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.
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Where to find the best flower gardens in 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.
Eloise Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis, MN
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. Currently, the trails are one-way with staggered entrances to promote social distancing. 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? 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).
Fish Sunflower fields located in various locations throughout Minnesota – most within a day trip of the Twin Cities
Visiting Fish Sunflower fields is one of the best things to do in Minnesota in the summer – and it’s free admission! 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 free in Minnesota (note that they will post the exact locations of each sunflower once it gets closer to bloom dates – typically July through September). These sunflower fields are the best gardens in the Twin Cities.
Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN
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 including Vice President Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, Governor John S. Pillsbury (the founder of the Pillsbury Company), and others including ukele-playing singer Tiny Tim. 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..
Where is Lakewood Cemetery located? Lakewood Cemetery, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2021, is located at 3600 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, MN.
Lyndale Park Gardens in Minneapolis, MN
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN
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? The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located at 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN. Currently, admission is $15 per person (and that includes parking).
Normandale Japanese Garden in Bloomington, MN
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? 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
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.
Where is Swenson Peony Gardens located? 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.
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.
- Fish Sunflower Fields; various locations – see my post: Free things to do in Minnesota in the summer – visit sunflower fields
- 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.
- Swenson Peony Gardens; Howard Lake, Minn.
Another beautiful garden in Minnesota: Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, MN
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.