A 187-acre nature refuge with 21 trails covering 12 miles, the Hoyt Arboretum contains one of America's most varied collection of tree species, including conifers native to the Pacific Northwest. Set inside the sprawl of Washington Park, the Hoyt was designed as a center for horticultural research and biodiversity preservation, but is also a peaceful place to escape the bustle of the city.
Maps to self-guided tours are available in the Visitor Center, pointing out groves of oaks, redwoods, larch, bamboo and more. April and May are especially good months to visit, as you'll find cherry, dogwood and magnolia trees in bloom. The fall display here is full of rich reds and gold, in summer the meadows are full of wildflowers, and in winter, various leaves and berries pop with color.
Throughout the summer and fall, 90-minute guided tours are available most Saturdays at 11am, for $3 per person; otherwise, admission is free.Photo courtesy of user Another Believer via Wikimedia Commons