Illinois Botanical Gardens: Best Places To Go

Illinois Botanical Gardens

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

We are forming partnerships with destination marketers located around the state of Illinois this summer in order to promote Illinois road vacations scheduled for the summer and autumn of 2022. We have been #AllInIllinois throughout the epidemic, but now that the unofficial start of summer has arrived, we are prepared to enjoy our state in a manner that does not put others at risk. Check back every Tuesday for a Round-Up of Illinois Road Trips, which will cover a different topic and include sixteen different locations around the state. This week, we will be discussing the best public gardens that the state has to offer! Prepare yourselves for a long drive by gathering the family, grabbing some masks, and loading up the car.

Phillips Park In The City Of Aurora, Illinois

Phillips Park in Aurora, Illinois

It is appropriate to refer to Phillips Park as a hidden treasure among the historic parks located across the Chicagoland area. The City of Aurora refers to it as the "crown jewel" of Aurora's parks. Its 325 acres are home to a golf course, an aquatic facility, a zoo, and a stunning garden that is buried underneath. The Works Progress Administration was responsible for the construction of the Sunken Garden in the 1930s. The garden was created by a native Auroran named Ray C. Moses. Over the years, key historical events have been honored by planting, such as battlefield layouts that pay respect to the military forces during World War II. In the wintertime, Phillips Park hosts the Phillips Park Festival of Lights, which is the largest free Christmas lights show in Northern Illinois. Other seasonal attractions include spring-blooming tulips, annuals in the summer and fall, and annuals in the fall.

Bloomington-Normal

Bloomington-Normal

You are cordially invited to see the breathtaking grounds of the Horticulture Center at Illinois State University. Not only does the center provide services to students and teachers, but it also welcomes members of the community and tourists. It offers an enlightening and artistic setting in which one may learn about plants and wildlife and enjoy doing so. The Horticulture Center spans 18 acres and features many showcase gardens, a children's garden, and an area that has been rehabilitated to resemble a prairie. The gardens inspire, engage, and educate ISU students as well as the general public, leading to a deeper understanding of plants, the ways in which they are used, and the traditions surrounding them. Learn how every one of us can contribute to a more sustainable future as you wander around these vibrant and fruitful gardens.

Travel To The Champaign County Area.

Champaign County garden

In Mahomet, Illinois, just off Illinois Route 47 may be found the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden, which is part of the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. What was once a modest garden located in front of the Museum of the Grand Prairie in east-central Illinois has now grown into an eight-acre space that is home to some of the region's most stunning and varied plant life. The naturescape has an award-winning garden dedicated to Miriam Davies, known as the Miriam Davies Memorial Enabling Garden, as well as an iconic red iron bridge designed in the manner of traditional Japanese architecture. Visitors get the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery and enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet from 7 a.m. till dusk every day.

The North Shore Of Chicago

Chicago North Shore

The North Shore of Chicago is home to the fifth most famous garden in all of the United States. Where do you even start when there are 385 acres to discover? Take advantage of the guided tram trip. The McDonald Woods and the Japanese Garden are only two of the many highlights. Ride across the 81 acres of water that are included inside the garden. As you stroll around the Heritage Garden, Rose Garden, Waterfall Garden, and Enabling Garden, among other gardens, you may take some time to relax. Observe the ever-changing flower displays of annuals. You might also go down the trails on foot to get a more intimate view. Explore the extensive Bonsai collection, the Miniature Railroad Garden, and the Butterfly Garden while you're here. Discover fascinating information on the garden's various scientific and environmental initiatives. Don't forget to stop by the Gift Shop, and if you become hungry, stop by the Café. Explore the hidden nooks and crannies of this living museum!

Chicago Northwest

Meet Chicago Northwest

In 1938, a young architect from Chicago called Paul Schweikher constructed what is now known as the Schweikher House. The meticulously maintained grounds that surround this mansion, which served as a family residence in the past for both Paul Schweikher and the Langsdorfs (Martyl and Alexander), are largely responsible for its attractiveness. Marty was not only a talented fine artist but also a contributor to the design of the Doomsday clock. Alexander, her spouse, was an American scientist who collaborated with Enrico Fermi during his career. Discover the outside design that was influenced by Japanese architecture, investigate a window or two, and breathe in the fresh fragrances of spring. Please make it a point to stop by the grounds on Fridays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Southland Of Chicago

The Southland Of Chicago

The Chicago Southland is home to several beautiful public gardens that are always in bloom. The Shakespeare Garden at Moraine Valley Community College features a winding path lined with bricks, and visitors can enjoy the foliage that is mentioned in Shakespeare's works while reading quotes by the bard himself that are incorporated into signage along the path. The garden is located on the campus of Moraine Valley Community College. Visit the Flossmoor Sculpture Gardens for an out-of-the-ordinary garden experience, or head to the Art Garden of Palos Heights to see sculptures, murals, and environmentally conscious gardens. Both of these gardens are located in Flossmoor, Illinois. During your time in the Chicago Southland, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to take in the sights and smells of one of the many public gardens.

Effingham

Effingham

One of the cities of Effingham's undiscovered treasures, Alwerdt's Gardens and Alwerdt Artworks & Sculpture Park are botanical treasure houses and outdoor galleries, respectively. The company and park are located approximately one mile south of Exit 82 on Interstate 70, and together they encompass several acres of property with their showcase gardens and their half-mile sculpture trail. Stroll around the verdant grounds and take in the sight of 1,200 different scented herb, perennial, and decorative gardens that have been carefully planted. Pay a visit to the gift shop and garden center, where you may choose from hundreds of unique presents and unusual plants. At Albert's, you may find beauty in plenty... Open starting on April 1 and lasting through October 31. Please visit www.alwerdtsgardens.com for further information, including our hours of operation.

