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Nassau County Garden Tour: Two-Day Itinerary

Nassau County is home to an array of stunning botanical gardens and nature preserves, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and educational opportunities. One such gem is the Bailey Arboretum, nestled in 40 acres of woods, ponds, and gardens. The beautiful, 42-acre accredited arboretum is located on the North Shore of Long Island in Locust Valley, New York.

Immerse yourself in the splendor of these stunning gardens nestled within Nassau County.

Situated on the estate of renowned horticulturist and philanthropist Frank Bailey, Bailey Arboretum offers community and educational programs throughout the year. Bring the family and enjoy well-marked trails, peaceful gardens, and the freedom to stroll the beautiful grounds. Be sure to search for the rare Dawn Redwoods. Want your children to have a hands-on experience with nature? The arboretum offers a children’s habitat for them to explore, climb, build, and create in nature. Search for the Fairy House, climb in the playhouse, and look for the ducks, owls, and songbirds!  A place for all seasons, Bailey Arboretum has something for everyone.

Meanwhile, Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson serves as both a living museum and an educational facility, boasting extensive collections of wildflowers, roses, daylilies, and more. With its diverse plant families and educational programs, Clark Botanic Garden offers visitors a rich botanical experience.

Clark Botanic Garden courtesy Roslyn Country Club
Courtesy the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden

The John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden in Mill Neck invites guests to immerse themselves in Japanese aesthetics, featuring exquisite Japanese flowers and plants that offer insight into Japanese culture.

Finally, the Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens at Farmingdale State College showcase themed gardens dating back to the 1930s, providing a fascinating glimpse into horticultural design and urban gardening. Whether you’re seeking tranquility amidst nature, educational opportunities, or a cultural immersion, Nassau County’s botanical gardens and preserves offer something for everyone to enjoy and explore.

Day 1: Morning

Bailey Arboretum (Lattingtown, NY)

Start your day with a peaceful morning at Bailey Arboretum, where you can explore its sprawling 40 acres of woods, ponds, and gardens. Birdwatchers will especially enjoy this spot, as you can keep an eye out for the owl’s nest in the woods and spot a variety of songbirds, hawks, and migrating ducks aroun

Courtesy: James Robertson


Clark Botanic Garden (Albertson, NY)

After Bailey Arboretum, head to Clark Botanic Garden for a midday botanical experience. Wander through the garden’s diverse collections and immerse yourself in its educational offerings. Clark Botanic Garden is proud to be listed as an official Daylily Garden by the American Hemerocallis Society. An AHS Display Garden is established to display the very best daylily cultivars to the public. Its purpose is to educate the visitor about modern daylilies and how they can be used beautifully and effectively in landscapes. There are only about 325 official Daylily Gardens in the United States.


Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Mim’s, a Manhattan-style bistro featuring warm friendly service, and exquisite cuisine showcasing the freshest fish, mouth-watering steaks & chops, chicken, fantastic pasta, beautiful salads, and wonderful homemade desserts. Mim’s is a true local favorite for something a bit special and elegant.


John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden (Mill Neck, NY)

Spend your afternoon in the tranquil surroundings of the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden. This unique and historic 7-acre gem of landscape design and woodlands boasts an impressive collection of North American and Asian plants that constitute a beautiful Japanese landscape and impart a meditative experience. The landscape was inspired by a mountain setting at the sea. A stunning stepping stone path is one of the defining features found on this property and was inspired by the intimacy of a mountain path. A gentle climb through the woodland part of the garden will lead you to a “mountain peak.” There you will meet the gravel path representing a stream that will guide you to an authentic pondside tea house.

Tanglewood Park and Preserve (Lakeview, NY)

Conclude your day with a visit to Tanglewood Park and Preserve for a scenic nature walk. Take in the loveliness of the 11-acre park and its beautifully renovated brick walkway surrounding a pond. If time allows, engage in activities offered by the Center for Science Teaching and Learning.


Check into a nearby hotel such as the Best Western Mill River Manor, which is only 10 minutes from Tanglewood Park and Preserve, for a relaxing evening. Enjoy dinner at Cala di Mare Italian Grill, Bar & Lounge located in the main lobby of the Hotel.

Day 2: Morning

Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens at Farmingdale State College (Farmingdale, NY)

Start your second day with a visit to the Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens at Farmingdale State College. Explore the themed gardens dating back to the 1930s and appreciate the beauty of its diverse plant life. Enter the Teaching Gardens through the wrought iron gates. Stroll down the long axial walkway that stretches before you. You’ll pass the Annual Beds, the Rose Garden, and enter the Beech Hedge Garden, now a Gray or ‘Ghost Garden.’ Or, walk to your left into the Dwarf Conifer Collection, or to your right, behind the grove of weeping Higan cherries (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’) into the Joan Bisset Memorial Garden. 


Muttontown Preserve (East Norwich, NY)

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to wander through expansive trails adorned with wildflowers and encounter a diverse array of wildlife, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. Muttontown Preserve Map shows a rich tapestry woven from three distinct estates. The Nature Center and Chelsea Mansion reside on a 100-acre parcel generously donated by Alexandra Moore McKay. Additionally, 400 acres were acquired from the Lansdell Christie Estate, including the historic Winthrop Mansion. A further 20-acre parcel, gifted by Mrs. Paul Hammond, holds remnants of the pre-Revolutionary Duryea Farm. As you explore, you may catch glimpses of the ruins of the mansion once owned by King Zog of Albania, nestled in the wooded area just north of Muttontown Road.

Lunch and Afternoon Adventures

On your way to Chelsea Mansion, dine at a nearby restaurant such as Rothman’s Steak House, a formal landmark that once hosted Theodore Roosevelt, offering steaks, brunch and a buzzing bar scene. It’s almost directly across the street from Chelsea Mansion. It will be an adventure to find the mansion as you travel down a long and winding road, but so worth the effort. This 40–room mansion, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, was built by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Moore in 1924 and is an outstanding example of the design ideas prevalent during the latter part of Long Island’s Gold Coast Era. The mansion is not open for tours, but it is still worth the visit. It’s gorgeous, has a moat, and is located in a beautiful landscape. 

With this overnight itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of Nassau County’s botanical gardens, creating lasting memories of your botanical adventure.

As you enjoy all the natural beauty these spectacular gardens offer, share your pics with @VisitNassauCountyLI and be entered to win some Nassau County faves!

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