A living landscape painting, Anderson Japanese Gardens is one of the top Japanese garden sites in North America. Designed by master landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu, this 12-acre refuge features a classic 12th-century pond-strolling garden, Zen rock gardens and sculptural gates framing serene natural views.
It's easy to get lost in thought while wandering the rhododendron-strewn paths and crossing graceful arched bridges over pristine waters streaming from a cascading waterfall. Swirling patterns traced in sand lead through sprawling rock gardens (some boulders weigh 7 tons). A self-guided tour map details plantings, walkways, waterways and sculptures created by international artists.
Beyond opportunities for quiet contemplation, there's plenty of action at the garden with seasonal concerts, yoga classes and nondenominational church services held in a new pavilion, as well as art shows, lectures and Japanese tea ceremonies. There are currently no dining facilities, but that may be changing soon. Anderson Japanese Gardens are open May through October; admission is $8.