Home of the plant sale, the perfect Instagram backdrop, your go-to picnic spot. New Orleans has a handful of public gardens open year-round for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. Special events, like concerts and pop-up vendors –even goat yoga– add to the beauty of these urban oases. Kick back, relax and let nature calm you –here are our picks for the best gardens in New Orleans.
Located in beautiful City Park, the New Orleans Botanical Garden offers ten acres of garden open year-round. Horticulturalists will delight in the lavish greenspace home to rose gardens, a tropical garden, a garden study center and the Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden, named for the famous Mexican American artist. The garden is home to frequent plant sales and special events, including culinary dinners. Stroll through the garden to see what’s in bloom, then explore the larger park for even more nature. Louisiana residents receive free admission with ID on Wednesdays courtesy of the Helis Foundation, and regular adult admission is $10.
Also located in New Orleans City Park, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is home to primarily 19th and 20th century sculptures from around the world, donated almost entirely by the Besthoffs. The sprawling oasis features gorgeous landscaping with lagoons and waterways in addition to world-class sculptures. Recently expanded by nearly seven acres in 2019, the garden now flanks the New Orleans Museum of Art like a butterfly. The garden makes for the perfect stroll and also plays host to a variety of events. Admission to the garden is free.
Celebrating 100 years of design, philanthropy and community engagement, Longue Vue was formerly the private home of Edith and Edgar Stern, local philanthropists, in the 1920s. Today, the public can visit the estate for a tour of the historic house or a quiet stroll through the gardens. Tall oak trees and flora in bloom create a lovely garden experience. Their calendar of events boasts a lineup including yoga, an outdoor concert series, Free Family Sunday (Courtesy of the Friends of Longue Vue) on the first Sunday of each month, plus more engaging and innovative programming. Admission to the gardens is $10.
Located in the shadows of downtown New Orleans, Paradigm Gardens is an intimate, lush garden that frequently hosts events open to the public. Be it a plant sale with live music and pop-up food vendors, or goat yoga, Paradigm Gardens partners with local chefs, musicians, restaurants and residents for one-of-a-kind experiences. They even offer a service where horticulturalists can provide expertise for yard curation services and garden installations. Stay tuned to their Instagram for the latest on events.