Buildings cluster along the hillside beyond a citrus orchard in Bodrum, Turkey.

Wild and Cultivated Plants in Turkey

You may be surprised to learn that tulips originate in Turkey, not in Holland. Anatolia is one of the world’s pantries, with plants that have been cultivated for human and animal sustenance since prehistory, and Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustaining in food production and still make exports.

Olive trees on a hillside in Turkey.

Turkish Olives and Olive Oil

In 2013, Turkey became the fifth-largest olive oil producer in the world. Turkish olives are so different—and prized so highly for the oil they make—than those cultivated in the rest of Europe because of the sandy soil in which the trees grow, the prevalence of a sea breeze, and the sheer variety of the fruits.

Colorful poled barges in Mexico City's Xochimilco Gardens.

The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

Around the 13th century, the Xochimilcas cultivated manmade islands, building a network of floating gardens to help support a continual harvest. Today, these remaining gardens are a popular destination in the south of Mexico City.

Small waves lap against the sandy shoreline of Wisconsin's Rock Island State Park.

Rock Island State Park in Door County

Getting to Rock Island State Park, the most isolated state park in Wisconsin’s system, necessitates two ferry rides. When you get here, it’s a magnificent retreat: a small island, yes, but with delicious solitude, icy but gorgeous beaches, and the loveliest starry skies and sunrises in Wisconsin.

Atop the seventy-five foot high viewing platform overlooking the water.

Peninsula State Park in Door County

Deeded to the state in 1909, Peninsula is the second-oldest park in the state system and the most visited—it draws more visitors per year than Yellowstone National Park.