Stop and Smell the Roses: The Bronx Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens Entrance
Last weekend, my best friend, Amanda, and her husband came to visit me in New York City. This meant that I couldn’t do what I normally do on the weekends: binge-watch TV shows on Netflix while eating ice cream and various other carb-based foods. I had to make my life seem exciting!

It was a challenge.

The last time Amanda and Max came to visit, I mostly let them call the shots. This led to me being dragged on a pizza tour of lower Manhattan. Ugh. So touristy.

(It turns out the pizza tour is AMAZING, but that’s another story. ((But really, you should go on Scott’s Pizza Tour, you won’t regret it.))

This time, they wanted to go to the “real” Little Italy in the Bronx for an authentic Italian meal, so I suggested we visit the Bronx Botanical Garden while we were up that way. In the three years I’ve lived here, there have been several places I’ve wanted to visit but not gotten around to seeing: the Botanical Gardens was one of those places. So, with bagels in hand (and a croissant for Amanda who’d had a cream cheese incident the day before that ended with her washing her shirt in the sink of a public restroom) we took the long subway ride north to the Bronx.

It turned out to be the perfect day for a walk around the gardens. The summer has been unusually mild and sunny in NYC, and this day was no exception to the fabulous weather we’ve had. We arrived at the garden happy to have such a gorgeous day to fill.

The gardens are not cheap to get into. For the pass to see all of the gardens plus all of the indoor exhibitions, it is $20. That was cutting into our wine budget a bit too much, so we opted for the $13 grounds-only pass. We are very serious about protecting our wine budget.

On the map, the gardens look huge. I instantly regretted not getting the expensive pass that included a free tram tour. However, we discovered quickly that the map was definitely not to scale. The gardens aren’t as enormous as they look on the signs.

Map Reading

Max and Amanda, leading the way!

And, once a kindly Botanical Garden worker, Angel, recommended the best spots in the garden for us to visit…the map was less intimidating.

Botanical Garden Purple

We walked through a small forest path that led us over a small bridge built over an even smaller waterfall.Bridge

Waterfall

**Approximately 2 feet tall

Then we made it to my favorite section: the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

Rose Garden

Rose Sign

Roses

Do Not Pick Sign

Outside the Rose Garden

I didn’t know so many different types of roses exist. It was a bit intimidating.

It was difficult to believe that all of this was in the middle of the Bronx! There weren’t any buildings in sight.

Overall, we did enough walking to justify a late Italian lunch on Arthur Avenue (followed by  a giant cannoli!) No pictures, because we devoured all of the food as soon as it appeared.

I recommend spending a whole day in the Bronx. There is so much to do, even if you are not up for walking around the gardens. You can visit the Bronx Zoo, see a game at Yankee Stadium, or you can spend your day at the Italian restaurants and shops that line Arthur Avenue. (And don’t forget the cannolis!)

5 thoughts on “Stop and Smell the Roses: The Bronx Botanical Garden

  1. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer

    It’s amazing that as many times as I have been in that area (went to the Bronx Zoo a couple of times and to Arthur Avenue), I still have yet to visit the Garden! This post reminded me that I need to make my way over there 😀

    1. Kendra Granniss Post author

      I’ve lived here for over three years and it took me nearly that long to get up there! I love your post about the real Little Italy. The best food is in the Bronx!

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