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“An amazing place tucked away from the bustle of NYC and most travel guides”

New York Chinese Scholar's Garden
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden is truly unique attraction that adds new dimension to our understanding of life in ancient China and serves as the perfect setting for a host of multi-cultural events. It features magnificent rockery that resemble mountains that inspired the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks and other scholars. Visitors can explore eight pavilions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Ghongshi scholar's rocks including a 15-foot formation that towers over the central courtyard. The Garden is a compilation of different gardens in China. It is based on Ming Dynasty Gardens (1368-1644). The New York Scholar's garden is the one of two authentic scholar's gardens in the United States. A team of 40 Chinese artists and craftsmen spent a year in China creating the Garden's components and another six months in Staten Island as craftsmen-in-residence at Snug Harbor to complete the construction. The Chinese Scholar's Garden at Snug Harbor is one of only two authentic scholar's gardens in the United States.
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Just visited it for the second time and nearly missed it - it seems sort of "officially closed" for the winter but not really locked up - you are free to come in and enjoy. Blooming trees and no people made it even more special than my first time in the summer.

2  Thank Marassa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 - 108 of 111 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2012

A lot more people would visit if it were more accessible. A taxi ride would cost $$$. First you have to take the 6 train to Ferry at the foot of Manhatten. Then catch the ferry that runs every 1/2 hour to Staten Island. Next, off the ferry for a 2 block walk to the buses. Find the stand for the #40 bus. (You could take the 44, but that lets you off in the back and requires a long walk all the way around). Bus runs 3 times/hour; 4 times during the rush hour. The bus drops you off right at the Snug Harbor complex entrance. Ask the driver to let you know. Walk across the road and through the (hopefully) unlocked arched gate. Directions are almost nonexistent. You will see a row of imposing buildings. Turn right and walk past the last building. Turn left walk up a rise and there will be a road going to the back of the property. There are a rows of five houses on the right hand side. Walk to the 5th house. Walk up the walkway and around the side of the house. Walk through the iron gate and follow the path back about a block. Ask people along the way.

The garden itself is modestly maintained, but interestingly constructed. See some of the other gardens and museums there.

While waiting for the bus on the way back, be sure and read the interesting sign about Herman Melvilles connection at the bus stop.

You will spend more time in transit than at the garden. Very few people visit. That said, everybody that likes gardens will like this garden.

5  Thank kasey1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011

Like culture and a spiritual awakening in NYC?
Very sothing and much to learn about.

2  Thank Travelbear007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2009

I live on Staten Island with a Chinese woman. I am not Chinese. One afternoon, to make her happy, we visited the gardens. We have returned, alone and with visitors, at least 12 times in the last 3 years.
It is a great place to relax and meditate. There are things to see and learn in all seasons, and it is at Snug Harbor where there are many other attractions.

9  Thank Blumlink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2016
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Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melissa W, Public Relations Manager at New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 21 October 2016
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