Discover the breathtaking beauty of Erie’s public gardens by exploring the flowers, shrubs, and trees that thrive there. Gardens are a relaxing way to escape from the noise and stressors of everyday life. Their vibrant blooms, fragrances, and overall beauty provide serene, quiet settings for you to spend time appreciating Mother Nature. Here are the best public gardens found in the Erie region. Main photo: credit @cerlyanna
If you’re looking for a scenic drive along Pennsylvania Historic Route 6, stop by Goodell Gardens & Homestead in Edinboro, PA. As an accredited arboretum and public garden, it boasts 78 acres of beautiful roses, native and pollinator-friendly plants, flowering shrubs, and trees, and an extensive collection of rhododendron. During the summer months, you can take advantage of “Along the Garden Path”, a series of free weekly guided garden tours. It’s a great opportunity for you to dive into nature and learn about local flora and horticulture.
In addition to its 400 different species of animals, the Erie Zoo’s Botanical Gardens are landscaped with a stunning display of distinctive gardens and plants, many of which provide food, shade, and shelter for the animals. Throughout the gardens, you’ll find a range of flora, including colorful tropical plants, tulips, and other perennials, trees, herbs, and flowering shrubs. The Zoo features eleven gardens in total including the Butterfly Garden and the Wild Asia Garden.
Photo credit: @kickinitwiththe.kings via Instagram
Home to over 1,000 trees, the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) is like a museum dedicated to trees. The Arboretum features a diverse collection of flowering trees, evergreen trees, and plants, with many trees bearing a plaque that identifies their Latin and common names. While wandering around, you’ll find shaded pathways, Cascade Creek, a virtual tree gazebo, a labyrinth, and even a winter garden.
Photo credit: @erieactivities via Instagram
A great way to experience the beauty of the area is a visit to Asbury Woods. The 205-acre preserved property includes native species, old-growth forests, landscaped gardens, streams, boardwalk trails, Andrew J. Conner Nature Center, and Walnut Creek. Be sure to check out the popular Greenway Trail, which is a network of trails and adjacent tracts of land connecting Browns Farm and Asbury Woods Nature Center.
Although not considered a public garden, Port Farms’ acres and acres of blooming flowers are a definite must-stop, must-smell destination. Immerse yourself in five acres of vibrant sunflowers, cosmos, and zinnias during Summer Days at the Farm (formerly known as The Flower Festival). The event takes place from August 5 through September 10, 2023. Walk through their fragrant fields or take home the sweet smell of summer by purchasing a bloom or a bucket of flowers. Photo credit: @cerlyanna