What is more lovely than New York City in the spring? I mean, there’s a whole song written about it! If you’re visiting the Big Apple (or live here like I do) and want to know where to see tulips in New York City, I have you covered.
I’m a life-long NYC local and have spent my fair share of time searching for tulips in New York City. Tulips are my favorite flowers because they symbolize the start of spring and the end of winter, which always overstays its welcome. There’s nothing I love more than wandering the busy streets of NYC while the pops of color from tulips stay steady in my periphery.
Anyways, I didn’t want this knowledge to go to waste, so I wanted to share the best spots to find tulips in New York City, based on firsthand experience. Let’s get to it!
P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen: Contrary to popular belief, NYC is a sunny place so don’t forget to wear your sunscreen. Here’s the only sunscreen I use, I discovered it 6 years ago and never leave the house without it.
A (short) history on tulips in New York City
We’re all about educating here at New York Simply, so let’s cover the brief history of tulips in New York City. You never know when this info will come in handy, it’s great prep for trivia night and if you find yourself needing to make small talk (the worst!).
Tulips originated in the Central Asia and were cultivated by the Turks who exported them to the Dutch around the 16th century. It’s believed that the first tulips in New York City date back to the 1600’s when they were brought over by Dutch explorers (did you know NYC was originally called New Amsterdam?) under the leadership of Henry Hudson. Honestly, we can’t thank the guy enough.
Related Reading: 10 Breathtaking Spots for Cherry Blossoms in New York City
Where to Find Tulips in New York City
Park Avenue Tulips
Park Avenue is arguably the most popular spot to find tulips in New York City. Indeed, for many New Yorkers spring doesn’t officially start until the tulips on Park Avenue have bloomed. What makes this spot especially beautiful are the prolific cherry blossom trees along the avenue, everything about Park Avenue screams spring!
West Side Community Garden
Located on 89th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, the West Side Community Garden (WSCG) is a true gem. Locals often consider lounging here one of the most relaxing things to do in the Upper West Side.
Originally founded in 1976 to address an eyesore (a neglected trash-strewn vacant lot), the garden is privately owned and run by volunteers that rely on donations and grants.
The garden is a joy to visit any time of year, but it truly shines in the spring. More than 15,000 tulips adorn the garden in the most colorful display, it’s easily one of the best places to see tulips in New York City.
Further Reading: 20 EPIC Things to Do on the Upper West Side
Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park span 550 acres and hugs the Hudson River, offering spectacular waterfront views. In fact, more than 400 acres of Hudson River Park is located on piers that stretch over the water. The park is popular with locals and visitors alike every season of the year, but it truly shines in the spring when the tulips poke through.
The highest concentration of tulips can be found by the Irish Hunger Memorial and Belvedere Plaza.
Further Reading: 10 ICONIC NYC Parks Everyone Should Know About
New York Public Library
You simply can’t visit New York City without seeing the New York Public Library. It’s a breathtaking sight and something I highly recommend for all first-time visitors.
When it opened to the public in 1911, the New York Public Library was officially the largest marble building ever built in the country. No small task, considering it took 16 years to construct this monolithic structure, but the wait was worth it — more than 50,000 people showed up on opening day.
To that end, you’ll probably swing by during your time in NYC and luckily for you, this is a great spot to find tulips in New York City!
Admittedly there’s not as many tulips here as some of the other places mentioned on the list, but what this area lacks in numbers it makes up for in beauty. I mean, anything in front of the two iconic library lions is bound to impress!
If you’re curious, the two lions in front of the library are called Patience and Fortitude, here’s why.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of the best spots in NYC for spring blooms, and the tulips are no exception! Come here for a dazzling display of blooming tulips and cherry blossoms. There’s no better place to be during a warm spring day.
The highest concentration of spring blooms can be found at the Shakespeare Garden, Cherry Valley, the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum and Daffodil Hill.
Where to find tulips in Central Park
In my opinion, the best spots for tulips in New York City is found at the Shakespeare Garden. A breathtaking display of tulips completely carpets this lovely garden and draws me in on a daily basis during the blooming season. Knowing how beloved this little garden is during the spring months, gardeners try to change the theme every year.
The theme for 2021 was sunrise and the color scheme was pink, red and orange. I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store but one thing is certain — this is one the best spots to see tulips in Central Park.
Opened in 1937, the Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park. Spanning six acres, the garden is sectioned off into three beautiful gardens– the French North Garden, Italian Center Garden and English South Garden.
This is where the highest concentration of tulips in Central Park can be found. The amount of tulips planted varies from year to year but it’s usually an average of 25,000+ tulips, making this garden quite the sight to behold.
Further Reading: 15 ICONIC Things to Do in Central Park
Grand Army Plaza
Located in the southeast corner of Central Park, Grand Army Plaza is one of the best spots to find tulips in NYC. A carpet of color graces the feet of Sherman’s statue while the iconic plaza hotel looms in the background.
Where to see tulips in New York City (Post Summary)
In sum, here’s a quick roundup of where to see tulips in New York City.
- Park Avenue Tulips
- West Side Community Garden
- Hudson River Park
- West Village Apple Garden
- New York Public Library
- Rockefeller Center
- The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Shakespeare Garden
- Conservatory Garden
- Grand Army Plaza
“Quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again.Joan Didion
Map of best spots for tulips in NYC
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