The sheer beauty of the Missouri Botanical Garden makes it a perennial favorite with St. Louisans and visitors alike. During spring and fall, the garden's flowers and verdant green foliage are the main attraction. In the winter it's the massive Buckminster Fuller-inspired Climatron, with its thousands of species of tropical plants. The Japanese Garden is worth a trip on its own merits -- at a whopping fourteen acres, it's the largest strolling Japanese Garden in the Western Hemisphere, boasting serene bridges, stone gardens and a four-and-a-half-acre lake filled with brightly colored carp. Tell your Minneapolis friends to put that in their Mall of America and smoke it. In the summer months, the garden hosts free jazz concerts every Wednesday evening, making it not only a good place to take out-of-towners but also a great destination with a date or a group of friends.