Did you know that by definition an arboretum is a garden solely devoted to trees? Across our country, there are plenty of these “living museums” where can you marvel at the wonder of all types of trees, both indigenous and imported. Of course, we all know what happens to a tree’s foliage in the fall, so prepare to experience arboretums in full fall splendor.
The Dallas Arboretum hosts one of America’s best pumpkin festivals (actually being named so by Fodor’s Travel in 2016) and features over 75,000 pumpkins and gourds set among the beautiful fall colors.
Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum runs through November 21, 2018, and honors fall colors in some very unique ways. First off, the Pumpkin Village features more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds on display. This year’s theme at Pumpkin Village is “The Adventures in Neverland” which pays homage to the classic story of Peter and Wendy Darling. Look for Captain Hook and his pirate ship, the Lost Boys hideout, and the Darling’s London house. Another highlight is the daily screening of Walt Disney’s, Peter Pan, at the Arboretum’s Virginia and Algur Meadows Orientation Theater.
In addition to the spectacular fall color displays and the Pumpkin Village, the Arboretum also hosts live music each weekend on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m through November 18. Also worth a visit is Harvest Tea, served in the historic DeGolyer House, Mondays through Fridays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
For more information about the Dallas Arboretum, visit dallasarboretum.org.
Bay Landing RV Campground is a little over an hour’s drive from the Dallas Arboretum.
The rolling hills of western Kentucky are home to the Baker Arboretum. The place is spread over 115 acres just outside of Bowling Green and home to what was designed to be a “tapestry of trees” by landscape architect Mitchel Leichhardt at the direction of founder Kentucky philanthropist, Jerry Baker. Dogwoods, magnolias, and other flowering trees can be found at the Baker Arboretum, as well as over 160 Japanese Maples whose leaves explode into a brilliant scarlet-red each autumn.
Also on the property is the Downing Museum, which houses the works of painter and sculptor Joe Downing, as well as several other exhibits of contemporary artists and sculptors.
Both the museum and the arboretum are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays and there is no admission price. More information can be found at wku.edu/bakerarboretum.
Diamond Caverns RV Campground is about a half-hour’s drive from the Arboretum.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum actually combines both an arboretum and botanic gardens on this beautiful 127-acre setting in Southern California. This facility is well worth a visit as it combines nature, history, and a look toward the future.
The gardens include the Aquatic Gardens, the Rose Garden, and the Rainbow Serpent Garden, which was inspired by the creation myths of Australian Aborigines. The Meadowbrook Garden, which is especially spectacular in autumn, is situated so visitors can view the stunning San Gabriel Mountains. From a historical standpoint, check out the historic structures onsite which include the Santa Anita Depot, moved from its original nearby locations and restored to appear as it did in 1890; and the Reid-Baldwin Adobe, which was constructed in 1840.
Upcoming events of note include Oktoberfest, scheduled for October 20, which will feature classic German games, food and music, and the Moonlight Forest, which includes magical lantern art designed in the shape of animals, flowers, and dragons! The Moonlight Forest event runs from October 26 through January 6. For more information visit arboretum.org.
Soledad Canyon RV Campground is about an hour’s drive from the Arboretum.