6 Best Michigan Botanical Gardens to Calm Your Mind, Body and Soul


Michigan Botanical Gardens | By: Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to get outside and smell the roses!  Let your imagination soar as we explore fantasy forests, dizzying labyrinths, record-breaking canopy walks, 24-foot horses, and swoon-worthy gardens throughout Michigan!  

We hope you enjoy these Michigan Botanical Gardens as much as we do! It's a great way to explore our great outdoors with your friends and family!


"Never Underestimate the Healing Power of a Quiet Moment in the Garden"  

University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens - Ann Arbor


Gardens, trails, and a conservatory, oh my!  We are always wowed by the spectacular display of bonsai trees as some are over 100 years old!  Check out the perennial, Helen V. Smith woodland wildflower and medicinal gardens for inspiration and sheer beauty.  

Be sure to grab a trail map and wander along the five very different trails to spot the labyrinth, sparkling ponds, peaceful prairie, and stunning overlooks!  

We love to try and spot turtles and muskrats while crossing the boardwalks over Fleming Creek and at Willow Pond! This is one of our favorite Michigan Botanical Gardens!

Address: 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

Accessibility: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms, gardens, and picnic areas. Plus, handicap parking is located near the entrance, and wheelchairs are available to rent on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Leila Arboretum – Battle Creek


Leila Arboretum is 85 acres of beautiful paved walkways, gardens and 2,500 marked trees and plants.  Lush rolling hills of flowering trees, blooming flowers and waving grasses beckons you to grab your water bottle and head out for a stroll.

And the best part?  The enchanted Fantasy Forest! If you walk softly, you’ll encounter wise wizards, wonderous trees, whimsical characters and fire breathing dragons!  Oh, and you if you are lucky, you just might meet Groot!

Don't miss these fantastic Michigan Botanical Gardens!



Address: 928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk

Admission: Free!

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible outdoors as there are many paved walkways. Restrooms - portajohns

See more fun things to do in Battle Creek!


 Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory - Detroit


This summer, be sure to visit Detroit’s Belle Isle Park that has housed the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory since 1902.

This fantastic conservatory boasts five different indoor gardens: an 85-foot Palm House; a Show House with changing seasonal displays; a Tropical House; a Cactus House; and a Fernery.

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is the oldest continually operating conservatory in the United States! How cool is that! 



Address: 4 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI, located on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Hours: Wed - Sun: 10 AM - 5 PM

Admission: Free

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible indoors and outdoors with ramps and paved pathways. Wheelchairs are also available to rent.

See more fun things to do in Detroit!


Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park – Grand Rapids


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a family friendly 158-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park located in Grand Rapids that will absolutely wow you!  

Flower, sculpture and art lovers will delight in the world-class gardens, ponds, sculpture exhibits and vast art collections featured both inside and outside.  

Music fans will be in absolute heaven during the summer concert series from June – September at the Amphitheater Garden. Don’t miss my favorite sculpture in the park, the famous 24-foot monument, The American Horse, inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci!  

Fredrick Meijer Gardens’ gift shop offers beautiful and intriguing art, books, gardening items, and keepsakes.  We love eating at the James and Shirley Balk Café not only for their delicious meals but the ceiling is adorned with colorful glass sculptures created by renowned artist, Dale Chihuly.  

Michigan Botanical Gardens really calms my mind, soul and body.  This one is sure to do the trick for you!


