What is a Gazebo?

A gazebo is an outdoor, pavilion-type structure with open sides and a covered roof. Both decorative and practical, gazebos can provide shade and shelter while adding something ornamental to your outdoor space.

The exact origin of the gazebo is a bit of a mystery, but many places throughout the world have used similar outdoor structures for centuries. For example, the ancient Greeks built theirs using solid marble and stone, while the traditional tea houses of Asia usually featured wood and glass.

Today, gazebos are closely associated with parks and other public spaces, often used as bandstands. Sometimes, they feature rails or cupolas as part of their design, and can be made out of almost anything, but usually it’s wood or metal (if you spot a marble ancient-Greek-style one, hats off to you!). 

Here at Backyard Discovery, we specialize in crafting gazebos using 100% cedar wood with solid steel hardware. An versatile element of any impressive outdoor area, a gazebo can help create your own beautiful Backyardland

What is a gazebo used for? 

Thanks to the covered roof that provides shelter and shade, gazebos provide the perfect space for an outdoor living area or entertainment spot. Gazebos offer a space to sit, relax and enjoy a view — the term “gazebo” itself said to stem from “to gaze.” 

Beneath your own private backyard gazebo, you could have a grill and dining table, a sofa set up or even a hot tub. 

As real estate prices continue to soar, a gazebo is a great option for extending your living space without blowing the budget. Private and personal, a gazebo allows you to make your own den of comfort to use however you like. 

Other ideas for beneath a gazebo include outdoor kitchens, playpens, fire pits, telescopes, and wooden benches. You could base your gazebo design around your personal interests, such as painting or birdwatching, adding furniture to fit your style.

What’s the difference between a gazebo and a pergola? 

The difference between a pergola and a gazebo is all about the roof. A gazebo has a solid, covered roof, whereas a pergola features a more lattice-like structure of overlapping wooden or metal beams. If you’re looking for complete shade or overhead coverage, a gazebo is the way to go. If you want to let the sun shine in, a pergola might be perfect for you.

Gazebos and pergolas are both outdoor structures that can greatly enhance your outdoor environment. 

Backyard gazebo ideas 

In need of some inspiration to make your gazebo something special? Here are five of our essential Backyardland gazebo ideas. 


14x12 barrington gazebo
Customer Photo: 14x12 Barrington Gazebo

Add lights to your gazebo

Adding lights to your gazebo will give it a gorgeous glow in the evenings, extending your hours of use and making your backyard a magical place.

When you purchase a gazebo from Backyard Discovery, this step is made so much easier thanks to our built-in PowerPort™ with three USB ports and three electrical outlets.


12x10 arlington gazebo
Customer Photo: 12x10 Arlington Gazebo

Add plants in and around the gazebo 

Plants and color make for beautiful backyards. Whether you want to keep it clean and low-maintenance with potted plants or go all-out and add a border of perennials around its base, plants are sure to bring life and vibrancy, as well as continue any themes you had in mind. 


brookdale gazebo
Customer Photo: Brookdale Gazebo

Make it your own 

Love stargazing? Add a telescope! Enjoy entertaining friends and family? Bring your minifridge outside and build a bar! However you want to make the most of your outdoor time, your gazebo can play a big part. 


arlington gazebo
Customer Photo: Arlington Gazebo


Plan your positioning 

Whether your backyard is landscaped to perfection or is a little more back-to-nature, it’s important to plan your gazebo’s position so that you can get the most out of it. If you want it to be a space of sun-soaked warmth, then you’ll want it in the sunniest part of your yard. Want to be able to watch the kids while you sit back and relax? Then you’ll need the gazebo in line with your swing set

Choose wisely 

If you live in an area where you’re likely to get a big dump of snow during winter, you’ll want to make sure that your gazebo is going to survive.

For example, each of our gazebos at Backyard Discovery are Pro-Tect™ certified performance structures; third party tested and certified to withstand large amounts of snow load. You can also enjoy each of Backyard Discovery’s gazebos in comfort as our roofs are all made from insulated steel with a thermal barrier; reducing the heat transfer by up to 20 degrees. The structures themselves are made from 100% cedar, which is naturally decay- and rot-resistant.

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