Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park, West Hartford: Hours, Address, Elizabeth Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Elizabeth Park
Parks • Gardens • Jogging Paths & Tracks
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
This walkers' haven, with several gardens along its wildflower trail, a lovely pond and sports and concert facilities, is best known for its magnificent rose garden, with 800 varieties of roses.
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422 reviews
Very good

Boston1,398 contributions
Jun 2021
We visited in June when the roses were at their peak. Spectacular! It's a formal garden, with many arches with climbing roses and symmetrical beds. Glorious color. We went midweek and it was pretty crowded. After 20 minutes we gave up on the idea of eating takeout from the Pond café - there was a long line which barely moved.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Windsor, CT337 contributions
A Park with A Lot to Offer with a Spectacular Rose Garden Making It a Great Place to Enjoy Nature and Outdoor Beauty
Jun 2021
My husband and I visited the Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park, currently named the Helen S. Kaman Rose Garden, on the morning of Tuesday June 22, 2021. It is definitely a great place to enjoy nature and outdoor beauty. The roses were in full bloom and spectacular this time of year! There are many different types of beautiful rose bushes and arches laid out in nicely designed ornamental flowerbeds across multiple rows. Currently the garden includes over 2.5 acres with over 15,000 bushes and over 800 varieties of roses in many different vibrant colors having exquisite fragrances. There were plenty of opportunities to take some rather impressive pictures during our visit.

There were many people at the park for a Tuesday morning about 10:15 AM with rain on its way. We parked along the road next to the Pond House Cafe with only one remaining space available. The large parking lot next to the Garmany Visitor Center was full. Based on this, I would expect to see many people on the weekend, with only limited parking available. There is no admittance fee into the park, gardens or Visitor Center. Parking is also free.

In addition to the parking lot mentioned above, there is another parking lot in the park near the Picnic Area and Western Loop and parking is available along the roads, when allowed. Picnicking is permitted in designated areas but no grills are allowed. Picnic tables are available on a first come, first served basis or you could bring a blanket. Dogs on a leash are also allowed and it is a great place to walk a dog.

History of the Park and Rose Garden:

Elizabeth Park was opened in 1897 and the Rose Garden in 1904, having historical significance being currently the oldest municipal rose garden in the country as well as the third largest. In 1983 the garden was listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The park and rose garden are located on what was formally an estate owned by Charles and Elizabeth Pond called Prospect Hill Farm where they built a grand Second-Empire-Style mansion on Prospect Avenue in 1870 that was demolished in 1956.

The design of the garden is formal from the Victorian era. When the garden opened in 1904 it was in the shape of a square with a vine covered gazebo in the center. A semi-circular section was added to the south end in 1912 and to the north end in 1937. Fortunately the beautiful rose garden was saved from being totally demolished in 1977 by the Friends of Elizabeth Park, currently named the Elizabeth Park Conservancy.

The Garmany Visitor Center:

The park includes the Garmany Visitor Center which has been nicely restored and opened in 2020, and was formerly the Comfort Station built by the Works Program Administration (WPA) in 1940. The Visitor Center, which is open May 1st – October 1st, includes a very nice gift shop featuring art from local area artists and restrooms. The staff member working at the Visitor Center at the time of our visit was very friendly, polite and helpful. There are also pictures of the rose garden and documentation/brochures available depicting the history of the park and rose garden as well as a nice map of the park at the Visitor Center. We got the following brochures from the Visitor Center and found them to be quite helpful, providing great background information:

• ‘From Estate to Public Park: Elizabeth Park’s History & Significance’, Provided by the Elizabeth Park Conservancy and includes a nice milestone timeline of important events applicable to the park,
• ‘.Elizabeth Park: Map and Visitor Guide: Helen S. Kaman Rose Garden, Kim Arboretum’ Provided .by the Elizabeth Park Conservancy, and
• ‘Helen S. Kaman: First President of the Elizabeth Park Conservancy’, Provided by the Elizabeth Park Conservancy.

