7 of the Best Gardens & Arboretums in the Garden State

Take a tour of New Jersey by visiting these arboretums and gardens all around the Garden State — you’ll find some amazing flowers, sculptures, trees, and maybe some critters!

Duke Farms (Hillsborough)

We just had our summer meetup here — and it did not disappoint! Duke Farms has a ton to explore, from an amazing orchid house to several serene ponds, to miles of biking and hiking trails, and even its fair share of wildlife.

At Duke Farms, you can explore the paved trail (and along with it, ruins, a stable, the Red Bridge, and much much more) or head out into the brush to see wildflowers and lightning bugs. No matter what kind of garden or tree you’re looking for, Duke Farms has it.

Even on a less-than-perfect day, you can enjoy the property! Head into the Orchid House for a break from the humidity (or snow!) to walk among the flowers — see if you can spot a frog!

Cora Hartshorn Arboretum (Short Hills)

If you’re looking for something a little more “in the woods,” Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is for you. Meander through the gardens in the front by the visitor center, then head out past the deer fence (don’t forget your bug spray!) into the Devil’s Punchbowl, up to the Hilltop Overlook, or around to the Wildflower Preserve.

Hikers will see over 40 species of trees, and keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for birds — Cora Hartshorn also doubles as a bird sanctuary! Take time to visit the visitors center on the way out to learn what you might have been hearing on your walk through the forest.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum (Summit)

Stop by Summit to take a magical walk through Reeves-Reed Arboretum, home to a succulent-filled greenhouse, a rose garden, and koi pond! A walk around the property will bring you to some amazing trees that you might not find on the East Coast.

You can hike your way through the six acres of trails on the property, or stop in the visitor center to see the art on display. And don’t forget the trees!

In the fall, Reeves-Reed brings goats onto the grounds to help with invasive vines and weeds, so October is a perfect time to visit.

New Jersey Botanical Garden (Ringwood)

New Jersey Botanical Gardens offers a unique experience — a formal garden surrounded by 1,000 acres of forest in the New Jersey Skylands. Walk down Crab Apple Allée, enjoy the Hosta/Rhododendron Garden, and hang out at the pond next to the Azalea Garden while stopping to smell the lilacs.

After that, explore the miles of trails surrounding the original gardens, or take a tour of Skylands Manor, a Gothic-style building designed in the mid-1920’s by the distinguished American architect John Russell Pope.

Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum (Morris County)

If you want a nice blend of flowers and trees, Frelinghuysen Arboretum is for you! You can spend an entire day here at just walking their myriad of gardens, trails, and even a maze!

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literal maze runner #njspots

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There are hundreds of flowers in bloom during the spring, summer, and fall (sign up for their mailing list to get an update on what’s in bloom that week), but tree lovers can also explore the gardens first, then head out around the property to see the Japanese maples, crabapples, magnolias, and oaks that surround them.

Colonial Park Arboretum & Gardens (Somerset)

Be on bunny watch as you walk through the gorgeous flower display at Colonial Park Arboretum and Gardens. Start off at the rose garden or the sensory garden and make your way through the seasonal display in Somerset before heading out to walk the 144-acre arboretum property.

While there are a lot of native New Jersey trees here, you can also find species native to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East.

Deep Cut Gardens (Monmouth County)

Visit Deep Cut Gardens to get a cultivated, magical look into native New Jersey plants and flowers. Walk through the greenhouses to seek out some succulents, then wander outside to visit the koi pond. The rose garden is one of their special exhibits — it houses over 180 bushes!

The staff will even answer your gardening questions for help with your own garden.

I’m sure we missed some — let us know in the comments!

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2 comments

  1. Leonard J Buck garden in Far Hills is another gorgeous one to check out. Van Vleck in Montclair, also.

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