George Eastman estate garden

5 Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester

Rochester is surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens and conservatories. If you haven’t already, start with a visit to these five beautiful gardens near Rochester—they will not disappoint!

They offer visitors a variety of plants and trees to observe through the seasons, and to take solace among. And many of these are either free or require a small donation or admission fee.

Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester: Sonnenberg Gardens
Sonnenberg Gardens

1. Sonnenberg Gardens

Some of the places you can explore, like the Tea Garden and the Rock Garden, are accessed by windy, uneven footpaths. There are also trams available that can take you anywhere in the park, but are especially useful getting from the entrance to the mansion and back. The drivers are excited to share details and stories as you drive along.


Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester: Lamberton Conservatory
Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park

2. Lamberton Conservatory

Exhibits is the Seasonal Display House are changed five times throughout the year. Each December, the Holiday Show welcomes you with holiday lights, greens and poinsettias. The Spring Show opens around the 1st weekend of spring through the Lilac Festival in May. They feature hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips; the color and aroma make for a welcome retreat from winter!


Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester: George Eastman House Museum garden
George Eastman estate garden

3. George Eastman Museum

The grounds are open to the public for free, with exception during special events, like Garden Vibes.


Ellwanger Estate
Ellwanger Garden

4. Ellwanger Estate Garden

While the Ellwanger Estate is private, the garden is maintained by the Landmark Society and is periodically open to the public for special events.


Cornell Botanic Gardens
Cornell Botanic Gardens

5. Cornell Botanic Gardens

The 4,000-acres that make up Cornell Botanic Gardens are free to explore and are full of opportunities to learn about plants and environmental conservation.


Landmark Society Home and Garden 2016 Rochester
Landmark Society Home and Garden Tours

Ready to find even more beautiful gardens near Rochester?

In addition to public gardens, look for house & garden tours throughout the year, including two with the Landmark Society of Western New York.

27 House & Garden Tours Around Rochester

Every year there are dozens of opportunities around Rochester to walk through grand and historic homes, and meticulously manicured garden spaces.

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40 Public Gardens Around Rochester

Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at one of these arboretums, labyrinths, estate gardens, or botanical gardens, all within a 2-hour drive of Rochester.

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Transcending Places

Rather than an escape, I prefer to think of these as transcending places that encourage us to transcend space, time, and state of mind.

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The Flower City: Exploring Rochester’s Extraordinary Flowers and Trees

Rochester became a global center for flower and tree nurseries in the mid-1800s, fostering our identity as The Flower City.

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What do you think are the most beautiful gardens near Rochester?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.