Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Find gardening inspiration among the woodlands, dahlia trail, fern walk, lilac collection and iris garden at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. These are just some of the sections in this public garden, which is designed to give home gardeners plenty of ideas and advice. Capture it on camera or just walk the garden paths and bush trails to take it all in. There’s also a road through the facility, so you can view the gardens by car.
With over 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of woodlands, gardens and lawns the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers a good escape from metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul. It’s part of the University of Minnesota, and its commitment to education and sustainability is clear from the many community programs within the park.
Start at the Oswald Visitor Center to find out which events are held and where to go first. The landscape changes with the seasons, with tiny succulents, colorful flowers and enormous trees offering a good variety of foliage and blooms year-round. Even the art and photo displays are seasonal. The collection of sculptures, however, never changes. The Japanese Garden, for example, is modeled after the Edo Period that started some four centuries ago. Admire the tower with basin and waterfall in this cultural section.
Climb aboard the Arboretum Trumpet Creeper Tram for a narrated tour, available in the warmer months for a small fee. You can walk Three-Mile Drive all year-round and even drive it from April to November. Winter Wonder bus tours offer an alternative on selected winter days. If you have your own equipment, you can cross-country ski on designated tracks.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum grounds are open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. The park closes at sunset. Hold on to your ticket and return for free within 30 days. Some Thursdays are free too. Children under 13 are given free entry any day. There is a visitor center, gift shop, restaurant, library and learning center. Rent snowshoes in winter or enjoy free guided tours during the warmer months.