Being cooped up inside can take its toll on one’s emotions, but a simple change of scenery can do wonders. With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature. Gather your family, friends, or loved ones, and make plans to visit one of these relaxing attractions, easily accessible within one to two hours of Seoul.
The Garden of Morning Calm
The Garden of Morning Calm, located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do, is just a 50 minute-ride out of Seoul. It is considered the best relaxing attraction in the Seoul metropolitan area, bringing in more than 1.3 million visitors a year. The name “Morning Calm” came from Sir Tagore, a poet from India, who described Korea as “a land of morning calm.”
The Garden of Morning Calm consists of various themed gardens, including Eden’s Garden, Morning Square, and Korean Garden, each relaxing in its own style. One of the most popular spots among tourists is Seohwayeon Pond, a beautiful water garden that featured in the Korean drama “Love in the Moonlight (2016).”
Ilsan Lake Park
Ilsan Lake Park is one of the most easily accessible relaxing attractions in the Seoul metropolitan area via public transit. A large man-made lake spanning over 900,000 square meters, the park offers visitors a chance to relax with more than 100 species of wild flowers and 200,000 diverse trees. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll around the lake along the 7.5-kilometer-long walking trail or zoom past it riding a bicycle on a 4.7-kilometer-long bike path. The park hosts International Horiculture Goyang Korea and Goyang Autumn Flower Festival annually. With different flowers blooming throughout the year, it’s a perfect place for a walk or a picnic.
Forest of Wisdom
While it isn’t a garden with flowers and plants, you can still find plenty of relaxation at the extraordinary “Forest of Wisdom” within Paju Book City. Here, you can take a walk along towering rows of books for a special experience. The library holds more than 500,000 books that were all donated on bookshelves reaching a height of 8 meters and covering a distance of 3.1 kilometers. The books are grouped by donors instead of following the traditional library classification. Many book lovers come to the Forest of Wisdom to savor the atmosphere of being surrounded by so many books rather than to actually read here.
The Botanical Garden BCJ (Byukchoji)
The final attraction we recommend for a relaxing day-trip out of Seoul is The Botanical Garden BCJ. The garden has a great atmosphere, created by many rare plants, famous sculptures, and beautiful fountains. The garden is divided into themed areas, such as the Fluttering Area, and Grecian Gods Area. Amenities within the garden include a brunch café, food court, gift shop, and gallery. Hallyu fans will love to find the areas that appeared in popular K-dramas such as “Descendants of the Sun (2016)” and “My love from the Star (2013).”
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