Yew Dell. They also offer great activity packages for families including craft workshops and gardening classes.

Open pastures are only a part of expansive beauty at Yew Dale Gardens.

Open pastures are only a part of Yew Dale’s expansive beauty. Image credit: Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

TENNESSEE

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art (Nashville, TN)

The historic residence of the renowned Cheek family, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is a breathtaking property that sits in the woodlands just west of Nashville. Not only do they have fantastic gardens with blooming flowers, but they also showcase exceptional art exhibits from internationally recognized artists. Cheekwood also offers great education programs, guided tours and has a terrific restaurant located on the premises. It is one of the most stunning botanical gardens in the south.

A path at Cheekwood, one of the botanical gardens in the south

An overgrown pathway is a romantic feature at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.

Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum

Located just five minutes from downtown, the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is lined with old stones walls and buildings, hiking trails, nurseries and display gardens. A historic plot barn located on the property was recently renovated and is now open to the public. The property sits atop a ridgetop and promises spectacular views of the Tennessee landscape.

Knoxville Botanical

Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum has beautiful walking trails lined with seasonal blooms. Image credit: Facebook

Memphis Botanic Gardens

Well known for their fantastic education programs, the Memphis Botanic Gardens offers great activities in their “Big Back Yard,” a family garden designed for enjoying the great outdoors. They also have a world-renowned Japanese garden of tranquility as well as a newly constructed herb garden, which provides great opportunities for visitors.

Memphis Botanic Garden

The Memphis Botanic Garden provides great activities for kids and adults alike. Image credit: Facebook

TEXAS

Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden

From family fun days to 10K races to live outdoor concerts, there is always something fun and festive happening at Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden. It sits on 66 acres of carefully groomed lands and has a wide variety of gardens including a Children’s Adventure Garden, a pecan grove, a stunning crepe myrtle alley and so much more!

Be amazed at the breadth of beauty on display at Dallas Arboretum and Garden, one of the botanical gardens in the south

Be amazed at the breadth of beauty on display at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Image credit: Facebook

VIRGINIA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (Richmond, VA)

Continually voted as one of the best public gardens in the United Sates, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens has more than 50 acres of historic land with beautiful gardens that provides the backdrop for a variety of events. Known for their impressive variety of butterflies, visitors can see the Monarch butterfly waystation, which provides supplies to butterflies migrating across North America. Lewis Ginter also offers great dining and shopping!

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond houses incredible wildlife.

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA, houses incredible insects and wildlife. Image credit: Facebook

Savor the lazy days of summer and explore nature’s beauty that is available at botanical gardens in the South!

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