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We love a great museum as much as anyone here at Dandelion Chandelier. But sometimes, we want more. We want the beauty of nature as well as the provocation and inspiration of art. In short, we want it all. And happily, there are some gorgeous destinations that can deliver that. Here’s our roundup of the best, most beautiful sculpture gardens and parks in the world, all perfect destinations for a transformative luxury experience.

where are the world’s best sculpture gardens and parks?

There’s something particularly magical about a sculpture garden. Done properly, exploring one activates a sense of discovery, playfulness and surprise. They can also be the catalyst for deep reflection – almost like a walking mediation session.

Of course, there are good sculpture gardens – and great ones. When stunning scenery marries a thoughtfully curated selection of artworks, there’s real magic. Here are our top picks for the best sculpture gardens and parks in the world right now – we’ve visited many of them, and can’t wait to return.

17 best sculpture gardens and parks to experience art in the open air

1. The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is a 30-acre sculpture park and contemporary art museum on the shore of Flint’s Pond in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Located about 20 miles northwest of Boston, the park was established in 1950. At 30 acres of trails, lawns and gardens, it’s the largest park of its kind in New England.

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: deCordova in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Featuring over 60 works at any given moment, the deCordova is accessible year round. You’ll find events as varied as snowshoe tours, yoga in the park, nature tours and curator and artist conversations.

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: deCordova in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Stop by the the Twisted Tree Café after you’ve wandered and explored the property. Or bring a picnic basket and soak in the sunlight while you reflect on what you saw.

Admission is $18 for adults, $14 for seniors and $12 for students. Hours are 10:00A-5:00P. Get your tickets here.

2. MoMA Sculpture Garden, New York City.

In the heart of Midtown Manhattan there’s a gem of a place to visit – and to linger. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden opened in 1939, and ever since it has been a treasured space in New York.

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: MoMA in New York,

Renowned architect Philip Johnson, the first director of the MoMA’s architecture department, redesigned the sculpture garden in 1953 and his design remains to this day. Johnson imagined the space as a “roofless room,” with four distinct areas for displaying contemporary sculpture. In addition to the art, you’ll find lush flora and fauna and several fountains and pools.

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world

The sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

It’s one of our favorite places in New York, and we’ve been known to sneak off for a few moments of fresh air and contemplation in the middle of a busy day at work. Best of all? Like so many of life’s best luxuries, this one is free! Museum admission is not required for entry. Learn more here.

3. The High Line, New York City.

Another verdant oasis in the middle of Gotham is the beloved High Line, a green space built on top of an abandoned elevated railway line on the West Side of Manhattan. Because it’s a public park, admission is free for all.

The best sculpture gardens and parks in the world.

The best sculpture gardens and parks in the world. The High Line, New York City.

One of the best features of the High Line is its rotating exhibits of contemporary art. A random walk will allow you to feel as if you’ve just stumbled across a marvelous installation or sculpture. This public art program is integral to the mission of the High Line’s governing board, and many of the site-specific works have introduced New Yorkers to artists that they might otherwise not have known.

“Brick House” (circa 2018) by Simone Leigh on the High Line Plinth.

For example, sculptor Simone Leigh – who curated the American Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale – gained wide name recognition in 2019 for her massive work “Brick House” on the High Line. Currently, that same space is occupied by Sam Durant’s large-scale fiberglass sculpture in the shape of an abstracted drone mounted atop a 25-foot-tall steel pole. Visible from the surrounding streets as well as from the park itself, it’s another in a long line of provocative outdoor works that get people talking.

Learn more about upcoming public artworks here.

4. Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York.

Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, Storm King Art Center is the perfect relaxing day or long-weekend trip from the NYC bustle. Visitors can experience large-scale sculptures under the open sky. Since the ’60s, Storm King has dedicated their expertise to conserving the site’s hills, meadows, forests, and surrounding landscape while supporting artists and their talents.

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: Storm King Art Center.

Storm King has a mix of permanent displays and special exhibitions and installations, meaning you’ll want to return more than once to see the different galleries. Currently, they have special exhibits by artists such as Beatriz Cortez, RA Walden, and Ugo Rondinone.

5. Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland.

Stroll in and outdoors while you examine post-World War II artworks that seamlessly integrate art, architecture, and nature into one environment. 

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland.

With core values like “art is essential to life” and “we embrace diverse perspectives and inclusive practices,” Glenstone was envisioned as a place and a state of mind for all seeking meaningful artistic encounters.

6. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art is a stunning space in which to experience both great art and natural beauty. Home to over 90 sculptures, it spans almost eleven acres adjacent to the museum. Among the many distinctive elements of this garden are the towering pines, magnolias, and live oaks that surround two lagoons.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Originally conceived in 2003, the Sculpture Garden doubled in size in 2019. Admission is free (although donations are gratefully accepted); the garden is open to the public seven days a week.  Learn more here.

7. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minnesota.

In partnership with the Park Board and Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is home to more than 40 artworks on 11 sprawling acres.

The garden is home to unique art pieces like the Back of Snowman Sculpture, the Spoonbridge, the Cherry Sculpture, and the Reclining Mother and Child Sculpture.

8. Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle.

