Our Favorite Ways to Spend the Holidays Around Raleigh, NC

Raleigh. At this corner of the research triangle, there’s more than meets the eye, the region quietly marching forward in academics, sport, medicine, the arts, and growth. Whether tourist, returnee, or local, if you’ve chosen the Raleigh area as your destination, you won’t be disappointed. Read on for some of our favorite holiday season festivals and events in the area and get ready to see Raleigh like never before.

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival

Enjoy the massive light sculptures, feats of acrobatics and athleticism, and the festivities of the holiday season with North Carolina’s Chinese American community during the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival in nearby Cary! Beautifully lit and intricate dragons, birds, whales, pandas, and other symbols of Chinese culture and faces of the holiday seasons are in great size and wondrous display in this event where East meets West. Aside from the lights, there are also a number of Chinese acrobatics performances, accompanied by plenty of delicious dining options. Of course, everyone gets together during the festivities to assemble and release their own lanterns during the event each night. Come experience this North Carolina spectacle that only draws bigger and bigger crowds each year at the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival!

https://www.boothamphitheatre.com/events-tickets/events/chinese-lantern-festival

Raleigh Christmas Parade

Enjoy a classic, small-town Christmas parade complete with live music, dance, appearances by some of the most famous and beloved faces of the Research Triangle community. This Raleigh tradition has brought smiles, memories, and holiday joy to generations of North Carolinians, and is a great way for visitors to experience and get to know the Raleigh community at one of its happiest moments of the year. Also adding to the fun are themed floats, twirlers, massive balloons, and local acts! Bring the whole party to the Raleigh Christmas Parade in this charming and inclusive event.

https://www.visitraleigh.com/event/77th-annual-abc11-raleigh-christmas-parade/78687/

Cary’s Annual Kwanzaa Celebration

Celebrate and reflect on the beauty and accomplishments of Black American heritage at Cary’s Annual Kwanzaa Celebration, where visitors of all backgrounds are encouraged to join and share in the spirit of the holidays. Among the festivities are storytelling and spoken word events, movie showings, crafts and activities, dance and song performances.

https://www.townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/events/holiday-events/kwanzaa

First Night

Kick-off the New Year Raleigh style in this electric and engaging annual tradition, First Night Raleigh! This is an action-packed night of open houses at some of the city’s most renowned institutions, live music, and dance performances, rides, games, shows, and delicious food over some twenty blocks of Raleigh culminating in a grand fireworks display. This is a great way for travelers of all ages and interests to see and do it all around Raleigh, whether it may be a stop at the many historic museums, galleries, and churches participating in the festivities, or joining the crowds, or just seeing and doing a little bit of everything. For those who are looking for a memorable and exciting New Year’s Eve out on the town, look no further than First Night Raleigh.

https://firstnightraleigh.com

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Our Favorite Festivals Around Raleigh, NC

Raleigh. At this corner of the research triangle, there’s more than meets the eye, the region quietly marching forward in academics, sport, medicine, the arts, and growth. Whether tourist, returnee, or local, if you’ve chosen the Raleigh area as your destination, you won’t be disappointed. Read on for some of our favorite autumn festivals and events in the area and get ready to see Raleigh like never before.

North Carolina State Fair

One of the largest events in the Carolinas, the North Carolina State Fair is a fun, colorful (and delicious!) way to celebrate all facets of North Carolina’s identity. Games, rides, vendors, competitions, exhibitions, stunts, and shows are just some of the things visitors can experience at the North Carolina State Fair. Sample famous North Carolina-style barbecue, fresh catches and oysters from the coast, gator and shark meat, and festival fare staples such as deep-fried candy bars. Or enjoy the many stunts and adventures of North Carolina performers, including pig races, lumberjacks throwing axes, floating log runs, and livestock competitions. In addition to the rides, there are a number of edutainment exhibitions showcasing the life and activities of North Carolina of a bygone era. The daring can also ride in a real monster truck, in the dizzying starship, or a number of extreme coasters! Take the group to the North Carolina State Fair, where there’s something for everyone. 

http://ncstatefair.org/2021/index.htm

Hopscotch Music Festival

This event is noted for its scope as well as its scale, bringing over one hundred and twenty bands in various genres to growing crowds each year. If you can catch this event in September, get ready to enjoy the pumping atmosphere and appearance by major names such as Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, The Flaming Lips, CHVRCHES, Pusha T, James Blake, and more! Any concertgoers in the Raleigh area during autumn will want to mark this one on their calendars.

https://hopscotchmusicfest.com

Wendell Harvest Festival

This festival is a great way to learn about the agricultural heritage of North Carolina and the Raleigh area but in a more laid-back manner. Community is at the forefront of the festival here in neighboring, quaint Wendell, where visitors can spend the day with charming small businesses and food trucks, live concerts, and a family area. For travelers with a group of varied ages and interests, this is a great low-stakes addition to any itinerary.

