Airport Gardens: The Top 5 Nature Spots in North America

In our first airport gardens post, we talked about the best airport gardens internationally. This time we’re packing our bags and taking the list a little closer to home. From New York to Vancouver, you’ll be able to relax and unwind in a variety of gardens, green spaces, and rooftop patios – and we think it’s about thyme. Enjoy!  

The top 5 airport gardens in North America:

Vancouver International Airport – The Green Wall and Chester Johnson Park

YVR is home to the enormous green wall in all of North America, measuring 17 meters high and 11 meters wide! The wall is made up of 27,391 individual plants, and it connects the airport station to Chester Johnson Park – the park filling up the space between the parking lot and the international terminal.

You’ll find everything you’d expect to on the west coast of Beautiful British Columbia at Chester Johnson Park: waterfalls, evergreens, totem poles, and conifers, to name a few. There are plenty of shaded corners and benches to explore and settle down on for a peaceful moment before your flight.

Vancouver International Airport, green wall airport garden
PHOTO: Vancouver Airport

Chicago, O’Hare International Airport – Aeroponic Urban Garden

Chicago O’Hare was the first airport in the world to grow an aeroponic garden! But what exactly is that? An ‘aeroponic garden’ means growing plants without soil – a nutrient-filled mist is sprayed onto their roots during regular watering cycles and voila! You have a garden that uses vertical space and no dirt. The plants and herbs are suspended on 27 towers that have over 1,100 planting spots!

The garden is visible from the dining (perhaps you’re eating some of the herbs grown right before your eyes?) and lounging areas in the airport. The aeroponic garden grows a whole variety of plants, including basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, and many of the restaurants at Chicago airport use herbs directly from the garden! Some places where you can try greens from the aeroponic garden are Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Sushi, Wolfgang Puck, and Tuscany Cafe.

Chicago O'Hare Airport aeroponic gardens
PHOTO: Green Aquaponics

See Also: Airport Therapy Dogs

SFO Outdoor Terrace Observation Deck

The outdoor terrace and observation deck, located post-security at the end of the International Terminal, Boarding Area G. The open-air space affords 180-degree views of the airfield, including some of the largest aircraft serving SFO, such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

The 2,997 square foot outdoor terrace is furnished with wooden chairs, tables, and chaise lounges, situated among a creative display of drought-tolerant landscaping. Three bronze sculptures by local artist Woody Othello are sure to delight and inspire your next layover. Ten-foot bird-safe glass panels provide wind protection while allowing open views of the skies above.

PHOTO: SFO Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport – Rooftop Garden

With the new rooftop garden at JFK Airport, you can grab a breath of fresh air (and some vitamin D) before your flight, take your dog for a walk or just use this opportunity to stretch your legs in a green setting. The garden is located on the rooftop of Terminal 5, and it’s open to everyone to use. There’s plenty of space for both you, your pets and your kids with a 400-square-foot children’s play area and a dog walking area (plus a spot for them to do their business). The best part about this garden? The view of the Manhattan skyline!

RECOMMENDED: 10 Ways To Get A Wellness-Infused Layover At JFK Airport’s Jetblue T5

JFK rooftop airport park
PHOTO: Business Insider

Edmonton International Airport – The Living Wall

Edmonton Airport doesn’t boast a full garden, but what they do have is an incredible “living wall” created by Green Over Grey artist Mike Weinmaster. The wall is a large 1,420 square feet and has approximately 8,000 individual plants. There are 32 unique species of plants that make up the wall, including an Octopus Tree, a Swiss Cheese Plant, and a Staghorn Fern, just to name a few. You can check out the wall in the Canada Arrivals Hall.

Fun fact about the living wall: “The thousands of plants add tons of oxygen to the terminal each year as well as absorb toxic indoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, benzene, and volatile organic compounds.”

Edmonton Airport living wall
PHOTO: Edmonton Airport

Montreal Airport- Mini living walls spread the love

The floor-to-ceiling living wall at Montreal Airport looks gorgeous. But it’s so much more than a pretty design element when it comes to travel health.

Montreal Airport doesn’t just have one living wall. Throughout the terminals, the airport has set up mini living walls. These green walls act as beautiful space dividers, art pieces, and offer a moment of calm no matter where you are in the airport.

Montreal Airport Green Wall
PHOTO: Montreal Airport

RECOMMENDED: Montreal Airport Wellness Guide: 10 Ways to Stay Healthy Traveling Through Montreal Airport

UPDATED March 15, 2020

Melina Morry

Melina has a knack for travel style, a love for leopards and is always keen to pack a suitcase and fly to a different part of the world.


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