The Olympic Sculpture Park, created and operated by the Seattle Art Museum, is a public park with modern and contemporary sculpture in downtown Seattle, Washington. The park, which opened January 20, 2007, consists of a 9-acre outdoor sculpture museum.

The grounds are adjacent to the Chihuly Museum and Garden, which is filled with renowned glass installations that provide a look at the inspiration and influences that have informed glass artist’s Dale Chihuly’s career. Chihuly is a native of Washington state and this is a marvelous way to experience the impact of his work, both indoors and outdoors. The institution is comprised of eight galleries, a centerpiece glasshouse, and a garden.

9. the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Center, Los Angeles.

While the Getty is filled with countless exhibits – from paintings, photographs, antiques, and more – you must add the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden to your itinerary. 

Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Located at the foot of the hill, the sculpture garden is concentrated with British pieces, including Elisabeth Frink’s Horse. There’s an additional sculpture terrace and other areas where you’ll find intricate pieces like Aristide Maillol’s Air and Ellsworth Kelly’s Untitled.

10. Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.

Brookgreen Gardens is South Carolina’s one-stop shop for exploration, art, and nature. With a collection dedicated to American sculptures and over 2,000 works by 430 artists, Brookgreen Garden’s sculpture garden gives other sculpture gardens a run for their money regarding its capacious size. Other exhibits include the botanical gardens, Lowcountry Zoo, and indoor exhibits with smaller sculptures, paintings, etchings, and other artworks by world-famous artists.

Throughout the summer season, the Brookegreen Gardens hosts an outdoor Summer Light: Art By Night exhibit. Visitors can explore the landscapes, illuminated with 11 lighting installations. It’s a magical way to view the artworks.

11. Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil.

Having the gorgeous, lush, and tropical Atlantic Forest as their backdrop is enough to make the Inhotim Gardens stand out, but the eye-popping colors aren’t going to be the only thing that steals your attention. 

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world

The best outdoor sculpture garden or park in the world: Inhotim, Brazil.

There are over 700 works of art by over 60 artists, sharing the space with rare botanic species from all over the world in this immersive experience that’ll unify art and nature like no other.

12. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is famous for cheese, wooden clogs, and flowers but also for having one of Europe’s most extensive sculpture gardens. Home to a mass collection of modern art sculptures, the garden is open year-round, creating a different ambiance depending on the season you visit.

Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands.

The park has over 160 sculptures by various world-renowned artists and two pavillions, creating space to rest and enjoy the serene environment.

13. Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway.

Step into a garden that meshes city views with mountainous fjords and open spaces, with wooded trees carefully lining the walkways. Ekeber Sculpture Park contains classical sculptures from the 19th and early 20th centuries alongside installations from contemporary artists.

“The Couple” by the artist Louise Bourgeois in Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway.

Since its opening in 2013, the park has become a crucial contribution to Oslo and Norway’s public art scene, has received widespread recognition domestically and internationally, and has been noted as one of the best sculpture parks in the world.

14. La Fondation Carmignac

Porquerolles Island off the coast of southern France is home to a gallery complex and sculpture garden featuring the collection of Édouard Carmignac. Fondation Carmignac is set at the heart of a National Park.

Porquerolles Island off the coast of France.

Visitors are given a tea infused with locally grown herbs upon arrival and encouraged to take a dip in the sea after.  includes a Louis Benech-designed wild ‘non-garden’ with colossal contemporary sculptures.

15. Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi, Japan.

Have you ever been to an outdoor museum in a national park? Hakone, located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, set out to combine nature and art, bringing sculptures to more people in Japan since there has never been a museum dedicated to sculptures. Sculptor Bukichi Inoue was the man for the job, commissioned to design the museum.

Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan.

He aspired to create a space for all ages, and brought that vision to life utilizing hilly spaces meant to evoke the feeling of walking over a human body. The museum focuses on contemporary sculptures, and has expanded its collection via several international sculpture competitions. 

16. Gibbs Farm, Makarau, New Zealand.

Travel into a different hemisphere for New Zealand’s Gibbs Farm. The unique Kaipara Harbor setting differentiates this park from others, as it overlooks the western horizon.

Gibbs Farm, Makarau, New Zealand

The park contains significant works from artists like Graham Bennett, Chris Booth, Daniel Buren, and more, and the farm is open to the public by appointment.

17. The Sculpture Garden at Musée Rodin, Paris.

Experience the ultimate in European summer joy while strolling around French gardens after sipping un café crème and snacking on the freshest bread and cheese you’ll ever eat. The famous Rodin Museum offers an array of collections, documents, and exhibits stemming from the talented Auguste Rodin, with an outdoor sculpture garden that harmoniously blends nature and art.

The Sculpture Garden at Musée Rodin, Paris.

The seven-acre garden has different areas and atmospheres, including the artist’s arguably most famous work, The Thinker.

best sculpture gardens and parks in the world

Outdoor sculpture parks are a low-key way to expand your mind, enjoy nature, and support local artists. While these are a few of our favorites, there are countless sculpture parks – big and small – worldwide, so you can start by exploring the ones in your own backyard.

Lauren Reiss

Lauren is a freelance social media manager and writer from New York. She enjoys traveling, skiing, the beach, and the sun and recently moved to San Diego.