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For the Nature Lover: Gardens in Nassau County and More

Top Travel Destination this Spring and Summer

With the arrival of spring and much-awaited agreeable weather, chances are you have started googling something like “top travel destinations this spring.” What about considering something a little less mainstream this year? Hidden gems are truly where the best travel experiences are found, and the gardens in Nassau County, Long Island, are a prime example. These gardens are the perfect places for travelers to take a much-needed and rejuvenating vacation. A green paradise of biodiversity, these gardens are an ideal day trip or weekend escape outside NYC.

Who Should Visit Gardens in Nassau County?

Maybe you’re a visitor to the Big Apple who wants to escape the touristy crowds and discover the true natural beauty of New York, a state with so much more to offer than Central Park.

Or, maybe you’re a Nassau County resident who craves a change of scenery to recharge without traveling far.

And, for those who work in NYC, this is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. These gardens are easily reachable and can provide a much-needed escape from the concrete jungle, even for a day.

More than incredible greenery and wildlife, each garden provides a complete experience. Delve into the garden’s historical or cultural significance with guided tours, learn about horticulture through workshops and events, or hike the serene walking trails. Need we say more?

Let’s look at 7 of the most stunning Long Island Gardens.

Old Westbury Gardens

This beautiful garden will satisfy both nature and history buffs. Dating back to 1906, it is special in that it was built alongside a Charles II-style mansion. Walk the grounds of the mansion to see firsthand the luxurious aesthetic of Gold Coast architecture, or participate in a guided tour. Marvel at a mansion with 66 rooms that spans an impressive 200 acres.

Take your time to explore the various specialty gardens on the premises, from the Chinese Temple Garden to the enchanting Rose Garden. Get lost in the beauty of the 2.5-acre Walled Garden. At various times of the year, you can also enjoy different concerts or workshops in the gardens and delve into art during some of their annual art showcases.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Park

Explore a garden in Nassau County that features another beautiful example of Gold Coast Architecture. Planting Fields features a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion named Coe Hall. Take a guided tour and see what life was like for the financially fortunate of the 20th century. The gardens themselves include an incredible array of plants from across the globe. Enjoy the thematic Italian Garden or be entranced as you enter the Synoptic Garden. Like camellias? The garden hosts the northeast’s biggest collection of this beautiful flower in the Camellia Greenhouse.

Guests can hike through the various trails or enjoy a great walk through this 400-acre property. Throughout the year, the property also hosts a range of workshops and educational events. Participate in seasonal activities such as a 5k that takes you along a scenic route.

Clark Botanical Gardens

Visit a 12-acre paradise of wildflowers, butterfly plants, conifers, and more. This living museum is a prime example of eco-friendly gardening and prioritizes environmental consciousness. Learn about this, and horticulture, through educational workshops, or enjoy a guided tour. This is the garden to visit if you want to see a wide array of plants. With both native and unusual types, nature lovers will savor the diversity this garden offers. The park also features one of the few official Daylily Gardens in the United States. Visit and learn about this stunning flower and how to incorporate it into your landscapes. Afterward, be sure to check out the specialty Rose Garden Clark offers.

Bailey Arboretum

Another proclaimed historic site with a wide selection of international flora, the Bailey Arboretum is home to one of the most beautiful gardens in Nassau County and is the perfect place to nourish your appreciation for nature, while expanding your knowledge of horticulture. This garden is especially known for the Dawn Redwood. A tree previously thought to be extinct, Redwoods are scattered throughout the property for everyone to enjoy.

Dawn Redwoods are impressive all year round, and Bailey Arboretum hosts the specimen with the largest girth globally. Appreciate the other botanical life as you walk the various trails or participate in a guided tour. Kids will enjoy the children’s habitat or a trip to the garden’s German castle sculpture. All ages will enjoy visiting the Bird Garden or a workshop on learning how to cultivate and grow. Numerous other workshops or courses are available, as well.

Rose Gardens

Who doesn’t appreciate a rose? Be sure to head over to Eisenhower Park and indulge in the astonishingly wide selection of different types of this classic flower. This is the perfect place to take a jaw-dropping photo or simply be present in the natural beauty. Take a moment to admire the many different flower beds and floral displays. But most importantly, be sure to engage your senses and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Japanese Stroll Garden Locust Valley

Japanese culture enthusiasts can rejoice in this cool thematic garden. Using typical Japanese landscaping techniques and design, you will be transported to this marvelous country as you stroll past the koi ponds and bridges. You will be in awe of the array of Japanese flora, such as the picturesque cherry blossoms and bamboo. After you walk down the stepping stone path, view the traditional Japanese tea house. Meditate alongside the 7-acre assortment of North American and Asian plants. Enjoy this day trip to Japan without the need for a plane ticket.

Cedarmere

A house originally owned by poet and editor William Cullen Bryant, Cedarmere is a garden rich in history. Bryant conceptualized the garden’s design, blending

nature with art to create this breathtaking end product. Gaze at the beautiful Hempstead Harbor from the gardens or get lost along the numerous walking paths.

Literature buffs can enjoy learning about Bryant’s literary works and life through a guided tour or by attending a poetry event. You can also attend one of their other many events that are

hosted year-round, such as one of their dance programs or painting classes.

Keep in mind, pets aren’t typically allowed in any of the area gardens. Exceptions to this include specialty days like the dog-friendly day at Old Westbury Gardens. Take the time to experience the gardens and enjoy a truly mindful walk.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the many beautiful gardens in Nassau County. Pick your favorite and experience the most relaxing vacation. Your future self will thank you.

Did you visit one of these gardens? Share your pics with @NassauCountyLI and be entered to win some Nassau County faves!

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