Meander through these pretty gardens to appreciate the range of exotic specimens and attend a piano recital or art exhibit in the house.
Van Vleck House & Gardens is a picturesque estate containing a botanical park with spectacular floral displays. Dating back to 1916, the site’s Mediterranean-style house harmonizes with the exotic plants surrounding it. Wander through the 5.8 acres (2.3 hectares) of stunning grounds for a tranquil afternoon.
Admire the Chinese wisteria planted in 1939. Its branches wind around the columns of the portico. Snap photos of the purple blossom adorning the pillars, with the stately home as an imposing backdrop. Stroll along elegant paths past bright yellow flowers.
The gardens are divided into several sections, including the Edible Garden, the Wetland area, the Butterfly Garden and the Woodland. Embark on the Azalea Walk and see the impressive Japanese hornbeam in the Drying Yard. Explore the exotic plants on display in Howard’s Greenhouse.
Relax on a section of lawn and enjoy a picnic with friends and family in these picturesque surroundings. Sit on one of the benches with a book and appreciate the serene setting, away from the bustle of city life.
Attend one of the regular plant sales to purchase some of the gems in this floral oasis. Learn techniques in the occasional art classes here. Bring your kids to an educational program relating to nature.
The gardens are part of a private estate that has existed since the affluent Van Vleck family moved here from Brooklyn in 1868. Several houses were built here over time. Enter the current incarnation and admire its majestic décor.
Note that the gardens are open to the public year-round from early morning until evening. The site is free of charge. Enjoy one of the opera or other musical performances in the gardens during summer.
Van Vleck House & Gardens is in the small town of Montclair, just 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Newark. Ride the Montclair-Boonton Line up to Walnut Street Station and walk northwest for 20 minutes to arrive here. See other sights in the neighborhood, including the Charles Shultz House, the Montclair Art Museum and Rand Park.