I visited the Japanese Gardens yesterday with a friend and was overcome by the beauty and simplicity there. There really is majesty in starkness; having stones guide your path can be so much more powerful than having a large cement sidewalk. It didn't hurt that yesterday's sunny weather brought on a feeling of contentedness even before I stepped into the gardens.
Washington Park is home to the park, of course, as well as the zoo, the Japanese Gardens, and the Rose Gardens (among other museums), and we visited the Rose Gardens after walking through the Japanese Gardens. The flowers were in full bloom and the scent was overwhelming and gorgeous as we travelled down every path.