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The American Horse (1999) by Nina Akamu at Frederik Meijer Gardens is a must-see! It’s absolutely huge! I was there by myself otherwise I’d have to stand under it to show you how tall it is!! . Per FMG’s website, “A monument to creativity, The American Horse was created by famed animaliere, or animal sculptor, Nina Akamu. The work was inspired, in part, by a work created by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci for the Duke of Milan in the late 15th century. The project was championed by Fred Meijer in the late 1990's, resulting in two casts of the 24-foot monument—one for Meijer Gardens and one for the city of Milan, Italy. In addition to inspiration from Leonardo, Akamu was also inspired by the history of equine imagery and the study of horses.” Definitely worth checking out!! . . . #fredrickmeijergardens @meijergardens #gianthorse #sculpture #sculpturepark #exploremich #botanicalgardens #puremichigan #puremichiganders #coolfinds #mittigan #greatlakesstateofmind #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #grandrapidsmichigan #michigangarden #horses #michigander

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Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday– Saturday

Admission: $14.50 Adults (14-64), $11 Seniors (65+) and Students with student ID, $7 Children (5-13), $4 Children (3-4), Free for children 2 and younger

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible indoors and outdoors with ramps and paved pathways. Wheelchairs are also available to rent.


Dow Gardens – Midland (Fantastic Michigan Botanical Gardens to Visit During All 4 Seasons!)


Prepare to be wowed by Dow Gardens’ outstanding 110-acre botanical gardens featuring a breathtaking waterfall, several sparking ponds, a gurgling river, intriguing sculptures, and an interactive children’s garden. 

Dow Gardens is now connected by a pedestrian bridge to Whiting Forest that is home to the Longest Canopy Walk in the United States

Plan to spend at least four hours wandering the paved pathways, discovering new favorite flowers and capturing perfect photos on Dow Gardens’ iconic red bridges.

The gardens are open year round with workshops, classes, and events for adults and children.  I absolutely love the candlelit pathways during the Christmas season!

Address: 1809 Eastman Ave, Midland, MI 48640

Summer Hours: 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily

Admission: $20 Annual Pass, $10 Adult daily, $2 Kids (6-17), Free for kids 5 and under

Accessibility: Dow Gardens has over 3 miles of barrier-free hard-surfaced pathways including Whiting Forest. There are a limited number of wheelchairs available to reserve at no additional charge. 

See more fun things to do in Midland Michigan!

Historic Barns Park Botanical Gardens -  Traverse City


The beautiful 56 acres of botanical gardens at Historic Barns Park is constantly expanding and growing. Check out the largest labyrinth in the United States (60 feet!), modeled after the stunning Chartres Cathedral in France. 

Be sure to search for the secret garden and if you are feeling lucky, quietly enter the enchanted Fairy Trail to discover the homes of elusive fairies and possibly catch a glimpse of their fluttery wings.  Don’t miss the huge nest and gorgeous views of the city along the trails. 

Be sure to join in on the informative free tours offered daily so you can learn more about the barns, gardens, and artwork throughout the Botanical Gardens.  Walking and biking trails connect to 7 miles of trails at the nearby Grand Traverse Commons.  

Address: 1500 Red Dr, Traverse City, MI 49684

Summer Hours: 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily

Admission: Free

Be sure to visit these Michigan Botanical Gardens this summer!  It is a great way to support our local gardens and is healthy for you and your family!


BONUS: A reader told me about Hidden Lake Gardens located in Tipton (south of Ann Arbor) but we haven't checked it out yet.


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The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The beautiful 56 acres of botanical gardens at Historic Barns Park is constantly expanding and growing. This summer they are constructing the largest labyrinth in the United States (60 feet!), modeled after the stunning Chartres Cathedral in France. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Be sure to search for the secret garden and if you are feeling lucky, quietly enter the enchanted Fairy Trail to discover the homes of elusive fairies and possibly catch a glimpse of their fluttery wings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Don’t miss the huge nest and gorgeous views of the city along the trails. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Be sure to join in on the informative free tours offered daily so you can learn more about the barns, gardens, and artwork throughout the Botanical Gardens. Walking and biking trails connect to 7 miles of trails at the nearby Grand Traverse Commons.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #historicbarnspark #grandtraverse #grandtraversecounty #traversecitymi #traversecitytourism #traversecity #traversecitymichigan #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #barns #barnsofinstagram #barn #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #northernmichigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #michigantrails #naturecenter

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