International Festival of Raleigh

The International Festival of Raleigh is a great way to learn about and celebrate the diverse and varied identities of the Raleigh area, a tradition of sharing and unity held since 1986. Here, visitors can sample and learn about the many groups that have come to Raleigh and made it the city it is today, with shows, dance, and cooking classes, small business, and of course, tons of delicious food. Raleigh boasts a stunning diversity of gastronomy, and it truly is something to enjoy if you get the chance, from papaya salad to momo to Sudanese karqadeh, Hungarian goulash, and Vietnamese bun thit nuong. 

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5 Fun Things to do with Kids in Raleigh/Durham

If you’re looking for your next great family adventure, or someplace different to take the kids, we have you covered. Spending a day out with the kids is a great way to recapture your own childlike curiosity and love of play, so we’ve included plenty of options that will make the adults as happy as the kids. Below are some of the best, most unique, and most beloved things to do with your kids in Raleigh and Durham.

TreeRunner Adventure Park

Outdoor, obstacle course adventuring at its finest! TreeRunner Adventure Park offers zip lines and obstacle and ropes courses through the trees. There are five different difficulty levels to choose from as well as seven different courses. They even have a Junior Park for ages 4 to 7 with five different trails and special themed nights (including Harry Potter Night, Rock & Roll, and Beach Bash). Stopping at TreeRunner Adventure Park is a great way for the family to enjoy nature while also experiencing some fun thrills! Make sure to book tickets in advance for the best experience.

Defy Gravity

Defy Gravity is a fun-filled, adrenaline rush – a large-scale trampoline park that is the perfect place to take the kids when everyone’s filled with a ton of energy. You can go bounce crazy on the open jump trampolines, climb the Warped Wall, or learn incredible aerial skills. They even have a ninja obstacle course, foam pits, battle beams, and trapeze. No matter which activity you choose (maybe all of them?), you and the kids are sure to leave smiling. 

Frankie’s Fun Park

A family entertainment center perfect for those families that don’t mind a little friendly competition. Inside the Fun Park, they have mini golf, bumper cars, go-karts, batting cages, and virtual reality. You can also take a ride on the Sidewinder (a swinging pendulum ride), play in the Bumper Boats, or climb the Sky Trail (an obstacle course high in the sky where you’re hooked into a harness for safety). With so much to do, Frankie’s Fun Park is aptly named, and it is a fantastic place to go play with the kids.

Marbles Kids Museum

Located in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, right across from Moore Square, is the Marbles Kids Museum. The Museum offers dozens of interactive exhibits and special programs designed to help children grow and learn while having a wonderful time. Some of the popular exhibits are “Our Town” (a kid-size town based on the community of Raleigh), “Treetunes” (a musical laboratory inspired by the great outdoors), and “Splash” (where you can take an adventure aboard a pirate ship or an underwater submarine). There is something for everyone at Marbles Kids Museum and it is an especially great place for anyone with toddlers or younger kids.

Three Bears Acres

A 50-acre recreational farm that offers several activities for children and adults. Three Bears Acres is an outdoor recreational world that combines popular activities like obstacle courses and climbing a treehouse with toboggan slides and a mud kitchen (where being messy is a requirement). They also have a pond where the family can go for boat rides, slingshots, and an arena set up for “water wars” with water guns. Family day on the weekend is the best time to visit when the concession stand is open, and the entire family can play together. 

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Aquariums around Raleigh, NC

Visitors to Raleigh, those returning home to visit friends and family, and local residents alike will delight in the wealth of aquatic life inside Raleigh’s institutions and throughout the surrounding waters, here in the heart of North Carolina. Read on for some of our favorite aquarium and aquatic life experiences around The City of Oaks.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and its intriguing exhibits have fed the curiosities and imaginations of North Carolinians for over 140 years, covering a wide variety of topics and sciences. The world of aquatic life is one of these topics, with a collection of exhibits showcasing North Carolina’s natural beauty, from the Appalachians down to the Outer Banks. This includes preserved specimens and live animals, such as seahorses, common snapping turtles, eastern box turtles, Cape Fear shiners, and grey tree frogs. 

