Best Garden - 2010
New York Botanical Garden
You're out walking when you come across a gorgeous garden. To your dismay, it's not only gated but locked up. How do you get inside? Why are some gardens more exclusive than the snootiest nightclubs? This plot, however, has a happy ending. You're at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, a paradise that is open to everyone and—we hope—will never be bulldozed for an office building. The garden spans about 250 acres and includes a cascading waterfall, a rock garden, a home gardening center, wetlands, and a forest with some trees that are more than two centuries old. While it also has a library and an art gallery, with traveling exhibits throughout the year, some of the more spectacular areas are simply the wrought-iron framed greenhouse and the rose garden. Pack a lunch and some books, and you've figured out what to do and how to relax on a beautiful day.