Gardens draw people from all walks of life. Some are ardent gardeners looking for ideas or admiring native specimens, while others just want to take a walk in beautiful surroundings. Sacramento has some of the best gardens found anywhere, with a huge sampling of native flora and interesting history.

Capitol Park

Capitol Avenue & 15th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Capitol Park was originally planted with 800 trees, including almost 200 different varieties. Over the 140 years since its inception, that number has grown to 450 varieties, including specimens from battlefields of the Civil War and a collection of native oaks. Notable for its diverse World Peace rose gardens and California Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Capitol Park spans 40 acres and includes a walking trail. Leashed dogs are welcome and cafeteria-style meals are available in the nearby capitol building. Jog, stroll or take a nap under a shady tree. Capitol Park is perfect for escaping the blistering summer heat or enjoying fall foliage.

McKinley Rose Garden and Park

3330 McKinley Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95814

Though currently undergoing a renovation, McKinley Rose Garden and Park is a beautiful example of local horticulture. Boasting more than 1,000 rose bushes, in addition to blooming annuals, the rose garden is the perfect place for weddings or for an afternoon of leisure. McKinley Park has several picnic shelters, complete with barbecue grills that can accommodate groups of up to 100 people. Once renovations are complete, the rose gardens will include a new handicapped-accessible walking trail, as well as handicapped-accessible parking.


Old City Cemetery and Sacramento Historic Rose Garden

1000 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 448-0811

You might not immediately think of a cemetery as a garden lover’s delight, but one stroll through the Old City Cemetery and you’ll understand why locals enjoy visiting this beautiful garden. Originally designed to mimic a Victorian-era garden, the City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Sacramento. The rose garden includes an impressive number of specimens – more than 400 in more than 200 varieties. Not only do visitors get the opportunity to visit the final resting places of notable Californians, but at the nearby Demonstration Garden, established in 1997, they can also learn how man and nature can work together to create an urban setting for plants and wildlife.

– Steve Hartsoe