Did you know the largest U-pick tulip farm in the country is next door to NYC in New Jersey? If you didn’t, now you do! With over 8 million tulips, Holland Ridge Farms quite literally puts the ‘garden’ in the Garden State.
Located about 90 minutes outside of NYC in the town of Cream Ridge, this 300-acre Dutch farm brings the picturesque tulip fields you see in the Netherlands like Lisse to the States. There are many beautiful tulip farms spread throughout the USA, especially in Oregon, but I was delightfully surprised when I found out my home state has one as well. Talk about convenience! As a full-time photographer and content creator, this is obviously on my list of photo spots to keep going back to.
There are only a couple of tulip fields around NJ, but I first found out about Holland Ridge Farms specifically back in 2020 during the pandemic. Everything was shut down that year, but when the farm re-opened for the season in 2021 people were antsy from being cooped up for months. Hanging out at a tulip farm was the perfect place to practice social distancing while enjoying the outdoors.
The tulip festival season typically occurs early to mid-spring, aka April. As with cherry blossoms, how long the season lasts and when peak bloom occurs is dependent on the weather. Make sure to plan accordingly though when farms start announcing their tulips are blooming as they’ll only last three to four weeks. It’s Mother Nature’s way of saying carpe diem!
While this is a leisurely activity for walking around, picking flowers, and taking pictures, you still have to be prepared. It’s an open farm after all, with not much shade. If you go on a sunny day you could easily get sun poisoning or dehydrated because you don’t realize how long you’ve been out there. Here are some tips to help plan your visit!
Besides Holland Ridge Farms, there are a couple of other tulip farms in the tri-state area that you can plan a day trip to.
Ticket prices are $15 and it’s $1 per stem if you pick any tulips out. The farm is open all 7 days of the week when the tulips are in season, and they have an allotment time of 4 hours in order to keep traffic flowing. Since this is such a popular spot, they’re very strict about their ticket reservations. Hours of operation each day are between 9 am – and 6 pm.
Another tulip farm in NJ, but in Swedesboro which is in South Jersey closer to Philadelphia or Wilmington, Delaware. It’s about a 2-hour drive from New York City. Tickets are $12 for entry, and it’s $2 per stem or $10 for 10 tulips. Hours of operation each day are 10 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, and 9 am-7 pm Saturday-Sunday with no capped time to stay.
If you prefer to stay in New York in order to avoid the expensive AF turnpike tolls, head out to Manorville, Long Island where the Waterdrinker farm is. What you don’t pay in tolls though, you make up for in the ticket prices. Monday – Friday tickets are $15 per person and $20 per person on the weekend. Their hours are 10 am – 6 pm Monday thru Thursday, 9 am – 6 pm on Sunday, and open until sunset on Friday and Saturday if you want to get some colorful landscape shots. This is the only farm that I’m aware of that’s open late enough to capture shots of tulips with color in the sky.
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