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

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Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Sonnenberg Gardens Japanese Tea Garden
Sonnenberg Gardens Conservatory
Sonnenberg Gardens garden view
Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester: Sonnenberg Gardens
Sonnenberg Gardens

Sonnenberg Gardens

City of Canandaigua

Some of the places you can explore throughout the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 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.

Lamberton Conservatory Bird of Paradise
Lamberton Conservatory duck turtles
Lamberton Conservatory ceiling room transition
Lamberton Conservatory spring show display
Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park

Lamberton Conservatory

City of Rochester

Located in Highland Park, Lamberton Conservatory is the perfect place to spend inside on a gray day. Many folks visit to seek a calm, colorful space warmed to tropical temperatures, filled with the sound of running water, and the scent of fragrant flowers.

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 mid-May.

George Eastman Museum early spring
George Eastman Museum University garden
George Eastman Museum
Beautiful Gardens Near Rochester: George Eastman House Museum garden
George Eastman estate garden

George Eastman Museum

City of Rochester

The grounds of the George Eastman Museum are free and open to the public. But do take time to go inside.

The museum is a beautiful tribute to the life and legacy of George Eastman, and is the world’s oldest photography museum with one of the oldest film archives.

Ellwanger Garden
Ellwanger Garden
Ellwanger Garden
Ellwanger Estate
Ellwanger Garden

Ellwanger Estate Garden

City of Rochester

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
FR Newman Arboretum
Cornell Botanic Gardens FR Newman Arboretum
Cornell Botanic Gardens FR Newman Arboretum
Cornell Botanic Gardens

Cornell Botanic Gardens

City of Ithaca

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.

This area on Cornell University’s campus includes 12 specialty gardens around the Nevin Welcome Center, the 100-acre F.R. Newman Arboretum, and surrounding natural areas.

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

Ready to find some 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.

Webster Arboretum at Kent Park

Covering 32 acres, the arboretum boasts a pond, winding paths, various trees and shrubs, and formal gardens with over 200 daylily cultivars.

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Highland Park in Rochester

Highland Park has even been described as a museum of exotic trees, many of which are the tallest of their species in the state, though few are native.

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Sunken Garden at Warner Castle

In Highland Park, walk behind Warner Castle or up the hill from Highland Bowl, and there you will find the magnificent Sunken Garden.

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Maplewood Park & Rose Garden

Maplewood Park is a linear park that follows the river from Driving Park and the Lower Falls to just north of Route 104, ending at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee.

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25 House & Garden Tours Around Rochester

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

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Gardens & Arboretums

These carefully designed gardens, often cultivated for decades or even centuries, display exceptional collections of flowers and trees.

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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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Our Favorite Places to Take a Walk

The best thing you can do for your body and mind is simply take a walk. Enjoy our favorite places to meander, mosey, saunter or stroll.

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36 Places to Immerse Yourself in Green

I find green to be a soothing color, especially when surrounded by it. Here are some of my favorite places to go green!

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24 Hidden Places Around Rochester

From secret gardens to enchanting waterfalls, exploring hidden places around the Rochester area is the ultimate way to add some spice to your travel experiences.

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20 Historic Inns & Hotels Around Rochester

These historic inns around Rochester will take you back to a time when it was a frontier town, accessible only by train, boat, or stagecoach.

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20 Paved, Gravel, and Boardwalk Pathways for Easy Strolls

These paved pathways and boardwalks are ideal for folks using strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, or managing other mobility challenges.

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22 Fabulous Fall Hikes in Monroe County

Our favorite fall hikes offer a variety of elements and views. The presence of water, trees, and solitude helps rank these high on our list.

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Rochester-Area Parks

Beyond the gorge trails, nature centers, and gardens, these exceptional parks offer unique experiences and amenities worthy of exploration.

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Which are your favorite gardens and arboretums near Rochester?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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