For years I have lived about 20 minutes from one of the most visited sights on Long Island and never went.The Old westbury Gardens are visited by thousands of people a year. Every year I say this is the year. Then guess what happens? I don’t go.
It was a blazing hot summer day when I decided to go to Old Westbury Gardens. Long Island is full of nature perserves,trails and bike paths. It is a nice place to live during the summer. The beach is close and the weather is great. The gardens were a great way to spend a summer day. The first thing I thought of when I headed down the paved path to the front of the house was GATSBY! As in The Great Gatsby? The book takes place on Long Island and all along what was considered The Gold Coast are houses reminiscent of past grandeur and decadence. This house is no exception.
Of course it might not look exactly like the the house Leonardo Dicaprio’s Gatsby lives in but I definitely felt like I was channelling my inner Gatsby that day. And the library! Oh the library. I am a sucker for librarys and this one was adorable.
Then I started walking around the gardens. Which are marvelous! I amost forgot I was on Long Island and not in the gardens of Versialles.
All these awesome twisty lanes filled with flowers, weathered green houses and small fountains dot the land that covers miles around the house. There is a small lake hidden in the back and a swimming pool. Turns out people still live on the property as well. Not in the house that does tours but far back on the other side of the property there is more land and another house that the family still lives on.
Recently I went back to the gardens this time for a special event. In the fall “Rise of the Jack-o-Laterns” invades Old Westbury.
What a great concept. Thousands of hand carved pumpkins all in themed situations. From Disney Princess to Video Games everything looks awesome.
Some of the pumpkins are not real but Styrofoam. I guess to help them from dying before the end of the exhibit. It goes for the whole month of October to coincide with Halloween. I don’t know about you but when I carve a pumpkin at home they sometimes begin to rot with in a few weeks. No one wants to pay the hefty fee they charge to see dead pumpkins.
Which is my only qualm with it. When you go to the gardens in the summer or any other time it is 8 dollars to park. Which is resonable to me. For that price you get a tour of the estate and the gardens and can roam around for hours if you would like.
When you come for Rise of the Jack-o-Laterns it is 26 dollars! and it took me about 45 minutes to walk through the whole thing. Seems a bit steep. Don’t get me wrong It is a really cool exhibit but….Thats a lot of money to me.
I recommend spending a cool spring or fall day in the garden. In the summer it was sweltering. Going in a cooler season is a good idea. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day. If you love the fall go for Rise of the Jack-o-Laterns but look for a Groupon coupon. You will enjoy it more when you save the money.
For more information on Old Westbury Garden visit https://www.oldwestburygardens.org/