Innovative landscapers and architectural designers are making koi ponds a focal element in many of the indoor and outdoor spaces they create. Consequently, they are becoming popular tourist attractions. Here are some of the most spectacular ponds in America. Make a note to include them on your travels.
The Disneyland Resort Hotel, Anaheim, California
The koi pond at the Disneyland Resort Hotel is almost as famous as the adjacent theme park home of Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto. Cascading waterfalls drown typical hotel hustle and bustle and draw visitors to this cool and tranquil oasis. The koi vary from fry to adults of about 30 inches in length. A good viewpoint is from the bridge. From here, you can get up close and personal with fish that the Japanese often describe as “living jewels”.
Guests can participate in hand-feeding the fish on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30 a.m.
The pond is a great location for another magic moment photograph.
Hours. Because of its location in the resort, the pond is always accessible.
Address: 1150 Magic Way, CA 92802.Tel. (714) 778-6600. www.Disneyland.com
The Morikami Museum an Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida
About 225 koi have an entire lake as their playground in this peaceful place in South Florida. The fish tend to congregate around Yamato-Kan Island from where the public is allowed to feed them.
The Museum hosts numerous cultural events throughout the year, most notably the Hatsume spring festival every February that includes a koi show. Children’s Day is held annually in April and is designed to educate youngsters about these beautiful fish.
Admission. Adults $8.50, seniors $9.00 and children $6.00 The Museum has a membership program.
Hours. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Closed Mondays and public holidays.
Address. 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach FL 33446. Call (561) 495-0233. www.morikami.org .
The Houston Zoo
Huge moats filled with koi are located throughout the zoo surrounding various habitats like that of the orangutans, Siberian tigers and the African lions. The orangutan moat is heated and also home to yellow-headed temple turtles. Be sure to visit Duck Lake and enjoy the ducks, pelicans, the resident stork and of course the koi.
There are vending machines to purchase pellet food in the two public viewing areas. Zoo docents are always on hand to volunteer information and be sure to ask about the special daily events.
Admission: Adults, $8.50, seniors $5.00 and children under12, $4.00.Houston Zoo is free on Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Hours. March – September 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. October – February 9.00am – 5.00 p.m.
Address. 1513N MacGregor, Houston, Texas 77030. Tel: (713) 533-66531. www.houstonzoo.com
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica, California
The Koi Pond Lounge in this famous Santa Monica landmark overlooks the lush Miramar Gardens with its beautiful koi pond brimming with inquisitive fish. This celebrity hangout is a great place to people-watch over a steaming cappuccino. At Happy Hour, enjoy the bar’s signature cocktail, the Million Dollar Legs Martini, named after the former movie star patron, Betty Grable, known for her fabulous legs The koi share their tropical surroundings with tiny turtle and are happy to “pose” for photographs.
Hours. The pond is accessible anytime.
Address.101 Wiltshire Blvd, Santa Monica CA. Tel (310) 576-7777. www.fairmont.com
The Japanese Friendship Gardens, Balboa Park, San Diego
The Koi Club of San Diego maintains this magnificent pond. You can ask a docent if you can hand feed the koi. Then, with a few koi pellets in hand, get comfortable on a rock alongside the pond and the fish will instantly swim over for a snack.
The pond has a variety of koi so that visitors can appreciate the many different patterns and colors that have been developed over the hundreds of years of koi history. These include kohaku, sanke, showa, tancho, asagi, gin rin, and many other koi variations.
The Koi Club of San Diego can be contacted at www.koiclubsandiego.org .
Admission. Adults $3, seniors, $2.50 and $2.00 for students and those with a military ID. Kids under six years are free.
Hours. The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday 10.00a.m – 4.00 p.m.