Explore Elgin

Explore Elgin

The NENA Butterfly garden may be found discreetly tucked away in Elgin, Illinois's Northeast area. This garden is a refuge for several species of butterflies because it features native perennials, flowers that provide nectar, and plants that cater to butterfly larvae. It is possible to see Monarch butterflies, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Eastern Commas, Clouded Sulphurs, and Buckeyes in this area. Over the course of the past several years, the children from the local McKinley Elementary School have successfully reared and released more than one hundred monarch butterflies. On a beautiful day in the spring or summer, this would be the ideal location for a visit, a picnic, or a leisurely stroll in the park. Plan your next adventure in the great outdoors by visiting our website.

Great Rivers And Routes

Great Rivers and Routes

Take a leisurely stroll around this year's "Golden Jubilee Garden" at Lewis & Clark Community College's Monticello Sculpture Garden collection, located at 5800 Godfrey Rd. in Godfrey, Illinois. This garden is a celebration of the college's 50th anniversary. The Missouri Botanical Garden has recognized this garden as one of their Signature Gardens in the state of Illinois because of the flawless integration of landscape architecture and bronze sculptures created by internationally acclaimed artists. The garden is a scrumptious feast that has been intended to appeal to all of the senses. It features a seasonal smell, the varied textures of plants, and vibrant colors. You may pick up a map from the security office of the institution, which is located at the north gate of the campus.

Heritage Corridor

Heritage Corridor

This summer, the natural splendor of the Heritage Corridor region is clearly in full bloom, and one place that exemplifies this is Joliet's Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory. The building, which is designed in the manner of the Italian Renaissance, spans three acres and hosts breathtaking floral displays. Their tropical house, cactus room, and show house are open throughout the year and are three of their most popular attractions. Do not pass up the opportunity to go to Streator's Weber House and Garden since doing so will make you feel as though you are entering an exciting new world straight out of a novel. Ten gardens, each with its own unique theme, and a Tudor-style house on three levels. Additionally, there is a specialty destination garden center, arboretum, and botanical gardens located in Princeton called Hornbaker Gardens.

The Southern Part Of Illinois

Illinois South

There aren't many public gardens in southern Illinois, but there's a hidden gem in Jasper County that's famous for its stunning sunflowers. Sunflower fields stretch out in every direction as far as the eye can see at the Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area, which is located just a short distance from Newton. People travel for hours to get here every summer to take in the breathtaking scenery of the sunflower fields and, when they're here, they can't resist taking a few photographs!

Peoria

Peoria

At the Luthy Botanical Garden, which provides a serene atmosphere in which to appreciate the city of Peoria's ever-changing natural splendor, you may immerse yourself in the breathtaking displays of spring-blooming bulbs or the brilliant colors of fall. The Luthy Botanical Garden was established in 1951 and spanned five acres. It is home to more than a dozen distinct themed gardens, a conservatory, a sculpture exhibit that rotates, and stunning flower displays. The 1,800-acre Wildlife Prairie Park is located 10 miles from the center of Peoria. It features over 90 acres of restored prairie grounds with native Illinois flora, trees, and flowers, in addition to a friendly herd of bison. In addition, there are several one-of-a-kind hotel and tent camping alternatives available inside the park.

Rockford

Rockford

The Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Rockford is a living museum that spans 155 acres and is packed with breathtaking landscapes and unique tree species. Discover the splendor of nature on either the chipping trails that span 3 miles or the paved route that is 1.8 miles long and is accessible to those with disabilities. The town of Klehm is home to a number of gardens, some of which include a wildflower garden, a peony garden that remains in bloom well into early June, and a demonstration garden that is intended to serve as a source of motivation. In addition, children will enjoy spending time in the Children's Garden, which features an interactive fountain and splash pad. Don't forget to bring your canine companion with you since Klehm is dog-friendly, and any dog that is kept on a leash is welcome there.

Visit SI

Visit SI

The stunning refuge of Mandala Gardens may be found discreetly tucked away in the middle of Marion, Illinois. This seven-acre holistic and creative retreat site has gardens, a labyrinth, greenhouses, a cordwood chicken house, and "Infinity Arch" and "Moongate," two of Thea Alvin's original stone sculptures. In addition to being the location of Blue Heron Yoga, the beautiful Mandala Gardens also have secret seats and winding paths. All of the elements of the property, in addition to the breathtaking vistas and tranquil environment, make this one of the most interesting and distinctive locations in Southern Illinois. In addition to hosting weddings and other private events, this location is also available for public use.

Springfield

Springfield

Southwind Park, the most accessible attraction in Springfield, is also an example of environmental superiority, making it a new national benchmark in both categories of accessibility. Accessibility standards set by the ADA have been exceeded in every section and component of the 80-acre park. Erin's Pavilion has earned a platinum level of LEED certification. Wetlands, a wind turbine, solar panels, and a geothermal system are some of the additional environmentally friendly aspects of the property. Make use of the fishing piers, the gazebo, the picnic shelters, and the 8-acre Great Lawn while you are there! This is an excellent location for finding inspiration due to the quantity of wide-open areas, as well as the presence of sensory gardens and an urban path equipped with a navigational system.