One of my favorite programs, besides discover unexplored places in New York City, is to find places near the city that are great day trips! I have spoken here on the blog about Storm King and also Bear Mountain State Park. You can maybe doubt about it, but there are several good places to visit near New York City, perfect for a get-away. Last week, I was lucky to find out about Lavender by the Bay (thanks for the tip, Kelly!) a lavender farm which is located in Long Island, specifically in East Marion in NY State. Who woudl say that is not necessary to go to France to see a wonder like this closely, right? On Sunday last week, we rented a car and we went there!
Lavender By the Bay is New York’s premier lavender farm and one of the largest in the USA. A family run farm, it has been growing the highest quality lavender on Long Island for over 15 years. The farm has planted twenty varieties of lavender across seventeen acres of farmland, yielding over 50,000 plants for cultivation. The place is open to visitors and also has a store, that sells lavenders, of course, honey, cosmetics and other things. Needless to say how much it was amazing to see a plantation of these flowers closely, right? And I don’t need to mention the delicious aroma of the place, right?
The plants come into full, gorgeous bloom during three different times – these are approximations and bloom times are ultimately decided by mother nature. You can’t predict the exact time. The first English Bloom typically takes place mid to late of June and sometimes into early July. The main French Bloom usually begins in early July and lasts about 2 weeks. This is the best time to visit because this bloom is the most impressive. The second English Bloom typically starts late Summer early Fall. You can check the Fan Page for blooming status.
The farm opens Friday thru Sunday 9AM-5PM for the month of May. From June to September, it is open 7 days a week 9AM-5PM (they close the fields at 4:30). In October, the farm is only open Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9AM-5PM. During the blooms, there is a $6 (weekdays) or $9 (weekends) per person ages 12 and up field entry fee.
Lavender by the Bay is approximately two hours from Manhattan by car. We had never rented a car before and we took the opportunity to do this. The trip is super nice – much of it for the Long Island Expressway. It was a delight to pass through small towns, to see strawberry plantations and see those nice houses we usually see in the movies. We spend about $72 with the rental car – by Dollar Car Rentals, but we took the car in Astoria.
What about public transportation? There is no public transportation directly to the farm, but you may take the LIRR to the town of Greenport. Lavender by the Bay is only a 15 minute bike ride from the Greenport train station. You can arrange Dan’s Bike Rental to meet you with bikes at your hotel, train or bus stop. But keep in mind that the average price for one person, round-trip, by train, is $40.
Since we drove, we took the opportunity to choose a very nice restaurant for lunch. We stopped at Alure Chowder House & Oysteria before heading to the farm, a seafood restaurant with an amazing view! The menu includes options with shrimp, lobster and fish with prices from $ 20 to $ 27.
It is noteworthy that the area has many interesting things, like many wineries, I’ll still check out, I promise!