red tulips in garden

Why You Need to Add the Sonnenberg Gardens to Your Finger Lakes Itinerary

Complete any stay in the Finger Lakes area with a stroll through the Sonnenberg Gardens. The picturesque garden is one of two in the New York State Park System and is located on the edge of downtown Canandaigua! You’ll feel relaxed as you take in the beautiful 50-acre estate. Before you arrive at your Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide. You’ll discover all the best places in the area to dine, things to do, and sights to see.

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What You’ll See at the Sonnenberg Gardens

Sonnenberg Gardens Mansion and State Historic Park is home to nine internationally inspired gardens. While exploring the grounds, you’ll discover a Lord and Burnham greenhouse complex, which is one of only five open to the public in the country!

The Japanese Garden has been around for more than 100 years! It’s a tranquil area with water cascading through a tea house and under several bridges. You’ll feel peace and serenity as you walk through this garden.

A must-see is the Italian Garden! You’ll see 15,000 red and gold annuals spread throughout four flower beds. It almost resembles a carpet made of flowers!

Take a magical stroll through the Moonlight Garden at night! It’s the smallest of all the gardens but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful! Come on Friday nights in July for an experience like no other! “Moonlight Strolls” is an annual series with enchanting lights and great music!

The Sonnenberg Mansion in Canandaigua, New York

Tens of thousands of people visit the gardens every year as it’s one of the few Country Place Era Estates in the country! You’ll find beautiful architecture, statues, themed gardens, and a greenhouse complex. The flower-filled gardens are surrounded by fascinating history and culture!

The History of the Sonnenberg Mansion

Over the past century, the mansion has had its ups and downs. A New York City bank financier named Frederick Ferris and the daughter of a New York governor, Mary Clark Thompson, bought a farmhouse in 1863. Over time, the couple purchased more land and replaced the brick farmhouse with a 40-room Queen Anne-style mansion.  

Frederick died in 1899 and that’s when Mary decided to dedicate the mansion to him by redesigning and growing beautiful gardens on the property. Mrs. Thompson later traveled the world for inspiration and created beautifully themed gardens. She then recreated Medieval, Renaissance, English, Japanese, and Victorian gardens back at the mansion.

The federal government bought the property in 1931, which lead to a road of neglect and vandalism. In 1966, a local citizen’s movement worked together to preserve 50 acres of the property. This was an amazing turning point for Sonnenberg Gardens as the garden was completely restored and open to the public in 1973!

Stay With Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Are you ready to discover the best things Canandaigua, NY, has to offer? After exploring the beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens, return to one of our luxurious vacation rentals on the lake! Peaceful Sanctuary in Canandaigua is an elegant private home that accommodates 12. Spend time with your family and friends at the wet bar or unwind in the hot tub. This is the perfect home for making great memories!

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