Stepping out of New York City and into Wave Hill Gardens will literally make you feel as if you’ve been transported into a Disney Movie. As soon as you’ve ventured through the visitors center, the city is instantaneously left behind you. The cold, metallic visuals are replaced with soft lush scenery and the chaotic hustle and bustle substituted with the serene song of birds and running streams. 28-acres of woodland trails, gardens, and wildlife await you. Pathways upon pathways leading to more pathways. Where do I begin? It is easy to get lost in the garden and spend the whole day exploring, lounging around, daydreaming and relaxing on a bench or a quaint little lawn chair taking in the earthy smell of cut grass while overlooking the Hudson. While the admission for this beautiful site is usually $8 for an adult ticket, I’ll give you a little tip: visit the garden on a Tuesday or Saturday from 9AM- Noon, and admission is completely free.
As soon as you enter the park, the attendants (who are extremely friendly and kind) will give you a map. This map will aid you on your adventure and contains the trails to eight different gardens and a trove of other sites. The garden is definitely not as busy as Central Park and there are free tours for various art exhibits, conservatories, outlooks, woodland and rivers. I preferred to do a self tour of course, because that is where all the adventure really happens. I went up and down most of the gardens, which were home to many different kinds of plants. I even happened to view a certain cactus plant, growing out of a stony wall.
Wave Hill Gardens is an amazing place for children. They are allowed to run around and play while learning about the different plants and wildlife. There is a children’s center which engages toddlers in nature centered arts and crafts, which was adorable. I found Wave Hill to be a remarkably romantic place for couples, and I can see how one could spend hours walking among the different gardens and sites, or sharing a picnic lunch on the lawns. For the individual the garden provides a lot of space to sit and think, stroll around or take a nap on one of the many comfy wooden chairs. On site there is a gift shop which carries a trove of trinkets, knickknacks and other nature inspired gifts. There is also a restaurant on site, but it is a bit pricey. Wave Hill accommodates weddings, conferences, and camping trips; however, I believe the scenery makes it desirable for any type of event.
I spent 3 hours in the garden and I feel as if there was still so much I didn’t see. I honestly cannot wait to go back, and I am counting down the days until I can visit again.
Fun Fact: This entire garden used to be a private property owned by a single family! Talk about a lot of space.
Wave Hill Gardens
649 W 249th St, Bronx, NY 10471
Phone: (718) 549-3200
Attire: Casual, Comfy
Admission: $8 Adult Ticket (FREE Tuesdays & Saturdays: 9AM – Noon)