Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is a 250-acre (101-hectare) green oasis amid the dense concrete of New York City. As well as a rose garden with more than 650 varieties and a 50-acre (20-hectare) forest, the garden also has an impressive Victorian-era glasshouse and a Home Gardening Center for amateur enthusiasts.
Access to the NYBG is ticketed and visitors can book all-garden passes in advance. Once inside, explore the vast grounds, including the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Thain Family Forest, and the Rock Garden. A good way to get your bearings—and save yourself from achy feet—is to take the tram tour. Some New York City sightseeing passes include free admission to the garden, as well as access to hop-on hop-off buses, which stop outside the entrance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- New York Botanical Garden is a must for anyone who needs a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- A visit to the garden inevitably involves some walking, so wear comfortable shoes.
- Most of the exhibits are outdoors; dress accordingly.
- Most areas are wheelchair accessible, as is the tram, though some sections are inaccessible because of sloping, uneven topography.
How to Get There
NYBG is situated on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx, NYC. To get here, ride the Metro–North Harlem local line from Grand Central terminal to the Botanical Garden station. The nearest subway stops are Bedford Park Boulevard (B, D, or 4 train) and Allerton Avenue (2), which are a 15-minute and a 20-minute walk away, respectively.
When to Get There
There is in no bad time to visit the NYBG. The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is in full bloom May to October, while the Thain Family Forest is most spectacular during fall. The Holiday Train Show attracts crowds November to January, while the Orchid Show takes place in March and April. Ticket prices are reduced midweek, and admission to the grounds (excluding the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, special exhibitions, the Rock Garden, and the tram tour) is free on Wednesdays.
The Home Gardening Center
For keen gardeners, the NYBG’s Home Gardening Center is a big part of the garden’s appeal. Between March and November, the center offers a program designed to inspire and educate amateur gardeners. As well as model gardens and display areas, the center also offers tips from experts on vegetable gardening, composting, and other essential techniques.