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The country's best botanical garden is right here in Minnesota

In your face New York! Minnesota is number one.
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In your face New York. Minnesota is number one.

Topping the rankings of USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice for the "Best Botanical Garden in the United States" is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The Chaska attraction beat the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, to win first place in the rankings voted on by readers, after 20 gardens were nominated by a panel of experts.

The nominees were chosen for their efforts to "promote and conserve the plant diversity of our planet, all while showcasing their vast collections in stunning, visitor friendly ways."

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was praised for its "1,200 acres of manicured gardens, woods and prairies, accessible via 12.5 miles of walkable trails and garden paths," and featuring 28 named gardens and 45 plant collections comprising more than 5,000 species.

The arboretum is almost 60 years old, having been established in 1958 as a gift to the University of Minnesota by community groups including the Men's Garden Club of Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, and Minnesota State Horticultural Society, its website says.

Arboretum director Pete Moe announced the win in a staff gathering Friday morning, according to the center's Facebook page, with Moe commenting: "We already knew we were the best but now the whole country knows it too."

The arboretum is open 363 days of the year. You can find out more about its hours and admission fees here.

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