Watch CBS News

Best Public Gardens In Orange County

Fullerton Arboretum header 610 botanical garden
(credit: Fullerton Arboretum)

In the midst of freeways, concrete and tall buildings, a few hidden natural retreats exist to remind us that the calming beauty of trees, flowers and a variety of other botanicals is always close at hand. Guests interested in learning more about local flora are welcome to partake in expert talks and other events held at these must-see gardens. For others who just want to reconnect with nature without making a long commute to a remote open area, these easy-to-access gardens are the perfect meditation locations.

Earl Burns Japenese Garden
(credit: Cal State Long Beach)

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-8885

Serving as a site for both meditation and education, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a focal point for science, art and self-discovery. Located on the Cal State Long Beach campus, this Japanese garden design also incorporates elements of its gorgeous southern California environment. With pondside benches, observation decks and paved pathways along its edge, the large koi pond serves as the centerpiece for this nearly one and a half acre garden. In the heart of a bustling city, this Japanese garden offers serenity of the soul.

helen + ray | fullerton arboretum engagement |

Fullerton Arboretum
1900 N. Associated Road
Fullerton, CA 92831
(657) 278-3407

Visiting the Fullerton Arboretum next to Cal State Fullerton is like visiting several gardens all at once. This botanical garden is home to a variety of habitats, including a desert garden, a redwood grove and tropical and riparian ecosystems. Visitors can stroll along a quiet pond-side trail and enjoy views of ducks, geese and turtles while listening to the calls of red-winged blackbirds along the pond's edge. Wide grassy areas are perfect for yoga or just a peaceful respite from the surrounding urban jungle. A small voluntary donation is all that is asked for you to enjoy this easy-to-access oasis.

Sherman library
(credit: California T./Yelp)

Sherman Library And Gardens
2647 E. Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 673-2261

Guests to the Sherman Library and Gardens are greeted by the vivid display of color and the sweet floral scents floating through the air. With herb, rose, cactus, fern and tropical gardens, to name just a few, virtually every type of botanical life is represented. Creative garden craft workshops are regularly scheduled and outdoor events allow guests to fully indulge in the gorgeous garden scenery. They can sip tea or listen to plant specialists talk about their favorite plants as they enjoy the day. Garden patrons can also take advantage of Orange County's amazing spring weather and enjoy an outside lunch at the Cafe Jardin, serving up fresh, local ingredients in a French-style bistro.

Related: Best Places For Stargazing Near OC

Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens
(credit: Jo S./Yelp)

Wrigley Botanical Garden
1402 Avalon Canyon Road
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-2897

Located on beautiful Catalina Island just off Orange County's coastline, the Wrigley Botanical Garden is a go-to garden for any plant lover. Not only does this natural sanctuary display plants from all over the world, but the Wrigley Memorial boasts marvelous ocean and mountain vistas. The Wrigley Garden also serves as a trailhead for the Garden to Sky Trail, a short but popular hike which yields some of the best views on the island. With nearly forty acres of open landscape to explore, visitors to this gorgeous garden getaway may forget that they're just a short ferry ride from home.

UCI Irvine Arboretum
(credit: Jerrin T./Yelp)

UC Irvine Arboretum
Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92660
(949) 824-5833

Focused on representing a variety of ecosystems in one condensed collection, the UC Irvine Arboretum provides a unique opportunity to study and learn about the diverse plant life from the Channel Islands down to Mexico. A unique South African plant exhibit presents aloe gardens and a beautiful array of bulb flowers. Located in the heart of Irvine near three major freeways, the UC Irvine Arboretum is the perfect, peaceful place to escape after work or on a lunch break to center oneself and interact with nature when there isn't time to get out of town. The arboretum's free admission adds yet another great reason to visit this must-see botanical haven.

Related: Best Hiking Trails In Orange County

David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.