Other Gardens in Elizabeth Park:

Along with the background information on the park and rose garden, the documentation described the various other gardens in Elizabeth Park. Opposite the Helen S. Kaman Rose Garden there are four more gardens that connect through pathways and entrances, that are also beautiful and are nice to take photographs of. These include:

• The Heritage Rose Garden
• The Julian and Edith Eddy Rock Garden
• The Perennial Garden
• Robert A. Prill Tulip-Annual Garden

In addition, there is the Charlie Ortiz Hosta Garden located by the Pond as well as multiple horticultural gardens and a medicine garden. There is also the Kim Arboretum with native and unique trees, some even planted by Charles Pond.

The Pond House Café:

One of our favorite restaurants, the Pond House Café, which is open for dining and banquets, including weddings, is also located in the Park. We hope that the Pond House Café extends its hours that it is currently open very soon. We have always enjoyed the restaurant and hope that we could continue to.

More Information:

In addition, the park has tennis courts, baseball fields. lawn bowling, basketball courts and a playscape..
To plan an event in the park you need to contact the City of Hartford for a reservation, a permit and associated fees.

This is definitely a very nice park to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful gardens, including the spectacular roses, with the added bonus of it being free. This park has a lot to offer and that is why I have rated it with an excellent rating.  
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD6,283 contributions
What a perfect place to picnic.
Jun 2021
We stopped here today for lunch. After parking on the north side, we walked downhill ~1/4 mile, passing the pond with fountains and geese to the center feature, the large circular rose garden.
What a perfect place to picnic, sitting in one of the shaded benches watching the visitors taking photos with kids and dogs in tow.
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David A
New Britain, CT352 contributions
So Serene
May 2021
Have been here many times but never reviewed. What a beautiful park. Probably the nicest rose garden in the state and one of the nicest in the country. First two weeks of June are breath-taking. Great for a walk or a reflective and peaceful sit on a bench overlooking the pond. Beautiful restaurant (The Pond House) in the middle of the park. Parking can be tight on a nice spring or summer day. If you live in the vicinity of Hartford and haven't been here before, do yourself a favor and plan on an hour or two visit. Just beautiful!
Written May 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Madalyn L
10 contributions
Jul 2020 • Friends
Absolutely beautiful! Magnificent rose and other floral gardens. Interesting tree specimens and an old stone bridge by the pond. Enjoyed a wonderful, delicious lunch at the outdoor cafe. The most beautiful garden’s I’ve ever seen.
Written January 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lawrence, KS64 contributions
A peaceful walk for a couple
Nov 2020
Can't wait to go back when the roses are in full bloom. I can't even imagine how beautiful it will be when all the arches have blooms on them. I loved visiting even when it was just the vines so I know I will love it even more in another season. The park is a beautiful walk all the way around the rose gardens. Highly recommend for a nice walk outdoors or sitting on a bench near the water.
Written November 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Indianapolis, IN59 contributions
Wonderful walk
Oct 2020 • Solo
It’s a wonderful place to take a long walk, enjoy the gardens, and beautiful scenery! Nice, safe area. We enjoyed our visit.
Written October 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brookfield, CT111 contributions
Beautiful when the roses are in bloom!
Jun 2020
We went in late June for the roses. This was the most extensive area covered with roses I've ever seen, more than at any botanical garden! They say it's the third largest rose garden in the country. The garden is aesthetically well designed as far as symmetry and colors. There are other beautiful gardens as well (e.g., rock garden)
Written June 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marcela M
West Hartford, CT195 contributions
May 2020
Just moved here from Boston in March. My boyfriend and I took a walk around the block and to our surprise we walked right into the park. 7 min walking distance from out house! Of course there was nothing to quite see yet but you could tell it was going to look beautiful in the spring. We walk down there at least 3xs a week. Its so big there is tons to see. They have a cute little cafe, which I assume they will not open until this COVID is over. We were recently there 2 weeks ago and some of the garden was blooming & some of the roses were about to bloom. I absolutely love it there.
Written June 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bristol, CT21 contributions
Favorite Park For Pictures
Sep 2019
As an amateur photographer of flowers and people, I love Elizabeth Park for this reason. The flowers are beautiful during their time of bloom and the park is large enough to offer something for everyone.
Written May 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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