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A lavender field with bright purple blooms.
Photograph: Courtesy of Earth Matter

Take a free stroll through this enchanting secret lavender field in NYC

It's the only lavender field in the city!

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

New York's summertime smells tend to get a bad rap: hot garbage, sweat, vape smoke and other olfactory offenses. But there's one place in the city where you can go this summer to breathe in the delightful herbal aroma of lavender. 

Catch a ferry to Governors Island where you'll find the NYC Lavender Field in all its purple glory. The field is free to visit and definitely worth adding to your summer in NYC bucket list. June, in particular, is the perfect time to drop by as the plants burst into a wave of color.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in NYC this summer

Unsurprisingly given the city's landscape, the NYC Lavender Field is the only lavender field in the city. When you visit, you'll get a chance to stroll along gravel paths through dozens of lavender bushes. More than 500 plants erupt in an ombre wave of color—royal purple, pastel gray, brilliant grape and bluish silver. Every single one is gorgeous. 

A lavender field with the city skyline in the background.
Photograph: By Rossilynne Skena Culgan for Time Out

The garden is home to four different varieties of the plant, all grown without chem­i­cals or pes­ti­cides. They're main­tained by volunteers from Earth Mat­ter, a composting organization, which has run the field since 2017.

If you want to take some lavender home with you, there are a few dates to bookmark. On Sundays from June 16 through July 7, come by the garden from 10:30am to 1pm to make a donation, learn to harvest, and take a bunch of lavender.

"A healing space for the community, pollinators and the earth.

The Lavender Field's co-manager Sarah Lehrich describes it as "a healing space for the community, pollinators and the earth."

Though the field is just a short ferry ride from Manhattan, this fragrant, lush oasis feels worlds away. The garden overlooks Buttermilk Channel at the island's South Battery. When you get off the ferry, you'll walk about 10 minutes to the field. Head toward St. Cornelius Chapel and then you'll soon see the purple blooms.

People walk in a lavender field.
Photograph: Courtesy of Earth Matter

While the experience is certainly Instagrammable, we recommend taking a few precious, phone-free moments to really stop and smell the flowers.

While you're planning a Governors Island adventure, we also recommend making a reservation at Gitano Island for Mexican food and great views. Plus, treat yourself to a pampering session at QC Spa, a luxury Italian spa that's set to debut a major expansion in July.

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