Must See Historic Cranbrook Botanical Gardens

Visit the Botanical Gardens at Cranbrook National Historic Landmark #Michigan #traveldestinations #thingstodo #gardens

These must see botanical gardens are located in Birmingham, Michigan as a registered National Landmark filled with amazing history. The beautiful gardens and grounds of the manor can be seen at every turn. As you explore the area you’ll experience the sounds of water streaming from iconic fountains, heavenly smells of flowers, and brightly colored trees & foliage in the fall. There are over 40 acres to explore throughout the manor with plenty of scenic trails throughout the grounds.


Cranbrook House

Cranbrook House

Cranbrook is located on the Cranbrook Educational Community campus is filled with rich history, beautiful craftsmanship, iconic sculptures, and . The campus is a National Historic Landmark, home to the oldest manor house in metro-Detroit. The gardens are maintained by a local volunteer-run organization. The Cranbrook house was designed in 1908 by local renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn, and home to the family of George & Ellen Booth for 40 years! As you explore the grounds you’ll see the best craftsmanship of that time reflected in each area of the house, landscapes, and gardens.

Cranbrook Lake Walk
The Cranbrook House



  • Free Admission; donations encouraged
  • Open May 1 – October 31
  • Open daily; including weekends from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Sunken garden flowers at Botanical Gardens on the Cranbrook manor. #spring #flowers #bloom #thingstodo #michigan


If you’re interested in sunshine and warmer temperatures, I recommend visiting in the beginning of May. You’ll see spring flowers on trees, blooms throughout the Cranbrook grounds and trails, and cooler temperatures. Spring & Fall are my recommended times to visit the Botanical Gardens based on temperatures and drastic changes to the plants. Spring months are between April – May. March is cold and rainy.


The weather in the Great Lakes State changes often and quickly. The weather forecast can go from sunny & 80F to rainy and 50F within a couple hours. The flowers are thriving in the summer, and you’re guaranteed tons of beautiful flower blooms. Summer months are between June – August and will sometimes continue into September.


The fall season starts in mid September, ending around end of October, beginning of November. In the first two weeks of October the leaves start changing into brilliant colors of yellow, orange, & red. The fountains may not be in service depending on weather temperatures. In fall the leaves start to change turning the green trees orange, red, and yellow colors.


Unfortunately the gardens are not open for winter.

Cranbrook National Historic Landmark


The nearest major airport to Birmingham is Detroit Metropolitan International Airport, (DTW). The airport is about 31 miles from the city center. Flint Bishop International Airport is the second major airport. Unfortunately it is not as budget friendly as Detroit. Flights are limited, and the airport is located 49 miles from Birmingham. If you are parking at your departure airport, save time by making a parking reservation.

You can rent a car from the airport to get around the city and explore more of what Michigan has to offer.

Download the Cranbrook App for tours, interactive maps, visitor info, and more. The grounds are 40 acres and you can easily get lost, which is fun if you have the time!

Kingswood Lake


Rainbow Fountain - Cranbrook Botanical Gardens in Birmingham Michigan #michigantravel #thingstodo #traveldestinations #botanicalgardens
Rainbow Fountain

Explore the manor grounds of Cranbrook with a nature walk! #thingstodo #michigantravel #traveldestinations #roadtrip



Budget Friendly

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Downtown Birmingham

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Close to Gardens

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Succulent Arrangement at Cranbrook


  • Fountain of Santa Maria
  • Weeping Zeus
  • Courtyard Garden
  • Library Garden
  • Cherub Fountain
  • Daffodil Hill
  • Shady Walk
  • Birthday Garden
  • Sundial Garden
  • Banyai Hosta Garden
  • Japanese Garden
  • Butterfly Garden

Cranbrook Botanical Gardens are located in Birmingham, Michigan as a registered Historic National Landmark filled with amazing history. #cranbrook #michigan #thingstodo #traveldestinations
Cranbrook Botanical Gardens

Sunken Gardens - Cranbrook Botanical Gardens National Historic Landscape #gardens #botanical #national #historic #landmark


The sunken gardens are one of the most BEAUTIFUL places at Cranbrook’s Botanical Gardens. They were my favorite garden throughout the entire visit. Bright colors popped in long symmetrical lines of flower beds surrounded by a castle wall. During our visit the lovely couple above were taking their engagement photos. I asked if I could photograph them while in the garden, and they happily said yes. Doesn’t she look so beautiful next to colors of the flowers with her dress? 😍

Sunken Gardens - Cranbrook Botanical Gardens National Historic Landscape #gardens #botanical #national #historic #landmark
Sunken Garden

Japanese Garden at Cranbrook.  Located in Birmingham, Michigan as a registered Historic National Landmark filled with amazing history.

Japanese Garden at Cranbrook.  Located in Birmingham, Michigan as a registered Historic National Landmark filled with amazing history.


You are encouraged to follow social distancing and other guidelines recommended by the CDC and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders. The bathroom facilities at the botanical gardens are not in service during the pandemic so keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Guests are required to maintain at least 6 ft of distance from the grounds gardeners while they work. Logan and I chose to wear masks outside out of precaution. There were many people visiting as it was a Saturday. Be mindful as some of the paths are narrow.

Social Distancing in the Sunken Gardens of Cranbrook

Cranbrook Botanical Gardens are located in Birmingham, Michigan as a registered Historic National Landmark filled with amazing history.


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28 thoughts on “Must See Historic Cranbrook Botanical Gardens

  1. I would without a doubt do this! I love to visit botanical gardens, especially with year round interest like this one. It’s the perfect way to spend a day in my opinion. Peaceful and tranquil places to visit and I always get inspiration for my own garden.

    1. This was my first visit to one and I fell in love instantly. I agree with you, we easily spent the day there and still didn’t get to see/do all we planned. This was the first year I gardened, and it is so peaceful and relaxing – I need more inspiration for next year! haha

  2. Cranbrook House and the Botanical Gardens look like a great find. It looks like there is great variety in what is available in the different seasons. The sunken gardens would definitely be something to see. We would certainly download the app to help us at the site. With 40 acres we definitely would not want to get lost.

    1. My partner Logan is so patient with me (I love him more than anything) – we have been bike riding/exploring as much outside as we can so I can take as many fall color pics as possible. Even if that means stopping frequently along the bike trail for photos haha he waits with me, lets me take his photo, etc 😍

  3. Oh I love this! The photos are so colorful and make me want to visit. I’ve never heard of this garden before. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wow what a detailed post, I absolutely adore the look of these gardens and all the wonderful pockets of history and beauty to discover within it. My mum is a gardener and so I have grown up with an appreciation of gardens and always seek them out when I travel. Thank you for sharing

    1. My Grandma taught me to garden when I was younger – this was the first year I’ve had my own home to start my own garden! I am now obsessed, and it’s my favorite hobby. Hopefully you are able to visit one day – you will love it!

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