Address. 2125 Park Blvd, Balboa Park, San Diego Ca 92101. Call (619) 232-2721. http://www.niwa.org
The Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona del Mar, California
The koi pond is the focal point of the Tropical Conservatory where the lush orchids, heliconias and gingers are reminiscent of a Pacific Island paradise. Named after California educator and pioneer Moses Sherman, this oasis is the perfect place to take time out and enjoy the aquatic antics of the resident koi. The adjacent restaurant, the Café Jardin is a popular venue for Sunday brunch and the gift shop offers an interesting selection of designer paper goods. The library also holds regular workshops on horticulture and the arts.
Admission: It’s free. However, donations are appreciated.
Hours: Open daily from 10.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Address. 2647 pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA 92625. Tel. (949) 673-1880.www.slgardens.org
Fashion Island, Newport Beach, California
The pond is this outdoor mall is a popular Newport Beach meeting place in. It’s also a great place to introduce young children to koi because the huge stepping-stones through the pond allow you to peer down into this fascinating underwater world. Fashion Island boasts over 200 specialty stores and restaurants. The food court offers an excellent selection of ethnic cuisine that can be taken outside and enjoyed at the patio seating area adjacent to the pond. You can check for special events at the Fashion Island Concierge Desk, located on the main level of Atrium Court.
Hours. The mall is open daily. Weekdays 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm.
Address.41 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA92660. Tel. (949) 721-2000.
The Ala Moana Outdoor Mall and Market, Honolulu, Hawaii
Right in the heart of bustling Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, is the famous Ala Moana Mall and Outdoor Market, a favorite shopping destination for both locals and international tourists. This wonderful open air setting with more than 260 stores, restaurants and outdoor carts is beautifully landscaped and features several koi ponds that are popular attractions with visitors.
A shuttle bus service makes this destination easily accessible from many of the Waikiki hotels and other popular tourist landmarks. Don’t miss it on your travels!
Hours. Monday – Saturday 9.30 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. and Sundays 10.00 a.m. – 7.00p.m.
Address.1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814. Tel. (808) 955-9517.
The Flamingo, Las Vegas
In true Las Vegas style, a grand waterfall forms the backdrop to this spectacular bird and fish habitat. In fact, this magnificent “fin city” in Sin City must be one of the most photographed koi ponds in the world.
More than 500 koi swim serenely in this half-a-million gallon system of tiered ponds that also features grass carp and about 200 albino catfish. Three engineers and a wildlife manager take charge of this spectacular fishscape. The hotel’s buffet restaurant edges alongside the pond allowing visitors to enjoy a sumptuous spread and watch the koi and a variety of birds that include flamingoes, sacred ibis, guinea fowl and a regal crowned crane. The penguins are also popular residents. They are fed daily at 8.30 a.m. and 3.00p.m. So make a note not to miss their fishy antics.
Admission: Free. It’s up to you how much you gamble!
Hours. Any time.
Address: 3555 Las Vegas Blvd South Las Vegas, NV 89109.
Call Toll Free: (888) 308-8899 Local: (702) 733-3111. www.flamingolasvegas.com
The Wynn, Las Vegas
With its huge skylights, and million-dollar shopping spree mall that also hosts owner Steve Wynn’s fabulous art collection, the newest luxury landmark on the famous Strip is the very antithesis of the city’s stereotype casino hotels. It follows that the koi ponds in this complex are wonderfully creative spaces in this backdrop of elegant opulence. The ponds are located at the entrance to the VIP suites and at the Okada Japanese restaurant that features traditional teppanyaki and robata cooking.
Hours. Any time 24/7.
Address. The Wynn Hotel 3131 Las Vegas Blvd South. Las Vegas NV 89109.Tel toll free (877) 321-9966 or (702) 770-7000. www.wynnlasvegas.com
Ten Thousand Waves Spa, Santa Fe, New Mexico
This Japanese-styled day spa boasts one of the largest staff of massage therapists and alternative healers found at a health resort worldwide. Visitors are greeted by a small tranquil koi pond in the foyer of the establishment. A second pond beyond the main lobby is a popular relaxation spot within the grounds. Dotted around the edge are places to sit and reflect and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the resort. The spa is pet friendly and pets are invited to stay over in any one of the 13 accommodation units at a cost of $20 per night per pet.
