Missouri Botanical Garden

1 of 3

Strolling through the 79-acre grounds of the Missouri Botanical Gardens is an exceptional experience. The Missouri Botanical Garden can lay claim to being one of the state's earliest tourist attractions.

The gardens aren't content to rest on their historical laurels, so they've added the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center to their facilities. Every half hour, a tram travels the length of the park.

The Climatron is a must-see while visiting the gardens. It is the world's first geodesic greenhouse, and it offers an up-close look at its innovative design and climate control systems. There are 2,800 plants spread across 1,400 species in this 24,000-square-foot geodesic dome.

It's also possible to visit the Japanese Garden and the house of Linnean Plants. Wander through the Japanese Garden's peaceful landscape, including waterfalls and meticulously tended plants.

At the heart of St. Louis' urban sprawl is the 79-acre Shaw Botanical Gardens, a National Historic Landmark with an extensive orchid collection and Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home. The Children's Garden is a beautiful and perfect place for kids to learn about plants, nature, and sustainability.

Want to learn more about plants and the environment? The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield and the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit are nearby sister properties to the Garden.