Summer is finally here! It's time to get outside, touch grass, and reconnect with nature. The beauty found in nature is its own kind of art form, offering endless inspiration as the land changes from prairie to mountain, from forest to desert.

On a light and airy summer day, the last thing I want to do is to be stuck inside--even if it's to see art. For all of you art and nature lovers out there, this list is for you! 

We've gathered 10 sculpture gardens and nature parks around the US that will spark your creativity while satisfying that urge to spend your days amongst the trees. These destinations allow you to be surrounded by incredible art while still feeling the sun on your face.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN

Iconically known for it's giant sculpture of a giant spoon holding a cherry (Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen), this sculpture garden is located at the Walker Art Center and is completely free to visit. Located in the center of the city, this sculpture garden is more of an urban park, combining large-scale sculpture, architecture, and site-responsive art into one space. One notable piece includes one of James Turrell's sky spaces, titled Sky Pesher, where visitors can step right into a space that transforms the sky into an ever-changing piece of art.

The Lynden Sculpture Garden

Milwaukee, WI

Not too far from the Minneapolis is another sculpture garden that is definitely worth the trip. Located in Milwaukee, The Lynden Sculpture Garden is more of a traditional park as it sits on 40 acres of park, lake, and woodland. You can find more than 50 monumental sculptures in various locations throughout the park, with some even located on the lakes themselves! The park has free admission, and also offers different ways for visitors to learn about ecology by engaging intentionally with the environment, truly integrating art and nature.

Laumeier Sculpture Park

St. Louis, MO

Another sculpture garden located in the Midwest is Laumeier Sculpture Park, which sits on 72 acres of land. The expansive park includes flowers, native plants, and various wildlife in addition to art. Hiking trails are integrated into the design of this free park, allowing you to experience nature while you view the various sculptures on display. A notable highlight is a vibrant, playful sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle titled Ricardo Cat, and a giant, larger-than life sculpture of an eyeball by Tony Tasset.

Josephine Sculpture Park

Frankfort, KY

This sculpture park is a little off the beaten path, situated right between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. The collection includes land art, sculptures, murals, and architectural works that you can interact with. In fact, there are several pieces that visitors are allowed to touch, climb, and even paint! Many of the pieces in the park directly interact or engage with its environment--one figurative sculpture is even located halfway inside a small pond! The park is free and self-guided.

Besthoff Sculpture Garden

at the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, LA

Moving further into the South is the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which is located on 11 acres in the middle of the city. An important element of this park is it's focus on the natural landscape, which includes pines, oaks, and two lagoons. With more than 90 artworks in the park, visitors can experience a wide variety of types of art, such as contemporary works by well-known artists like Robert Indiana and Henry Moore, as well as interactive works like Jeppe Hein's Mirror Labyrinth. Plus, admission is free!

Neon Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Neon Museum

Las Vegas, NV

I know this is not technically a sculpture garden, but I'm including it anyway because it is truly a gem. The Neon Museum is where old Vegas neon signs go to die--and it is also a place where they are reborn. A taste of classic Vegas can be experienced in this labyrinth of iconic signs, which can be viewed during the daytime or lit up after the sun goes down. With an emphasis on artistic and historic preservation, the collection "offers a unique story about the personalities who created [the signs], what inspired it, where and when it was made, and the role it played in Las Vegas’ distinctive history." Ticket prices vary depending on time and advance reservation is highly encouraged.

The Chinati Foundation

Marfa, TX

Another art destination located in the desert is the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas (the town being an art destination in its own right). What is so unique about Chinati is that the art is located inside and outside as well as structures that make you fell like you are somewhere in between the two. At Chinati, "art and the surrounding land are inextricably linked," and it shows. Sculptures are not merely placed in a space, but integrated into its surroundings in a way that reflects and emphasizes the vast desert landscape and sky. Founded by Donald Judd, the property is full of the artist's work as well as other artists who worked in the same vein, such as light artist Dan Flavin and land artist Richard Long.

Art Omi

Ghent, NY

This art center not only includes a sculpture and architecture park, but also houses a contemporary art gallery as well as five residency programs--all of which sit on 120 acres of land in the Hudson Valley. Many of the artworks are massive, such as Will Ryman's Pac-Lab, a life-size video game-like maze that visitors can move through. There's also Wendy Evans Joseph's Sensory Journey, an architectural exploration of the senses that gives visitors an opportunity to engage with the art and land in a deeper way. With over 60 works on display, the sculpture and architecture park is free and open all year round from dawn to dusk.

Storm King Art Center

New Windsor, NY

This sculpture park is the largest one on this list, sizing up at a whopping 500 acres of land. Also located in New York's Hudson Valley, the landscape includes fields, native grass, wetlands, meadows, trees, ponds, and more. Large-scale works can be seen by modern and contemporary artists like Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Nam June Paik, Maya Lin, and Rashid Johnson, just to name a few. Tickets are required and timed entry is recommended.

Seven Magic Mountains

Clark County, NV

Again--this is not exactly a sculpture garden, but it is such an iconic piece of land art that I had to include it! Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, this installation beautifully and harmoniously combines art and land, as the piece itself is comprised of seven colorful rocks that stand around 30 feet high. Situated in the middle of a vast desert space, these bright structures form a striking contrast to the sandy-beige hues of the land beneath it and the mountains behind it. Meditative and secluded, visiting the sculpture is free and always open.

Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone