Visit these awe-inspiring spaces for a living glimpse into the past.
George Washington personally oversaw the design of his landscape, which nods to the naturalistic, informal 18th-century English garden style. The grounds featured extensive fruit and vegetable gardens, along with a landscape filled with native plants. Pathways and walkways were redesigned by Washington to overlook stunning views.
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Since its founding in 1798 (as an arboretum on a working farm then known as Peirce's Park), Longwood Gardens has been enchanting visitors. On the expansive 1,077-acre grounds, you'll find over 11,000 plants and trees across 20 outdoor and 20 indoor gardens. In other words, it's heaven for horticulture fans.
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The beautiful grounds of Edith Wharton's home (known as The Mount) were designed by the famed author, who believed that a garden should possess "a charm independent of the seasons." From the formal Italianate walled garden to the outdoor rooms, you'll see why Wharton was regarded as a leading expert in European landscape and garden design.
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Thomas Jefferson meticulously planned the grounds of his estate, which were filled with both ornamental and functional gardens, along with a vineyard. The terrace garden grew 330 varieties of vegetables, while his orchards counted over 170 fruit varieties. Winding flower borders and groves of Jefferson's "pet trees" add to the visual splendor.
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Scenic views abound at Hildene, which was the home of Robert Todd Lincoln (the first son of the president). The formal gardens, located behind the home, still count original plantings dating back to 1907.
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This lush 46-acre park is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America. It was originally founded by the botanist, explorer, and plant collector John Bartram (who was also appointed Royal Botanist by King George III in 1765). You'll tour the stone house Bartram originally built, along with a spectacular array of native plants, trees, and flowers.
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Situated around an exquisite 18th-century estate is America's oldest landscaped garden. With its contained walkways, gorgeous sculptures, bowling greens, and small galleries, the grounds of Middleton Place reflect the era's fascination with classical French and European landscape design.
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Designed by the Olmsted Brothers (founded by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, one of the architects of Central Park) in 1915, this naturalistic garden has gorgeous views of the Puget Sound, along with beautiful woodland walks.
See more at Dunn Gardens »
Add these destinations to the top of your travel bucket list.