Second place.


It’s not as exciting as last year, when the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was crowned “Best Botanical Garden” in USA Today’s Readers’ Choice contest.

But the Arb isn’t complaining about its finish (behind Longwood Gardens of Pennsylvania) in the 2018 contest.

“We are thrilled,” said Arb director Peter Moe in a news release. “Two years with a No. 1 and No. 2 finish among the top gardens in the country speaks to the great fans, members, employees and visitors who took the time to vote for the Arboretum.”

And it’s hard to stay on top of this competitive list. Last year’s No. 2 winner, the New York Botanical Garden, slid off the list entirely this year. And only four of last year’s top 10 made repeat appearances.

The Arb in Chanhassen, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, secured its spot in the most recent USA Today contest after four weeks of voting by the public. Part of the University of Minnesota, it’s one of the country’s largest botanical gardens, with 1,200 acres of gardens, woods and prairies, 12½ miles of trails and paths, and more than 5,000 plant species. Popular features include its Japanese Garden, Wilson Rose Garden, Kitchen Herb Garden, Maze Garden and Peony Walk.

The rest of this year’s top 10:

3. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.

4. Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

5. Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver .

6. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta.

7. Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix .

8. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Fla.

9. Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

10. Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Wash.