"Sonnenberg Gardens" Canandaigua Things to Do Tip by davecallahan

Canandaigua Things to Do: 16 reviews and 45 photos

by davecallahan
  • Sonnenberg Gardens - Canandaigua
  • New Horizons band playing at Sonnenberg - Canandaigua
      New Horizons band playing at Sonnenberg
    by davecallahan
  • Sonnenberg Gardens - Canandaigua

Over the last 30 years I have been to Sonnenberg Gardens probably a half-dozen times. Each time the place has focused on a different aspect of the property. Originally the gardens and the formal landscaping were paramount, later the mansion was most important and at other times it has been the special events that have been held there. But each occasion has been interesting and worth a couple hours of my time.

In recent times, the administration of the park has been under heavy financial strain (to the point of almost going bankrupt) but it appears that there is still life left in the old place yet.

Most of the gardens are rose gardens with various themes: british, japanese, colonial american. Other gardens are chiefly shrubs and trellises and rocks and ponds. Seasonally, flowers like tulips and pansies and mums will come into focus in the gardens.
The mansion is extensive with rooms of momentos of the past owners and period pieces of furniture and furnishings (china, flatware, tapestries). It is the part of the property that has probably been the least attended to until recently.
To attract more customers, a wine cellar has been added and seems to be popular among tourists making the rounds in the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.
Their is a small cafe that is open in good weather, that serves basically soup and sandwiches.

Weddings, official gatherings, holiday events and personal parties have been held on the premises. I remember taking the kids to a couple of the Haloween layouts that involved the garden and lawns of the property. Self-guided tours are typical but you can get a guided tour for your group by scheduling with the Sonnenberg Office.

I am sure that I have not yet made my last visit to Sonnenberg.... maybe I will see you there next time.

Address: 151 Charlotte Street
Directions: get to route 332 and go to downtown Canandaigua, east on Gibson St. (local route 21) then north on Charlotte St., see the signs
Website: http://www.sonnenberg.org

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 21, 2007
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