Red tulips the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities at Lakewood Cemetery
Some of the most beautiful flower gardens in the Twin Cities are located in unconventional places. In the spring, you’ll find thousands of tulips along with other beautiful blooms at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

If you’re looking for the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities metro area, here is a local’s guide to the top-ranked prettiest gardens in and near Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. You’ll find beautiful cherry blossoms in April, dazzling tulips and magical crabapple blossoms in May, pretty peonies and graceful roses in June, delightful coneflowers in July, happy sunflowers in August and more. Originally published May 13, 2021; Updated March 25, 2024.


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Where to find the best flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities

Lyndale Rose Garden - one of the prettiest flower gardens in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities

Here is my list of the best flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul along with their locations. I will continue to add to this post as I visit more of the prettiest and best flower gardens and flower farms in the Twin Cities. Pictured is the rose garden at Lyndale Gardens in Minneapolis.

Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, MN

Best gardens in the Twin Cities - Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota

One of the best gardens in the Twin Cities is the Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, MN. You’ll enjoy strolling through a number of beautiful gardens and collections. They include:

  • Bonsai Collection
  • Centennial Garden
  • Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden
  • Enchanted Garden
  • Exedra
  • Fern Room
  • Lily Pond
  • Minnesota and Circle Gardens
  • North Garden
  • Orchid House
  • Ordway Gardens
  • Palm Dome (one of my favorite areas)
  • Sunken Garden (pictured above)
  • The Gates Ajar
  • Tropical Encounters
  • Water Gardens

Where is the Como Zoo & Conservatory located?

Best gardens in the Twin Cities - Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota

The Como Zoo and Conservatory are both located at 1225 Estabrook Drive in St. Paul, Minnesota. It does get pretty busy on the weekends so parking may not be ideal. And the lines can get pretty long. But it’s worth the wait to enjoy the beautiful gardens at the Como Zoo and Conservatory.

Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis, MN

Eloise Wildflower best flower gardens in the Twin Cities periwinkle

One of the best gardens featuring wildflowers in the Twin Cities is Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis, Minn. I visited in late April. Even though it wasn’t quite peak season, I still came across some beautiful spring beauties.

Among the various types of wildflowers growing at Eloise Wildflower Garden: bloodroots, bluebells, trout lilies, lady slippers, sunflowers, asters, goldenrods, and more. Here is a map of Eloise Wildflower Garden to help you plan your visit to one of the best gardens in the Twin Cities.

Where is Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary located?

Eloise Butler Wildflower best flower gardens in the Twin Cities spring beauties

The Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is located in Theodore Wirth Regional Park: One Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis, MN. Admission is free although you’ll need to pay a nominal fee in the pay lot (even if you park along the street).



Best sunflower fields located in various locations throughout Minnesota – most within a day trip of the Twin Cities

Visiting sunflower fields is one of the best things to do in Minnesota in the summer. Take a stroll through the sunflower fields in Minnesota – guaranteed to make you smile and spread positivity. Read my dedicated post on where and when you can visit sunflower fields for in Minnesota.

List of the best sunflower gardens in and near the Twin Cities

Here is an alphabetical list of the best sunflower gardens and sunflower farms to visit in Minnesota and nearby Wisconsin this summer and early fall.

  • Afton Apple Orchard Sunflower and Zinnia Fields, Hastings, MN
  • Andover Sunflower Field, Andover, MN
  • Babette’s Seeds of Hope Sunflower Fields, Eau Claire, WI
  • Berry & Bloom Farm Sunflower Fields, Chatfield, MN
  • Fresh Acres Sunflower Fields, Monticello, MN
  • Green Barn Garden Center Sunflower Fields, Isanti, MN
  • Joyer Adventure Farm Sunflower Fields / Waldoch Farm Garden Center, Lino Lakes, MN
  • Treasured Haven Farm, Rush City, MN
Fish Sunflower fields best flower gardens in the Twin Cities
Sunflower fun fact: Sunflowers always face the sun during the day and then turn to face east during the night as they wait for the sunrise the next morning. This is known as heliotropic.

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Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN

Lakewood Cemetery best gardens in the Twin Cities tulips

A huge fan of cemeteries, I was so excited to learn about Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Originally, I had planned to make a quick stop before heading next door to the Lyndale International Peace Garden (featured later in this post). As soon as I drove through the gates, I knew this would not be a quick stop. In fact, I spent 4.5 hours strolling through the beautiful grounds and gardens of Lakewood Cemetery.

