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Other Things to Do While You Are Here

Public Gardens

There are a number of outstanding Public Gardens that you can visit during your trip to North Carolina. Described below are several exceptional public gardens in Piedmont of North Carolina that can be visited on your own schedule.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Located at 420 Anderson St. Durham, N.C. on the campus of Duke University. It is 55 acres of landscaped and woody areas. There are 4 distinct areas: the Historic Terrace garden, the HL Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, the WL Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, and the Doris Duke Center Gardens.

North Carolina Botanical Garden

Located at 100 Old Mason Farm Rd. on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. As one of the largest natural botanical gardens in the Southeast, its mission is to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. The display gardens feature native plants, herbs, natural habitats, children’s wonder garden, nature trails, outdoor sculptures, plant sales, and a gift shop.

JC Raulston Arboretum

Located at 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh, N.C., the 10 -acre JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast. Plants especially adapted to Piedmont North Carolina conditions are collected and evaluated in an effort to find superior plants for use in southern landscapes.

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden

Located at 215 S. Main St., Kernersville, N.C .in the historic district. It opened in 2011 with 7 acres under development and 15 gardens showcasing 1300 different kinds of plants. The purpose of the garden is to achieve education, passive recreation, and the cultivation, display, preservation and conservation of garden plants. It is to be a living classroom, civic gathering space, and a place of beauty.

Greensboro Arboretum

Located at 401 Ashland Dr., Greensboro, N.C. in Lindley Park. It is 17 acres featuring 14 plant collections that offer rich educational opportunities for everyone.

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

Located at 3395 Airport Rd., Pinehurst, N.C. It was established in 1978 with the creation of the Ebersole Holly Garden. Today with 32 acres, there are gardens of diverse designs including the natural environment of the North Carolina Sandhills.

Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden

Located at 348 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, NC. The house and garden were the home of celebrated garden writer and plantswoman Elizabeth Lawrence from 1949 to 1984. The Elizabeth Lawrence Garden is the most intact and best preserved work of Miss Lawrence and played a central role in two books that are considered classics in garden literature: The Little Bulbs: A Tale of Two Gardens, published in 1957, and Gardens in Winter, published in 1961.

Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Located at 206 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, N.C., Wing Haven was begun in 1927 by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson, it is a historic garden cultivating sanctuary in nature, environmental stewardship, and the legacy of southern horticulture. It is one block walking distance from the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden

It is located on the UNCC campus at 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, N.C. Begun in 1966, its ten acres serve as a living classroom and horticultural resource for the campus and community.

Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at High Point University

The Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, is a collection of 25 gardens on the campus. The arboretum contains 350 taxa of trees and 2500 different plants. The gardens include roses, herbs, azaleas, bulbs, perennials, woodland ephemerals, a lake, shade and sunny borders, and a sculpture garden.

Other Activities in Durham and Raleigh

November is a great time for outdoor activities in central and coastal North Carolina. Typical highs in mid-November are in the mid-60s with lows in the 40s. Fall leaves are normally at their peak color in the Raleigh - Durham area during early November but can be later depending on the weather. 

Durham has a unique mix of rich history, pioneering achievements, and diverse culture. Visit the Duke Homestead where Washington Duke began a tobacco empire or Brightleaf Square's shopping district. Check out Durham's Visitor's Center for many more places of interest. Other noteworthy places to visit include:

  • Durham Performing Arts Center

  • The Nasher Museum of Art

  • Bennett Place State Historic Site

  • Duke University Chapel

Raleigh, the state capital, is more than the seat of state government. The North Carolina Museum of Art, located near the JC Raulston Arboretum, has a new Sculpture Park with trails and a huge collection of art work. The History Museum and Natural Science Museum, both in downtown, offer interesting and informative exhibits on the cultural and natural history of North Carolina. Other places to visit include:

  • The Executive Mansion

  • Mordecai Historic Park

  • Umstead State Park

  • State Farmers' Market