cross estate garden

Northern New Jersey’s Most Instagrammable Spots: Gardens

New Jersey is the dubbed The Garden State mainly for the truck farms that provide floral and agricultural produce to surrounding cities. I love the Garden State for all its GREEN spaces and am always on the search to add more to my “to see” list.  Our “beach shore life” has been portrayed as The Jersey Shore and being a Real Housewife of New Jersey may have you itching to toss some tables. But, there are so many beautiful scenic Instagram worthy Garden State spots to wander and take pictures in.

Here’s 5 of Northern New Jersey’s most Instagram worthy gardens. They all are free to explore.

  • Unfortunately, at this moment in time, all but one of the locations are temporarily closed. I wanted to share my top 5 in its entirety, to inspire your future adventures. Please bookmark this post so you can check them out as soon as they open up again.

1. Cross Estate Gardens

61 Jockey Hollow Rd / Bernardsville, NJ 07924


It feels like a secret garden. A wisteria-covered pergola during the Spring, and a water tower are also on site. The gardens are maintained by volunteers and is a project of the New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation. Currently open from 8a-8p. Visitor parking is limited and social distancing rules apply.

2. Frelinghuysen Arboretum 

353 E Hanover Ave / Morristown, NJ 07960
*Temporarily Closed – limited reopening scheduled for Aug 3, 2020.

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The arboretum surrounds the Frelinghuysens’ mansion and the Great Lawn. This 127-acre estate features several collections of plant life. I love taking pictures here during every season.


3. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

New Vernon, NJ 07976
*Most refuge lands and outdoor spaces are open to the public, social distancing rules apply.


Great Swamp is one of more than 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Nearly 7,800 acres of varied habitats. It is a migration-resting and feeding area or permanent habitat for more that 244 species of birds… And the boardwalk trails are pretty cool.


4. Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center / Gardens

170 Longview Rd / Far Hills, NJ 07931
*Temporarily Closed – limited reopening scheduled for Aug 3, 2020.


Originally known as Merchiston farm, Bamboo Brook was the home of William and Earth Brookes Hutcheson, from 1911 to 1959. Features a Circular Pool, The East Lawn and Coffee Terrace, The Little House and Upper Water. This botanical garden and public park is 687 acres and was donated to the Morris County Park Commission in 1972. 

5. Willowwood Arboretum

300 Longview Rd / Far Hills, NJ 07931
*Temporarily Closed – limited reopening scheduled for Aug 3, 2020.


One mile from Bamboo Brook is the Willowwood Arboretum. 130 acres of rolling farm land and 2,100 kinds of native and exotic plants.

Thank you for reading about my top 5 Instagrammable gardens in Northern New Jersey.  Have you been to any or all of these spots? What other spots on NJ do you recommend?

Most instagrammable places in northern new jersey: gardens (

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