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Most Beautiful Museum Gardens Around The World (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/14/11 05:49 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

Museums are meant to be visual feasts; they are guilt-free, indulgent, Thanksgiving-sized banquets of painting, sculpture, video, music, photography, and so on. The sights and sounds experienced within the walls of a museum, however, are but a mere part of what makes them such oft-visited and beloved locales. The gardens, courtyards, and outdoor spaces found within many museums and gallery spaces are often reason enough to make a visit. Whether its a former private home turned art gallery like Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum or the Nasher Sculpture Garden in Texas, these open-air havens have a history all their own and are usually outfitted with what could be considered their own art exhibition, whether its simply the landscaping or a rotating selection of sculptures. Check out our top choices and leave your favorites in the comments.

Isabella Stewart Gardner
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Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has an inner courtyard, visible from nearly every room in the house-turned-museum. Its gorgeous and roofed, so even during brutal winter storms, you can enjoy the calming pleasures flora and fauna. (Or you can try to waive of pangs of jealousy when you remember that Ms Gardner actually lived amongst that beauty everyday.)

Photo: Courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
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This Garden
Not as great
Gorgeous escape

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Filed by Nicole Campoy-Leffler  |