Each of the four outer boroughs maintains its own Botanical Garden (the Central Park Conservatory Garden is as close as Manhattan gets). While the 39-acre Queens Botanical Garden can seem tiny compared to the 250 acres allocated in the Bronx, this intimate and conscientious site is a perfect oasis throughout the year. With roots dating back to the 1939 World's Fair, the garden has a long history of educating and inspiring visitors with a break from the urban sprawl of the city.

What You Will See

The Queen's Botanical Garden houses a variety of local and imported species, with something always in season. You are welcomed to the garden by an ally of Pin Oaks, which date back to the 1960s. From there, visit the cherry trees in the Circle Garden, or head to the meadow filled with perennial wildflowers or to the Rose Garden, home to dozens of varieties of climbing Roses. Inside the new visitor's center, the garden hosts educational events as well as a small botanical art gallery with rotating exhibits.

Why You Should Go

Any of New York's botanical gardens are welcoming, peaceful, and educational. While there is more to see and do in the other boroughs, do not overlook Queens as an option for your afternoon in a garden. Each garden is planted in a unique natural environment, and the natural plants growing in each reflect that. The QBG was built on original wetlands (once described as "bogs and dump land". What the organization has cultivated out of that bog--as well as what has been maintained as wetlands--are impressive and peaceful.