Gardens Aglow takes top spots in USA Today’s 2023 USA Today Readers’ Top 10 Travel Awards competition

Gardens Aglow takes top spots in USA Today’s 2023 USA Today Readers’ Top 10 Travel Awards competition

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are glowing this week in more ways than one. After a month-long readers’ choice contest with USA Today 10Best, Gardens Aglow was named third best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights. Gardens Aglow has appeared on USA Today’s Top 10 Top 4 rankings for the past five years. The full list of eligible 2023 winners is below:

  1. Dominion Energy Park – Festival of Lights
  1. Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden
  1. Glowing gardens at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
  1. Illuminations in Botanica
  1. Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens
  1. Lighting: Tree lights at Morton Arboretum
  1. Holiday lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens
  1. The Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens
  1. Holiday lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens
  1. Lightscape in the arboretum

This news comes on the heels of a highlight in US News & World Report’s November article honoring the 25 best Christmas light displays + tours of 2023. The gardens are being celebrated alongside the Bronx Zoo, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Proud to represent the state of Maine with this distinguished lineup.

“We are honored to be included in a US News & World Report article and to once again be voted one of the Best Lighting Experiences at the Botanical Gardens by our visitors,” said Gretchen Oster, President and CEO of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. “We’re on pace to welcome 120,000 people to our gardens this year for Gardens Aglow. It’s a pleasure to meet people from all over the country and share a little piece of a Maine winter with them.”

With more than 750,000 LED lights woven across 14 acres of central gardens, guests will experience illuminated trails, nature-inspired sculptures, themed areas, and expanses of light and undulating effects, all of which conspire to create an immersive experience.

There’s nothing quite like winter in Maine, and Aglow Gardens, along with Boothbay Lights, a celebration of the iconic seasonal events of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, have become an established tradition in Maine’s seasonal calendar. With six weeks of celebrations across the peninsula, there’s always something going on. For a complete calendar of regional shows, events, dining and lodging options, visit

At approximately 325 acres, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the largest public garden in New England. The nationally recognized state park features over 2 miles of hiking trails, 58 acres of ornamental and themed gardens, a children’s garden, a sensory garden, and much more. The Gardens’ mission is to inspire meaningful connections between people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research. To learn more, visit

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