The newspaper and website USA Today has named the Atlanta Botanical Garden one of the 10 best botanical gardens in the nation for the year 2017.

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta garden was among 20 nominated by a panel of horticulture experts and editors for the paper’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel awards; the public selected the final cut by voting in a four-week online contest. Atlanta finished ninth. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens finished seventh.

The Atlanta garden was cited for its Children’s and Edible gardens and the Fuqua Orchid Center, which houses one of the most important orchid collections in the country.

The judges were Cindy Brockway, cultural resources program director at The Trustees, a Massachusetts conservation and preservation organization with 11 public gardens; Kyle McCarthy, co-founder/editor of Family Travel Forum, an online travel community; Southern California-based Abby Meyer, executive director of Botanic Gardens Conservation International-U.S.; Katy Moss Warner, president emeritus of the American Horticultural Society; and Eileen Ogintz, a leading national family travel expert with a syndicated column and website.

Here’s a rundown of the Top 10:

  1. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minn.
  2. New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, N.Y.
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.
  4. Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
  5. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, Calif.
  6. The Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio.
  7. State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens.
  8. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  9. Atlanta Botanical Garden.
  10. Chicago Botanic Garden.