Seeing a news clip about a "Summer Concert Series" at Bayard, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and off we went to see "The Home Grown String Band. Parking is easy; a paved, level lot with an entire row of handicapped spaces. It is less than one tenth of a mile to the main entrance of the mansion. There is a ramp and double doors at the entrance.
The first floor of the mansion is wheelchair accessible, including the bathrooms. This floor is open to the public even when tours are not available. We especially love the stained glass windows and fireplace!
The Hidden Oak Cafe is located here. Reasonably priced, all food is prepared on premises, and it is tasty! What more could one ask for? Nice seating inside, and easily accessible seating outside on a large deck facing the river. We stood in line, ordered our lunch, found a seat on the deck and enjoyed the view. After lunch we headed down the paved path to the lower boat house where the concert was being held. The shaded location near the water was a perfect spot for the music. There were two benches here, but it was good that we brought our own chairs.
If you don't want to eat, or just want to relax you can grab an Adirondack chair on the huge lawn inviting one to sit and relax.
The 691 acres with 14 different gardens, a 65 room mansion and river walk was donated to the Long Island State Park Region by Mrs. W. Bayard Cutting and her daughter, “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.” It is a “passive park; no biking, picnicking, sports, bathing or games.” (website)
Flat, gravel paths wind through the various gardens. The river walk is a wide, gravel path that meanders for about a mile along the Connetquot River. With many benches, one can easily stop to enjoy the peacefulness of the river. Although the vast majority of the paths here are gravel, it is not too difficult to navigate because they are so level.
Even if one does not walk the paths, the scenic views from the café can be enjoyed while having a lovely lunch. We think it is something you should definitely put on your list of things to do.
We understand that the mansion is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, with high tea available as well. We plan on going. Perhaps we will see you there!
We at Destination:Accessible encourage you to check a venue's website, www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”