Some of the world’s most significant art has been produced in garden parks. Something about the air, the people strolling by, the atmosphere—it ignites our creative side. Whether you’re looking to walk the dog, find a nice day-date spot, get some inner serenity, or create the world’s next masterpiece, garden parks are a great multi-purpose destination. Hidden, but worth the visit, here are five garden parks in Orange County to stroll through on your next day off.
1. Fullerton Arboretum
Although our Orange County climate is hotter, that doesn’t mean we don’t get trees and plants! Rich in succulents and featuring a waterfall, Fullerton’s Arboretum offers free admission and parking. If nature tours are your thing, they are free! Located on California State University Fullerton’s campus, this is an excellent getaway for family and kids. Make sure to stop and smell the orange trees.
2. California Scenario- The Noguchi Museum
Not quite a garden park, but just as relaxing, this space in Costa Mesa is meant to reflect California. Nestled behind tall buildings, you wouldn’t think a nature spot was accessible—yet this gem hides away. Small yet impactful, little water features, trees, and cacti meet industrial artworks. A great place to sit and ponder or use for a photo op, this little space is a great destination to clear your head for an hour or two.
3. UCI Arboretum
Home to a lot of beautiful plants, this space on University of California Irvine’s campus is a tremendous little ecosystem all of its own. Bird watching, flower scoping, and fresh air are all highly available activities for the nature-pursuer. This small spot is a great place to take in a lot of California’s naturally occurring plants and wildlife.
4. Niguel Botanical Preserve
Nestled in Laguna Niguel, the Niguel Botanical Preserve is a nature fan’s dream. With over 34 miles of walking paths and 18-acres of land, the preserve offers views of plants and wildlife for horticultural observation and education. Open from sunrise to sunset every day; the preserve is dog-friendly. Besides hosting a beautiful array of flower beds, Niguel Botanical also hosts a variety of events—such as Earth Day—where you can give back to the earth. Bring your sunscreen and take in the scenic views!
5. Cerritos Sculpture Garden
If you want a day outside, but you don’t want to get all dirty hiking on dirt paths, Cerritos Sculpture Garden is a wonderful place to stroll around. Take in the view of the pristinely manicured scenery and beautiful sculptures while getting in some Vitamin D. From contemporary to classic, the garden combines art with park life. It’s a great break from the hustle and bustle of city life while enriching both your body and your mind.
Whether you need a break from the office or want a day out hiking, these parks are sprinkled throughout Orange County to visit at your leisure. Take the family or enjoy some solitude, but whatever you do, don’t forget sun protection!