My visit coincided with peak tulip season (my favorite flower – well, tied with lilacs) and prime season for crabapple blossoms. While Lakewood Cemetery is open and free to the public, please remember this is a sacred place and many visitors are mourning the loss of loved ones.

In addition to the beautiful gardens and trees, you’ll find stunning sculptures, memorials, monuments, architecture and a mesmerizing reflection pool. Many high-profile Minnesotans made Lakewood Cemetery their final resting place. They include Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, Governor John S. Pillsbury (the founder of the Pillsbury Company), and others including ukulele-playing singer Tiny Tim.

Where is Lakewood Cemetery located?

Lyndale Park best gardens in the Twin Cities paradise apple blossoms

Lakewood Cemetery is located at 3600 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. Here is a map of Lakewood Cemetery to help you plan your self-guided visit. Or check out the Lakewood Cemetery website for upcoming tours and see one of the best gardens in the Twin Cities yourself..


Lyndale Park Gardens in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale Park sign best gardens in Twin Cities

Lyndale Park Gardens in Minneapolis, MN features several unique flower gardens and is located right next door to Lakewood Cemetery. You’ll find all of the gardens of Lyndale Park within walking distance of each other (they either flow into each other or are located across the street. In addition to these gardens, Lyndale Park is also home to the Roberts Bird Sanctuary (adjacent to the Lyndale International Peace Garden).

Where are the Lyndale Park Gardens located?

The addresses for Lyndale Park Gardens are 4124 Roseway Road or 1300 W 42nd St., both in Minneapolis, MN. Parking is free along the street or you can park in one of the nearby pay lots for a nominal amount.

Lyndale Annual-Perennial Garden in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale perennial and annual garden best in Twin Cities

You’ll find the Lyndale Annual-Perennial Garden adjacent to the Lyndale Rose Garden. Beautiful annual flowers border the walk around this garden, which also features beautiful perennials. Many people take leisurely strolls here or even picnic or take naps in the grass or under the beautiful apple trees. It’s also the perfect spot for reading a book and inspire artists to come and paint one of the best and prettiest gardens in Minneapolis.

Lyndale Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale Park Gardens Bee Hotel best in Twin Cities
A bee hotel at Lyndale Park Gardens.

Located on the northwest corner of Lyndale Park, the Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden features full sun and shade plants and flowers. I also came across this bee hotel.

Lyndale International Peace Garden in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale Peace Garden best in the Twin Cities

My favorite best flower garden among the Lyndale Park Gardens: the International Peace Garden (aka Rock Garden). As the name implies, the Peace Garden in Lyndale Park is peaceful and serene and features beautiful flowers, rock gardens, pine trees, shade trees, welcoming park benches and a peace bridge. You’ll also find the 14-foot Spirit of Peace sculpture depicting a bronze crane.

Lyndale Perennial Trial Garden in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale Trial Garden best in Twin Cities

The Lyndale Perennial Trial Garden is a section of Lyndale Parks next to the Peace Garden where different plants are tested for their hardiness, disease resistance and other criteria. This testing area makes for a beautiful border backdrop leading to the best gardens in the Twin Cities.

Lyndale Rose Garden in Minneapolis, MN

Lyndale Rose Garden - prettiest flower gardens in Minneapolis and Twin Cities

The second-oldest rose garden in the United States features more than 3,000 roses of more than 250 varieties. Open to the public since 1908, the Lyndale Park Garden showcases more than 60,000 blooms during the peak summer months. What is the oldest rose garden in America? Elizabeth Park Garden in Hartford, Conn. first opened in 1904.

Summer is the best time to visit Lyndale Rose Garden in Minnesota when more than 250 varieties are in bloom.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum best flower gardens in the Twin Cities purple and red tulips
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minn. features annual, perennials, trees, woodlands, prairie grasses and special gardens.

Not only is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minn. considered on the of the best and prettiest gardens in the Twin Cities, it’s also listed on some of the best botanical gardens in the U.S. You can drive the Three-Mile Drive and park at several horticultural highlights along the way, take a one-hour tram tour or do what we do and hike the Three-Mile Walk (with a few detours down other paths so I’m certain it was closer to five miles).

Featuring more than 1,200 acres, you’ll find beautiful flowers, blossoming trees, a shade tree exhibit, fruit trees, a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, wetlands, wildflowers, a rose garden, a maze garden, and so much more at one of the best gardens in the Twin Cities. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum also dedicates three acres to its Harrison Sculpture Garden nestled within its rolling hills.

Where is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum located?

Yellow tulips at Minnesota Arboretum prettiest and best flower gardens in the Twin Cities
We visited Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in mid-May during tulip season. Yellow tulips (and purple lilacs) are my favorite flowers!

