Beautiful Public and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles

In addition to beautiful park spaces, Los Angeles is home to some amazing gardens, from encyclopedic botanic gardens to California native gardens to tranquil Japanese Gardens, there are myriad showcases of nature's bounty to enjoy.

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    Cacti Garden at Huntington Gardens
    ••• Robert Landau / Getty Images

    The Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library feature 120 landscaped acres with thirteen themed gardens and a conservatory on the former San Marino Ranch just outside Pasadena include rare and exotic plants from around the world as well as California natives. You could spend all day in the gardens, but the extensive art collection and illustrated manuscripts, including a Gutenberg Bible, are also worth a look. Garden walking tours are available.

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    Descanso Gardens
    ••• Mitch Diamond / Getty Images

    150 acres of gardens, woodland and chaparral. The 40,000 camellia bushes within the 20-acre California live oak forest bloom from October to March. Peak bloom for the 4,000 roses in the Rosarium is April through December. Guided tram tours are available.

  • 03 of 16
    LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
    ••• LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. Noldentity/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The 127 acres of trees and shrubs at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden are arranged by continent of origin. The park includes the spring-fed Lake Baldwin, a research center and greenhouses and several historic buildings. Walking tours are available.

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    South Coast Botanic Garden
    ••• South Coast Botanic Garden. tony/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The South Coast Botanic Garden features over 2,500 plant species on 87 acres with an emphasis on draught resistant plants. Includes a children's garden.

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  • 05 of 16
    Los Angeles Cityscapes and City Views
    ••• Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

    The Rose Garden at Exposition Park in South Los Angeles is a popular spot for USC students to hang out and study, and a busy spot for weddings and photo shoots. The Rose Garden is opened daily from 9:00 am - sunset. It is closed to the public from January 1st - March 15th of each year for annual maintenance. Exposition Park is also home to a variety of museums including the Natural History Museum, California Science Center and the California African American Museum, so you can combine some indoor and outdoor time.

  • 06 of 16
    Getty Center garden , Los Angeles
    ••• P. Eoche / Getty Images

    The manicured gardens at the Getty Center were designed as a work of art by Robert Irwin. Zigzagging walkways, a stone waterfall and a floating maze of azaleas are surrounded by a variety of seasonal plants. Architecture and garden tours are available.

  • 07 of 16
    50th Anniversary Beastly Ball at the Los Angeles Zoo
    ••• Greg Doherty / Getty Images

    Most people go to the zoo to see the animals, but the habitats at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Griffith Park are just as carefully cultivated, including a variety of specialty gardens including a collection of contraband plants that have been confiscated by airport customs from people trying to bring them into the country illegally.

  • 08 of 16
    Girl Looking At Butterfly On Pond At Park
    ••• Nph Phr Di Prayur / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens in Claremont has 86 acres dedicated exclusively to California native plants and is a haven for wildlife. There are many resources provided to help people develop and maintain native gardens. In summer be cautious of the heat and bring plenty of water.

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  • 09 of 16
    Mildred E. Matthias Botanical Garden
    ••• Nafpaktitism/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

    The Gardens are located on the southeastern corner of the UCLA campus. Admission is free. About 5000 species of tropical and subtropical plants are grown on the six acres of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens at UCLA.

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    Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine
    ••• Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. vikramjam/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The ten-acre Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is 1/4 mile from the Pacific Ocean just up Sunset Blvd from the coast. It honors the five major world religions and includes a memorial to Mahatma ​Gandhi where a portion of his ashes are said to be enshrined. The grounds have been compared to a Disney version of a botanical garden with everything manicured and pristinely perfect.

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    Courtyard Pool at Getty Villa Art Museum
    ••• nik wheeler / Getty Images

    About 300 plant varieties were used to landscape the grounds of the Getty Villa in Malibu. Other features include a reflecting pool, fountains and sculptures.

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    Japanese Garden
    ••• Gado Images / Getty Images

    The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a 1.3-acre oasis hidden away on the campus of California State University Long Beach. Admission is free. Check the website for open hours.

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  • 13 of 16
    Botanical Gardens
    ••• Mitch Diamond / Getty Images

    The Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden is a volunteer-run 2/3 acre Garden focusing on California native plants in Polliwog Park on Peck Avenue, just north of Manhattan Beach Blvd. Open free to the public daily, 8:00 am until sundown.

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    Low Angle View Of Tree Against Mountain
    ••• Tom Nicholls / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The Virginia Robinson Gardens are six acres of tropical gardens on the grounds of the former Robinson estate in Beverly Hills. The gardens and home may be viewed Tuesday through Friday by appointment only.

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    Close-Up Of Pink Flowers Blooming On Tree By Lake Against Sky
    ••• Nick Bermudez / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The Japanese Garden -- Suiho En, the garden of water and fragrance -- is a traditional 6.5 acre Japanese garden in Van Nuys with all the meditative elements, used as a tool to teach visitors about water reclamation. The garden includes a tea room and tea ceremony garden. Docent-led tours by reservation or explore on your own.

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    James Irvine Japanese Garden
    ••• James Irvine Japanese Garden in Downtown LA. Frank Fujimoto/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This secret Japanese garden is an urban oasis located in the sub-ground level of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in LA's Little Tokyo district in Downtown Los Angeles.