Arts + Culture

Green Retreats

by Stephen Anderton

Al Gore was hardly the first guy to think green. If you know where to look, you'll find serene spots around the world that prove our ancestors had a strong connection to nature, and understood man's (and woman's) ability to transform it—in a good way for a change. And since traveling can be stressful, a visit to one of these tranquil but amazingly diverse gardens may mellow your entire trip. But give over more than just a spare hour: Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon drinking in the rhythmic sounds, sampling the intoxicating smells, and musing on the horticultural wizardry. (That's a plant?) These patches of green not only connect to nature but also provide a window onto the culture and history of a place—think of them as living, oxygen-giving museums. Al would so approve.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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