Established in 1934, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden dwarfs its Dallas counterpart, boasting 109 acres of verdant land full of stately trees, trickling streams, and, of course, thousands of flowers. You’ll find more than 2,500 plant species throughout 23 specialty gardens. Rose gardens serve as picturesque retreats—be sure to venture down the ramp, rife with photo ops, that leads to an Italian-inspired plot known as the Lower Rose Garden—while the Perennial Garden is like a scene from a postcard, with a rumbling waterfall and a collection of culinary herbs.
Though you can wander through most of the gardens without paying a cent, the Japanese Garden has a modest admission fee. Opened in 1973, this 7.5-acre garden has a few unique features, including a moon-viewing deck, a tea house, and a mikoshi (a portable shrine that is carried through a parade) donated by the city of Nagaoka, Japan. Travel over the arched bridges to the Karesansui Garden for a little meditation.
The conservatory, the only other spot in the botanic garden with a cover charge, covers 10,000 square feet and is packed full of tropical trees and plants. Need a bite? The Gardens Restaurant keeps lunch light, with an array of salads and sandwiches as well as a few heavier entrées. Grab a seat outside so you can enjoy the gardens while you dine.