The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has been ranked as the “Most Peaceful Attraction” in Alabama

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has been ranked as the “Most Peaceful Attraction” in Alabama

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens was voted Alabama’s most peaceful attraction in a recent ranking from vacation rental site Casago.

To rank the attractions, Casago counted the number of times the word “peaceful” was mentioned in 1,000 English-language reviews from travel site TripAdvisor, according to their site. Birmingham Botanic Gardens received a score of 121, meaning the word “peaceful” was used 121 times for every 1,000 garden reviews.

The top attraction (score of 410) in the United States was the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, a Marian Catholic shrine located at the Nombre de Dios Mission in St. Augustine, Florida.

The Japanese section of the gardens could be one of the many reasons people find the Birmingham attraction so quiet, according to Cassia Kessler, director of communications and marketing at Friends of the Birmingham Botanic Gardens.

“People often say that the Japanese section is the quietest place in the park,” she said.

Japanese and Chinese-inspired attractions were among Casago’s most popular attractions. More than half a dozen Japanese and Chinese gardens/temples made it into the top 20 on the list, with Birmingham rounding out 30th place.

Free admission is another reason people might feel more comfortable at the Birmingham Botanic Garden, according to Kessler.

“We are one of the very few attractions that offers free admission,” she said. “Because we are an audience, and that’s not often the case, so that’s something that needs to be highlighted.”

The Birmingham Botanic Gardens are a favorite destination for many in the metro, especially employees at the nearby GASP (Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution) office who can drive by during their lunch hour. In previous interviews with LEAD, several GASP employees named the parks as their favorite place in the city.

Having and maintaining walkable green spaces has become a priority for local leaders in recent years, as the Lady previously reported. In addition to the many physical health benefits that regular walking can provide, experts also say that quiet walking is good for the mind.

Walkable areas are “much more than just a place to get some exercise,” said Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

“You also have a place where you can socialize with others or where you can go and collect your thoughts,” he said.

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