Look no further than your backyard, the Hudson Valley will provide you with the eye-catching and serene experience you’ve been looking for this spring. The lush landscape offers much more than a vigorous hike. Find your next adventure this season by strolling through one of the many ornate and scenic gardens located throughout the area. Here is a guide to some that you don’t want to miss.
Located on a sloping bluff atop the Hudson River, the Blithewood Garden at Bard College is the perfect example of a walled Italianate garden. Fully equipped with a ground-level plane, paths located on geometric axes, symmetrical beds, a central water feature, statuary, and marble ornaments, architecture enthusiasts will be pleasantly surprised by the garden’s thoroughly planned design.
75 Blithewood Avenue, Red Hook. 845-758-6822. bard.edu/arboretum/gardens/blithewood
wethersfield estate and gardens
It’s all about the green. Wethersfield’s use of topiary makes for a lush stroll through stone gazebos and sculptures. Keep an eye out for their orange and gardenia trees. You won’t be disappointed. Group tours of the gardens are offered Fridays and Saturdays at 2:15pm and 3:15pm. Tickets are $5. Children 12 and under can attend for free.
88 Wethersfield Way, Amenia. 845-373-8037. wethersfield.org
locust grove gardens
A not-for-profit estate, Locust Grove is roughly 200 acres, featuring 19th-century romantic garden design and five miles of carriage roads that snake through meadows and forest, offering peeks at the Hudson River and the waterfall on the Cascade Trail. Their vegetable garden shadows the growing practices from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
2683 South Road, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-4500. lgny.org
The lifework of Walter Beck and his wife Marion Burt Beck dates back to the 1920s. Inspired by Beck’s fascination with Asian art, the grounds’ landscape incorporates both Chinese and Japanese garden design using rocks from the site. Pack a lunch and enjoy their monthly wildflower walks for only $15.
362 Tyrrel Road, Millbrook. 845-677-8000. innisfreegarden.org
northern dutchess botanical gardens
Off the beaten path awaits this treasure. Home to eight greenhouses and three holding houses, the botanical gardens grow a wide variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, and ornamentals. Opening day weather-dependent.
389 Salisbury Turnpike, Rhinebeck 845-876-2953. ndbgonline.com
mountain top arboretum
Dedicated to displaying and managing native plant communities of the northeastern US, this arboretum sits at the top of the New York City watershed in the Catskills. The trails and boardwalks connect 178 acres of plant collections, natural meadows, wetlands, forest, and Devonian bedrock. Their new timber-framed education center, completed in 2018, uses 20 native trees from the arboretum.
Maude Adams Road, Tannersville. 518-589-3903. mtarboretum.org
mohonk mountain house
Atop the mountain, nestled among the cliffs and forests, are vivid, award-winning gardens with French, Italian, and German influences. Surrounded by towers and lake scenery, the sights are abundant. Take a trip during their annual garden tour in August, when the blooms are at their peak.
1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz. 855-883-3798. mohonk.com
A venue that offers picture-perfect shots for your wedding day or event, the gardens are 30 acres full of flowering trees, garden beds, and a walnut grove aside the main house. Check out their “Monet bridge” arcing over their creek for an ethereal experience.
227 South Street, Highland. 845.883.6446. stonehouse-gardens.com
storm king art center
This outdoor sculpture museum goes on for 500 acres. Scan the horizon for rolling hills, vistas, ponds, meadows, and walking paths. The land, dominated by native plant species, is made diverse with various wildlife, colors, and textures. Visitors are advised to bring bug spray and sunscreen.
1 Museum Road, New Windsor. 845-534-3115. stormking.org
orange county arboretum
Located in the Thomas Bull Memorial Park, this site is 35 acres of rolling pastures and wooded paths. The gardens are open dusk to dawn year-round and include cascading water features and raised garden setups.
211 Route 416, Montgomery. 845-615-3830. orangecountyarboretum.org