Exploring a new town is exciting for many reasons, namely the break from reality and stress that comes with daily life.
When you visit a new city, it’s natural that you’d want to pack your trip with lots of activities. There are:
- Art galleries
- And bars all to check out
So it’s hard to remember to take the time to slow down.
That’s where places like the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens fit in.
The beauty of arboretums and gardens is that you can take them slow, breathe in the fresh air, and, of course, stop and smell the roses. They’re the perfect break to see something new. The highlight is taking in nature and grounding yourself amid the decision-making and problem-solving of taking a trip.
There are many beautiful options for arboretums and gardens to visit throughout Connecticut. But let’s face it, you’re likely concentrating on your visit. So, we’re focusing on Stamford, but there will be more guides to come.
Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens.
What Are the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens?
If you’re looking for a break from city life and are eager to be fully immersed in all things beautiful and nature, Bartlett has everything you need. At a whopping 91 acres, these greens are home to much of Connecticut’s native landscape.
You can walk amongst the magnificent Champion trees, charming gardens, and wildflower meadows. There are even red maple wetlands, boardwalks, and woodland walking trails, so you can see everything the land has to offer on foot.
The hiking trails are well-marked, with plenty of iterations of the Bartlett Arboretum trail map posted throughout the site.
Whether you’re someone who spends their weekend gardening, or you just enjoy taking in all that nature has to offer, it’s a great place to relax and learn. The Bartlett arboretum and gardens host family-friendly events year-round, including:
- Summer concerts
- Guided tours
- Family events and programs
- And classes
But it’s not just for kids!
Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens offers plenty of activities for adults, as well:
- Yoga classes
- “Art at the Bart” classes
- Garden tours highlighting everything from the trees to the sensory garden, and more
How Much Will a Visit Cost?
Everyone gets in for free! It helps encourage residents and visitors to Stamford to:
- Get outside
- Learn about nature
- And enjoy a moment of relaxation
Still, running the place isn’t free, so memberships are encouraged for those who care about the upkeep and growth of the haven.
Where Exactly is the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens?
Nestled in southwestern New England, the property sits at 151 Brookdale Road, Stamford, CT 06903. There is ample parking available in the Main Lot. Restrooms are in the Silver Educational Building, which is open to the public every day. And did we mention the free admission?
You can visit the grounds from 6:30 am until 8:30 pm. The office is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Silver Educational Center is also open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
If you’re visiting the area by car, it’s just a 15-minute ride to get from the Arboretum to downtown Stamford, so there’s a lot you can see in one day, if you so please. If you’re taking public transit, it’s a 40-minute bus ride from the Stamford train station. So it gives you a little time to take a cat nap to refresh before your next stop.
The Best Things to do at Bartlett Arboretum
You can spend just an hour at the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, or you can relax for the whole day.
Whether you want to take a little walk or a slightly more intense hike, the trails account for everyone’s preferences. There are many arboretum gardens throughout, so you can stop at just one or visit them all.
Be on the lookout for the many migratory birds that pass through here. A variety of species make a stop here either north or on their journey south to their winter grounds in the southern US, or Central and South America.
If you have some kids in tow, there are some great playgrounds for them to use their imagination and expend some energy. This makes for the perfect time for the adults to pull out a book or just take in the sounds of nature over the screaming.
The arboretum is packed with gardens, hidden sculptures, and fun trails. And when you walk through the property, trees and flowers are well-marked, so you can learn about everything you see. These little plaques allow visitors to learn about different flora and fauna.
Are the Bartlett Arboretum Gardens Pet-Friendly?
As long as your furry friend is on a leash, you’re welcome to bring them to Bartlett! It’s actually one of the most dog-friendly places in all Connecticut.
You and your dog can explore the 12 miles of garden trails and stop at benches and among the flowers to take breaks when necessary.
Of course, they ask that your dog respect the grounds, so no walking on flowers or eating plants is allowed. You’ll also likely see some other furry friends out and about, especially:
- And birds
So it’s important that you respect them and your home. And clean up after your pet.
But that goes without saying.
Pet owners who have taken their dogs here say that they come daily for their walks because of how beautiful the area is and how much it feels like an escape. Another owner cautions that if you have an older dog or one that’s not great with rough terrain, some paths are better than others.
The Bart even hosts free dog training classes, for those in need of a refresher!
Is There Food Nearby?
While there is no food available on the grounds, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for replenishment.
If you just head south down High Ridge Road, you’ll hit a lot of great eateries all in the area. They include:
- Mexican at the Taco Project
- Middle Eastern at Layla’s Falafel
- American at Parkway Diner
There are plenty of fantastic Stamford restaurants within a short drive of the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens.
Where Can I Stay Nearby?
By drive, just under 25 minutes away is the Stanton House Inn, where you can get the classic Connecticut Bed & Breakfast experience. With charming guest rooms and our own expansive gardens, you can spend the day taking in all the flowers. And then rest your head in the evening in a cozy, relaxing room.
If you’re a fan of a given chain hotel or a different experience from a bed and breakfast inn, be sure to read our guide to Stamford and Greenwich, CT, hotels.
What else is there to do near the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens?
Before or after your visit the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens, there’s plenty more to do!
A short drive or walk from the gates sit:
Continue north along the Merritt Parkway to visit the Philip Johnson Glass House, one of the most unique attractions in all Connecticut. And there are plenty more Connecticut hiking trails and even hikes in upstate NY to explore nearby and farther afield.
Or drive south towards the coast to enjoy even more attractions, activities, and things to do unique to Stamford, Connecticut.
We hope you enjoy the rest of your visit!
Updated and republished: February 27, 2023