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located at 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN. Currently, admission is $15 per person (and that includes parking).


See related post: Best holiday events in the Twin Cities

Winter Lights at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Normandale Japanese Garden in Bloomington, MN

Cherry blossoms on best hiking trails in Twin Cities

So this hidden gem eluded me for 28 years – and for 7 of those years, I drove by one of the best gardens in the Twin Cities nearly every day to and from work. I had no idea the Normandale Japanese Garden even existed until I saw someone post a picture on Instagram. So, of course, I had to check it out myself. Nestled behind the Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., you will easily find peace and serenity from the first moment you walk through the grand entrance gate. Visit in April and you’ll see why it’s one of the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities (spoiler: cherry blossom trees). Although I’m pretty sure this garden is beautiful in all seasons. Oh, and it’s free!

Where is the Normandale Japanese Garden located?

Normandale Japanese Garden best in Twin Cities

The Normandale Japanese Garden is located on the Normandale Community Campus. Park in the West lot off from 9700 France Ave. South, Bloomington, MN. 


Swenson Peony Gardens in Howard Lake, MN

Sweson Garden peony farm best gardens in the Twin Cities

Where is Swenson Peony Gardens located?

It’s a little bit of a drive from the Twin Cities, but I still include the Swenson Gardens as one of the best flower gardens near Minneapolis and St. Paul (~an hour from the south metro; a little closer if you live the west metro). Considered the world’s largest chemical-free peoney grower and hypridizer, Sweson Gardens specializes in peonies that don’t flop and they offer new beautiful varieties every year. We loved our visit during Peony Field Day (typically held in June). Check out their website to learn more about why Swenson Gardens is one of the best flower gardens near the Twin Cities.

Swenson Peony Gardens is about an hour-drive from where I live in the south metro of the Twin Cities, but so worth the day trip. Note that you will drive a bit on a gravel road. Their address is 10958 70th St. SW, Howard Lake, MN.

List of the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Yellow peony at best flower gardens near the Twin Cities

Here’s a round-up list of the best flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota).

  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory; St. Paul, Minn. (planning to visit soon for new pics; it’s been a few years so that’s why I don’t have this garden featured at the moment)
  • Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary; Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Lakewood Cemetery; Minneapolis, Minn. (next door to the Lyndale Park Gardens)
  • Lyndale Park Gardens | Lyndale Annual-Perrennial Gardens | Lyndale Butterfly and Hummingbird and Perreinnial and Border Gardens | Lyndale International Peace Garden | Lyndale Rose Garden; Minneapolis, Minn. (next door to Lakewood Cemetery)
  • Minneapolis Landscape Arboretum; Chaska, Minn.
  • Normandale Japanese Garden; Bloomington, Minn.
  • Sunflower fields; various locations – see my related post: Best things to do in Minnesota in the summer – visit sunflower fields
  • Swenson Peony Gardens; Howard Lake, Minn.

More beautiful flowers in Minnesota

Here are a couple of my favorite places to enjoy flowers and gardens in Minnesota.

Bluebells blanket Carley State Park near Plainview, Minnesota

Bluebells at Carley State Park in Minnesota

One of my favorite state parks, Carley State Park, is home to bluebells in the spring. Located in southeast Minnesota, plan a visit in early to mid-May to enjoy the beautiful bluebells. They typically host a bluebell festival in early May every year. See my related post: Top things to do at Carley State Park for more details.

Tour the Glensheen Mansion gardens and grounds in Duluth, MN

Flowers fountain garden lake

If you’re headed to Duluth or the North Shore, stop in and tour Glensheen Mansion. The grounds and gardens overlook stunning views of Lake Superior. See my related post: Guide to the historic Glensheen Mansion. Although Glensheen Mansion has hosted me twice, opinions are always my own.

Located just two to three hours north of the Twin Cities, Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minn. is one of the best gardens in Minnesota – and it overlooks the beautiful Lake Superior. See my full review of my hosted Glensheen Mansion visits in the summer and the winter.


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Best peony flower gardens in the Twin Cities



Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

88 comments

  1. So many places to see Tulips! Those are my fave! We usually head to Niagara Falls from Toronto, to see the Tulips in the spring. An old cemetery sounds like a great place to look for pretty flowers as well!

  2. What a beautiful array of flower gardens around the Twin Cities. I personally love when you find the bug houses in gardens. We have one in our yard.

  3. There are some pretty flower gardens near the twin cities. I would love to visit during spring time to see all of them.

  4. Beautiful gardens. The sunflowers and tulips are my favorites. These gardens would be a great place to spend the day with a great book and just relax.

