Escape from reality and all the day to day city drama with this day trip a short drive from Columbus.
Have you ever wanted to hang out in a Narnia-esque fantasy like fever dream? How about chilling in a Bob Ross painting while getting your picnic on, fairy tale forest style? Ludicrous I know, but much more feasible than one might think and not nearly as far away as the 100-acre wood.
Meet The Dawes Arboretum, an outdoor tree conservation dedicated to spreading the love and appreciation of trees through study, education, and generally enjoying their beauty. Trust and believe, these horticulturists aren’t messing around either. The Arboretum is 2,000 acres of varying gorgeous tree foliage and picturesque panoramic grandeur.
The Arboretum was originally established in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes who had purchased the land in 1917.
Initially, they had used the property and farmhouse as an escape from their East Broad Street home in Columbus. Both the Dawes’ were extremely passionate about nature and by the time they opened The Dawes Arboretum they had planted over 50,000 trees on the property.
Today there are 5,000 different types of woody plants that call the land home, not to mention all the flowers and wild animals that thrive on the conservation.
There are nine different areas for visitors to see and explore including a visitors center where you can learn about upcoming events and get help from the staff.
To get an overview of most of the land you can take the auto tour on a driving path that winds itself around the property with parking areas along the way for you to stop and look around. And if you’re looking to beef up that Instagram account you have to check out the Japanese garden in the Garden Gateway. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to find one spot in the whole Arboretum where you can’t find a money photo op area.
Sure, it’s just about the most gorgeous place there is near central Ohio for a picnic, but there’s tons more to do.
They even have a calendar of activities so you can keep it all together. I’m talking museum tours, tea parties, mushroom hunting, and so much more.
If you want to see The Dawes Arboretum for yourself (which you do unless you actually hate beautiful scenery and are somehow a Disney villain) stop in during their hours of operation, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. They’re located on 7770 Jacksontown Rd. in good old Newark, Ohio. For more info on the Arboretum and to check out their special events click here.
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