Spring is officially here. Though today it doesn’t feel quite like it. But that warm weather is coming, and the flowers are blooming. So what is a better spring activity than getting out and enjoying both of those things at some of the botanical gardens in North Carolina. Sure you can take a walk around the neighborhood or visit a park. But why not visit one of the numerous gardens our state has to offer. While this is far from an all encompassing list it does include 7 botanical gardens in North Carolina you can visit this spring.

The vast majority of these places I have personally visited, and the remaining few come highly recommended. But first what exactly is a botanical garden? You’ve probably heard the term but if you’re like me you may not know exactly what it refers to. According to UNC Charlotte (spoiler alert they are included on this list) a botanical garden is “a purposeful collection of plants grown for more than just their beauty.” They go on to say that, “botanical gardens hold curated collections of plants for inventory, education, conservation, and research.”

So it’s no surprise that many, though not all, of the botanical gardens in North Carolina included on this list are part of universities. Whether you want to just take a relaxing stroll to enjoy the plants, take photos, or are more interested in the individual species, or perhaps want to get inspiration for your own yard or garden the places on this list are wonderful spots to spend the day.

And considering there are always different flowers blooming, one visit is far from enough to fully experience them. So keep reading to see 7 botanical gardens in North Carolina to visit this spring and get to planning your visit perhaps for this weekend.

7 Botanical Gardens in North Carolina

  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

    Located in Belmont North Carolina, just a short drive from Charlotte, you’ll find Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. At Daniel Stowe you’ll find “30 acres of spectacular gardens including a children’s garden, a conservatory dedicated to the display of tropical plants and orchids, a Dry Piedmont Prairie, annual and perennial displays.” There are also walking trails, a garden store, and more! Admission is $14.95 for adults and cheaper for children and seniors. Learn more here.

  • UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

    Did you know UNC Charlotte is home to their own botanical gardens on campus? You’ll find them at 9090 Craver Road in Charlotte.  The outdoor gardens are free to visit and are open dawn to dusk daily. They feature the The Susie Harwood Garden which is home to species that are both native and non-native but grow well within the Carolina Piedmont. There is also the The Van Landingham Glen is a woodland section of the gardens and a sensory garden and Asian garden. Learn more here.

  • Biltmore Estate

    Yes Biltmore Estate is most known for America’s largest privately owned home, The Biltmore House, which is the focal point of the property. But it can’t be understated the beauty of the gardens and grounds on the property as well. The estate is comprised of more than 8,000 acres including a conservatory, Rose Garden that features more than 250 varieties, walking trails and more. Get info here.

  • JC Raulston Arboretum

    Located just minutes from NC State University’s campus in Raleigh is the university’s JC Raulston Arboretum. The botanical garden is nationally acclaimed and is home to one of the “largest and most diverse collections of landscape plants adapted for landscape use’ across the southeastern United States. Admission is free and the gardens are open daily, year round. Learn more here.

  • Sarah P. Duke Gardens

    The Sarah P. Duke Gardens are made up of 55 acres of specialized gardens on the of Duke University in Durham. Admission to the gardens are free, and they are open 8 a.m. to dusk 365 days a year. There are four areas that make up the gardens, these include Terraces & Historic Gardens, Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, and the Doris Duke Center Gardens. Learn more here.

  • Mariana H. Qubein Botanical Gardens

    The Mariana H. Qubein Botanical Gardens are located on the campus of High Point University. They are made up of 30 gardens featuring over 350 species of trees and 2,500 species of plants. Highlights include the Topiary Fusion Garden, Mark and Julie Phillips Sculpture Garden, Lakeside Gardens, and the Pat Plaxico Climbing Rose Garden. The gardens are open to the public 8am-8pm daily with no admission charge. Get more info here.

  • New Hanover Country Extension Service Arboretum

    Located in Wilmington North Carolina the Arboretum as it’s more commonly known “encompasses seven acres of gardens and plantings dedicated to demonstrating the best plant species for southeastern North Carolina landscapes”. They are open daily though times do vary, and while admission isn’t charged donations are accepted. Visitors enjoy the Japanese Garden complete with a stream and tea house, Rose Garden, herb garden that’s home to butterflies and hummingbirds, a Children’s Garden, and more. Find info here.

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