Memorial Day weekend was a wash, so instead of heading to the Jersey shore, I grabbed a friend and checked out one of the Garden State’s coolest gardens: the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ.
You may be thinking that walking around an arboretum is just as much of a sunny-day activity as the beach, and you’re not wrong. And while my hair was definitely not happy, the weather gave this NJ spot a weirdly British feel. Walking around the grounds of the main house with overcast skies and a near-constant mist definitely gave me some Jane Eyre/The Secret Garden vibes. (Sidenote: if you’ve never read The Secret Garden or anything by a Bronte sister, go do it now! This post will still be here when you’re done—you can thank me later.)
Unlike some other arboretums and gardens in North Jersey, this one is situated on tons of land, which means you can definitely spend a few hours walking around. There are even some easy hiking trails on the property (but be warned, there are no dogs allowed).
Since we visited in late May we missed the magnolias and the cherry blossoms, but we did get to see a blooming rose garden, a few peonies, and lots of colorful rhododendron. But my favorite spot was at the edge of the great lawn. There was an old bench surrounded by wispy wildflowers and fringe trees looking out towards the mansion. It was the perfect spot to snap a picture of my sweet friend in her adorable yellow rain coat.
Following our walk, we both desperately needed food (and a hair brush, which thankfully I always have on-hand). This arboretum is just minutes away from the center of town, which is packed with restaurants and shops. We landed at South + Pine for a yummy brunch before heading back home.
All in all, I think we made the most of our rainy day.
PS–if you think my friend’s trench is as adorable as I do, check out a similar one here!