At the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing, you don't even have to wait until you get inside to see some blooms—the attractions start in the parking lot with the Parking Garden, with plants that reflect the native wetlands, prairies, and brushlands of the area. (It also helps manage stormwater.) Once inside, the QBG keeps environmental stewardship at the forefront, as seen in the sustainably managed Rose Garden or the constructed wetland that recycles "gray" water from the Visitor and Administration Center. Also not to be missed is the All-America Trial Garden, which features award-winning annual flowers and vegetables.
Visit: The Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday. From April 1 through October 31, it's open from 8 am to 6 pm with admission costing $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for students and children older than 3; from November 1 to March 31, it's open 8 am to 4:30 pm, and admission is free.