Minnesota Landscape Arboretum wins best botanical garden

The best botanical garden in the country? Right here in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum won the top spot in the "Best Botanical Garden in the United States" contest by USA Today. Voting was open for four weeks, after a panel of experts narrowed the country's best to a top 20.

Visitors to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, a part of the University of Minnesota, enjoy more than 1,200 acres of manicured gardens, woods and prairies, accessible via 12.5 miles of walkable trails and garden paths. The vast space, divided into 28 named gardens and 45 plant collections, showcases more than 5,000 plant species and varieties. Highlights include a Japanese Garden, Daylily and Chrysanthemum Walk, Kitchen Herb Garden, Maze Garden and Peony Walk.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Botanical Garden are as follows:

  1. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - Chaska, Minn.
  2. New York Botanical Garden - Bronx, N.Y.
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden - St. Louis
  4. Desert Botanical Garden - Phoenix
  5. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens - Fort Bragg, Calif.
  6. The Dawes Arboretum - Newark, Ohio
  7. State Botanical Garden of Georgia - Athens, Ga.
  8. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids, Mich.
  9. Atlanta Botanical Garden - Atlanta
  10. Chicago Botanic Garden - Chicago

A panel of experts partnered with USA Today’s 10Best editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Cindy Brockway (The Trustees), Kyle McCarthy (Family Travel Forum), Abby Meyer (Botanic Gardens Conservation International), Katy Moss Warner (American Horticultural Society) and Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of Americanbotanical gardens.

Other nominated gardens included Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Chanticleer Garden, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Botanical Garden and the U.S. Botanic Garden.