Admission is free to view the ponds.
Hours. The spa is open daily. Summer hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9.15 a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Tuesday 4.00pm -10.30 pm. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 9.15.a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Winter hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10.15 am – 9.30 p.m. Tuesday: 4.00p.m – 10.30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 9.15.a.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Address. 3451 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fé, NM 87501. Tel. (505) 992-5025.www.tenthousandwaves.com
The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center , Nashville, Tennessee
An imposing landscaped area in front of the main buildings is a visitor’s first impression of this popular hotel that can accommodate 2,879 guests. Despite the 40 acres of gardens featuring running streams and cascading waterfalls, koi enthusiasts will be drawn to the interior of the 15-story glass atrium, a fantasy fish world with its a winding water ways brimming with friendly fish. A network of pathways, bridges and catwalks allows visitors to wile way endless hours watching the aquatic ballet from various angles. This is a popular place for wedding party photographs or to record other magic vacation moments. The ponds are located alongside the Old Hickory Steakhouse and in the Magnolia waterfall pond.
Local residents often donate koi that have outgrown their private ponds and come regularly to visit their fish in their new home.
Hours. The koi ponds can be viewed at any time.
Address. 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 , Call (888) 777-6779.
Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon
Tucked away in Portland’s West Hills, the city’s Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty that has been proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. It reflects five form garden styles and the koi can be found in the Strolling Pond Garden. The garden hosts a Children Day every year in May aimed at educating children about these beautiful fish.
Admission. Adults $6.75, seniors and college students, $5.00.Children 6 years – 17 years, $4.00.
Hours. April – September Tuesday – Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm. Tuesday 12.00p.m. – 4.00pm. October – March: Tuesday – Sunday 10.0 a.m. 4.00 p.m. Monday 12.00p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Address. 611 S.W. Kingston Ave. Portland, Oregon 97201. Call. (503) 223-1321.www.japanesegarden.com
The Earl Burn Miller Gardens, Long Beach, California
The koi-filled lake in this beautiful garden on the campus of the California State University at Long Beach, California, is a popular location for weddings and other outdoor functions including the annual Japanese Garden Chrysanthemum Show in October and the annual koi auction that takes place in November. A professional auctioneer calls the bids and beautiful fish in various sizes and colors can be bought at affordable prices. To find out how you can participate in the koi round up prior to the auction, call the education department at (562) 985-8420. Tours of the gardens for groups of 10 or more may be arranged by calling the garden office at (562) 985.8420.
Admission. Free except for special events like the koi auction that costs $5.00 per person.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 8am – 3:30 pm Sundays Noon – 4.00p.m.
Closed: Saturdays and Mondays. Please call (562) 985-8885 to verify hours as university events sometimes require early closures
Address: California State University, Long Beach 1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 900840.www.csulb.edu/~jgarden/
The National Arboretum, Washington DC
This magnificent green belt in the heart of nation’s capital city is the perfect place to picnic under a shaded tree or on the banks of the koi ponds. Established in 1927, and listed in The National Register of Historic Places, its primary aim is to educate the public and conduct research on plants and shrubs. The plants are arranged in different combinations throughout the Arboretum and nine miles of paved roads provide access to the various gardens. The koi are located in a pond near the Visitors Service Area at the main administration building and in the Beech Spring Pond, which is adjacent to the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection.
Highlights of the 446-acre park are seasonal. However, the Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection, Watnong Collection, the Holly Walk, Fern Valley, the National Bonsai Collection and the National Herb Garden provides interest year round.
Admission is free.
Hours. The Grounds are open Monday – Friday 8.00a.m — 5.00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day.
Address: 3501 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002. www.usna.usda.gov . Call (202) 245-2726 for a seasonal update on floral and shrub highlights.
This article is from Koi World