  5. I love exploring gardens, there’s something just so peaceful and calming about them. These gardens are also nothing short of incredible. Your photos (as always) are fabulous too. I would love to spend some time in the Normandale Japanese Garden with the cherry blossoms for sure!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I love discovering the best gardens in the Twin Cities. They each have their own personality.

  6. These are so gorgeous! Just watching these gardens would be so peaceful Thanks so much for sharing, I’ve pinned it for my next trip/

  7. These all look incredible! The Lyndale Internat’l peace garden looks so beautifull architected with the various colors. Beautiful post.

    1. Thank you so much! Lyndale International Peace Garden is one of the best gardens in the Twin Cities. I plan to share more beautiful photos in a dedicated post soon.

  8. this post is such eye candy, i bet seeing the flowers in person is just magical. all the tulip fields are nice, but that flower tree at Lyndale Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden really caught my eye.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m especially loving the flowering crab apple trees also! They definitely take center stage at the best gardens in the Twin Cities.

    1. Thank you so much! The best flower gardens in the Twin Cities are home to so many beautiful blooms including tulips and sunflowers. So pretty!

  9. They all look so beautiful, the perfect spring time activity right now. I’m loving visiting all the gorgeous flower gardens. I have to admit that the view from Glensheen Mansion looks incredible

    1. Thank you so much! Spring is a great time to visit the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities. Absolutely love the gardens at Glensheen Mansion in Duluth also!

  10. These gardens all look beautiful! I love discovering new gardens and strolling around them. I’m not blessed with gardening skills so I’m always in awe of other people’s handiwork! Lyndale International Peace Garden looks so beautiful and serene. I’d love to relax here. I also love Japanese Gardens so I’d love to visit there too. Thanks for the great guide!

    1. Thank you and my pleasure! I’m with you. I’m not blessed with the green thumb either so love discovering the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities.

  11. The older I get, the more I appreciate visiting beautiful gardens. All seasons are pretty but there is something about spring that makes them extra special. Just like the ones you’ve shared.

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate visiting beautiful flower gardens also – and these are my favorites in the Twin Cities.

  12. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year to be walking around cities. These all look like gorgeous spots to see some of the spring time flowers!

  13. Oh I love flower gardens! There are so many in this area and I had no idea. Loved your pics of the flowers in bloom-thank you for making me smile!

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! Flowers do bring smiles! I love wandering through the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities.

  14. Your flower photos are stunning. The tulips and sunflowers are my favourite. Springtime in Minneapolis is very colourful.

    1. Thank you so much! I love tulips and sunflowers especially (and lilacs!). The Twin Cities metro area offers the best and most colorful flower gardens!

  15. These are all so beautiful! I love that there is such an amazing variety of different flowers. I would like to visit all of these places, but I think the Minneapolis Landscape Arboretum is the first on my list!

    1. Thank you so much! Love wandering through all of the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is pretty special!

    1. We do have a lot of great things to do in Minnesota during the warmer months. Visiting the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities is one of my favorite things to do!

    1. Thank you so much! The flower gardens at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum are so beautiful – one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities!

  16. I want to visit the flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities. I would like to do photography with the flowers. I wonder what happens to the plants in the snow winter months.

    1. You would love taking photos at all the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities…so very pretty! We definitely have some harsh winters and plants are typically selected by their hardiness according to the planting zones and gardens are winterized.

  17. I don’t think I appreciated flower gardens until i had to help my dad take care of his. Now they mean a little more to me and I appreciate the beauty plus memory of my dad. Some of these look so amazing. I love the sunflowers they just seem so playful.

    1. That’s great that you had the opportunity to help him with his garden…such cherished moments. I love the sunflower fields in Minnesota especially. So many pretty flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities.

  18. Wow so many gorgeous flowers! Those sunflower fields are so pretty and cheery! I had no idea that they change direction depending on time of day, so interesting. Two that I’d want to visit is the Lakewood Cemetery and the peace gardens!

    1. Thank you so kindly! We have some pretty gardens in and near the Twin Cities. I especially love Lakewood Cemetery and the Lyndale International Peace Garden. Those two actually border each other.

    1. Thank you so much! I know you would love to walk through all the best flower gardens in the Twin Cities. The sunflower fields are pretty special.

    1. Thank you! These are some of the best flower gardens in and near the Twin Cities. I hope you get the opportunity to visit.

  19. So many choices of beautiful flower gardens near the twin cities. I love tulips and sunflowers so would enjoy visiting Fish Sunflower fields and Lakewood cemetery.