Minnesota is a beautiful state. The state’s arboretum reflects that beauty. More than 1,100 acres of trails, trees, plants and flowers allow visitors the opportunity to bask in the beauty.
The Minnesota landscape Arboretum is an extension of the University of Minnesota. Located in Chaska, the arboretum was recently selected as one of the best university-based botanical gardens in the United States. It tied for first place out of 25 spots.
The arboretum offers several trails and attractions covering trees and shrubs, flowers, herbs, plants and artwork.
Visitors can walk or drive the park. The Three-Mile Drive offers spots to pull off and walk among the flowers, trees and plants. You can take off down a trail if you’d like. If you do drive, please be aware of walkers and bicyclists on the same route.
We checked out a trail among the tall trees. We enjoy taking our walks, and the shade helped keep us cool on a warm morning.
The trail gave us an opportunity to walk some uneven terrain and take a look at various wild grass and plants growing near a moss-covered pond.
The path eventually led us to the Sensory garden, where we admired some of the pretty flowers and plants.
Our drive brought us to the Shade Tree collection. The name says it all. We walked among the tall and broad trees. Trees can be as beautiful as flowers, in my opinion. We saw some nice looking trees.
Later on the drive, we stopped and took in views of willow trees, spruce, birch and small trees.
I loved a tree’s branches and leaves. They seemed for whimsy.
The arboretum’s nature views are accented with pieces of artwork scattered about. However, the sculpture walk is a must. More than 20 pieces welcome you to take a walk among them.
A nice fountain sculpture stands at the top of a hill.
An arch made of Minnesota’s limestone reminds visitors of the importance of the rock to the state and some of its buildings.
Native Americans are honored with a sculpture depicting a spirit dancer.
The arboretum has several gardens. One near the sculpture walk is home to a variety of roses. The different colors – pink, red, yellow, white and purple – create a colorful tapestry among the green background.
A maze garden has been created among shrubs.
The arboretum has so many beautiful gardens. Near the visitors center, people can walk among roses, daffodils, lilies, and Dahlias.
The rose garden offered so many flowers to look at and enjoy their fragrances.
The flowers scattered about were amazing views.
I think Dahlias have an interesting design.
We found some mums along our walk.
The Minnesota Arboretum is hosting a Legos Nature Connects display this summer. We’ve seen them previously in Omaha and Kansas City. Sean Kenney is the artist behind the project. He creates animals, people, flowers and plants from Legos. He spends hundreds of hours and uses thousands of Legos to create each project. We’ve seen his work twice in Omaha.
Some of the Legos on display, such as the butterfly, we’ve seen before.
However, there were some new ones for us to take in. The peacock at the visitors center was a charming addition.
A deer family is located along a path. A buck, doe and fawn are all made from Legos. They were cool to see.
Lisa made seeing a Galapagos turtle a priority during the visit. She just thought it looked neat in the brochure.
Two more Legos sculptures caught our eye.
A birdbath with cardinals was a must-see. Lisa’s grandparents liked these birds. And, we tend to have a couple that hang out around our area during spring.
A giant corn spider was high on people’s lists. A family was hunting for it as we passed them. The little boy was so eager to see it. I’m glad I saw the sculpture indoors and not a real one outdoors.
The Minnesota Arboretum is a beautiful attraction to visit. It’s about 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. We had a great time. We spent about 2 ½ hours there. However, I can see spending 4-5 hours easily. Maybe, even a full day, walking trails and taking time to check out all the gardens and attractions.
We would love to return during the fall colors. Just imagine the beauty.
For more information on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, please visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Meet Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for the complimentary passes. However, all opinions and views are ours.