When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses, literally?. Botanical gardens are a great way to slow down and get in touch with nature. While these lush and lovely escapes offer a plentitude of blossoms and towering trees, they also feature great music festivals and art exhibits. If you want a break from the typical beach or city excursion on your next cruise, consider visiting one of these beautiful botanical gardens.

Singapore Botanical Gardens

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If you’re sailing into the port of Singapore, don’t miss one of the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens. Many ships offer excursions via motorcoach to the 129-acre oasis. The first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO World Heritage List recently celebrated its 160 anniversary. Stroll through the exquisitely themed gardens and the National Orchid Garden, known for the world’s largest collections of orchids: more than 1000 species and 2000 hybrids. Make sure to bring the little ones since the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden dedicates an area of adventure and play just for them.

Hawaii Tropic Botanical Garden

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Finding inner solitude amid the lush “Garden in a Valley on the Ocean” seems effortless at the Hawaii Tropic Botanical Garden. The tropical garden nestled within 40 acres of the rainforest valley, winds you through waterfalls and bubbling streams. Catch a glimpse of the rugged Pacific, and bask in the fragrant scent of tropical flowers, fruits, and plants. Aside from enjoying the aesthetics, with your admission fee, you’ll contribute to the preservation of the vulnerable species of plants that are disappearing from our planet all too quickly.

Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam

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While the name might sound like something from a Harry Potter movie, Hortus Botanicus originated as a medicinal herb garden during the plague and just so happens to be one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. A great way to break from the crowds in Amsterdam, instead of dodging bicycles, why not saunter amid butterfly gardens? Be sure to explore the hothouse, which emulates three tropical climates, and stop by the gorgeous café for delightful dishes.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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With a mission to connect people with the world of plants, Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been igniting a passion for all things botanical since its inception in 1910. Located in Prospect Park, the renowned garden boasts over 10,000 species of plants, the Cherry Esplanade, a fragrance garden, and the Cranford Rose Garden to name just a few. Fun and educational programs are often available, so check to see what interests you. You just may be able to try your hand at making syrups and vinegar or discover what burgeoning blossoms are in bloom during the seasonal highlight tour.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa

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The combination of plants and location gives Kirstenbosch a nod on our list of best botanical gardens in the world. The garden grows plants only indigenous to South Africa. Situated within the Table Mountains, the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway gives you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding beauty. The new curved steel and timber bridge winds its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum.

The next time you find yourself craving a bit of rejuvenation on your cruise travels, consider looking into a tour or excursion at a local botanical garden. You’ll discover amazing stories told through the earth.