Visitors can tour the state from the Barrier Islands to the Coastal Reefs, up through the lowlands, and to the mountain streams of North Carolina, in an educative journey through the biomes of North Carolina. In addition, there are also displays of North Carolina’s native insect life, a charming garden, and a resident two-toed sloth! Visitors who are more interested in veterinary sciences and the behind-the-scenes of the museum can also watch scientists at work, and locals can even volunteer to help! For an educational and relaxed visit to North Carolina’s native flora and fauna, come to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 

https://naturalsciences.org

William B. Umstead State Park

The tranquil and verdant world of North Carolina’s wilderness is just a fifteen-minute drive from downtown, here at the William B. Umstead State Park. Here, North Carolinians have returned these grounds to nature, and the end result is an enchanting mix of rising trees and vegetation reclaiming a once inhabited area, a unique historical touch. The more outdoorsy inhabitants of North Carolina have since moved in, including populations of belted kingfishers, great blue herons, beavers, raccoons, and deer. With the introduction of non-native plant and reptile species, there is so much to see at William B. Umstead State Park, and what better way to get to see North Carolina’s native wildlife than in their natural habitat? 

https://www.ncparks.gov/william-b-umstead-state-park/home

Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve

A twenty-minute drive from downtown Raleigh is Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve, a famously fickle portion of North Carolina’s wilderness with notable events occurring year-round for birdwatchers and animal enthusiasts alike. In the early year, vernal pools give a rare glance into the inland stays of a variety of native frogs and amphibians such as spring peepers and upland chorus frogs, in full display (and song!) during this precarious season. Muskrat, beavers, and a number of aquatic species also thrive here in this dense habitat, and during migrations, scores of bird species pass through. Combined with the relatively small size and proximity to neighboring Cary, Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve is as accessible and calming as it is convenient. For a glimpse of North Carolina’s dynamic flora and fauna without having to go far, come to Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve.

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5 Quirky Date Night Destinations in Raleigh

Date night doesn’t have to be the same each time. While we all love cuddling up at the movies or trying new restaurants or embracing a bit of high culture at museums, every once in a while, date night needs to be shaken up. Each city has a hidden world of strange, quirky, and delightful things to do. Try any one of these on your next date night and embrace the weird, whimsical part of life.

Duke Lemur Center

An 85-acre sanctuary for endangered primates that is a step above your traditional visit to the zoo. The Duke Lemur Center is home to one of the largest and most diverse populations of lemurs in the world (outside of Madagascar). Lemurs are some of the most adorable primates in the world, but they are also Earth’s most threatened group of mammals. There are several options for guided or self-guided tours throughout the center.

The Tower Escapes

Escape Rooms have become popular date night activities because it is outside the typical wheelhouse of date night ideas. At The Tower Escapes, you’ll have an option to play the escape game in a real tower. You’ll feel like Rapunzel, trapped in the tower, and will love solving the puzzles and challenges required to escape. Choose from several experiences, including a Medieval adventure, Bootlegger’s Den (where you and your fellow bootleggers must evade the police at the height of prohibition) or become members of a CSI Squad attempting to solve a murder. 

New Hope Valley Railway

Taking a ride in an old-fashioned locomotive is a popular way to spice up date night. On New Hope Valley Railway, you’ll enjoy the chugging of the train engine and the beautiful scenery around you – the North Carolina piney woods. But if a standard train ride doesn’t appeal to you, try the “Operate-a-Loco” tour where you and your date can become the train engineers yourself. Fulfill a childhood dream by driving a real railroad locomotive. 

Go Ape

At night this family-fun adventure becomes a romantic, quirky date setting. The Sundown Sessions at Go Ape Adventures combine the thrill of soaring above the trees on a zipline with the beauty of a moon high above, the peace of a sleeping forest, and the magic of glowing lights at night. There are two tours to choose from, the Treetop Adventure and the Treetop Journey (a shortened, easier version of the Adventure package).

North Carolina Museum of Art Park

Behind the NC Museum of Art is a beautiful 164-acre park that features lush landscaping and artwork by dozens of different, unique artists. The Park offers a special “Art + Nature + People” Scavenger Hunt that helps its visitors make the most of their time. You’ll search for rare bird species, climb a rock sculpture, and regard the local art from entirely new perspectives. 

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Our favourite ways to spend summer in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina. A growing, quiet region with a steady presence in research, athletics and the famous Barbecue. There’s something for everyone in Raleigh, and if this charming area is where you’ll spend the summer- here are some of our favourite things to do in the area.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Visitors who seek an interactive and educational experience here in the research triangle can add this museum to their itineraries. Aside from the wealth of leading research universities in the region, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences also maintains a steady presence as the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast. Here at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, it is a unique and broad collection of living exhibits and involvement that will capture visitors. Visitors can see meteorites up close, observe scientists at work as they study DNA and the stars, see tanks showcasing North Carolina’s reefs and look at microscopic life. There is also the Living Collection, where visitors meet some of the more intriguing residents of the museum, including Snapping Turtles, South American Rainforest Frogs, Seahorses, Glofish and Praying Mantises. Aside from these, there is also the diversity of flora maintained by the museum, events and seminars and a 3-D theatre. 

Yates Mill

Enter a snapshot of what life was like in Earlier North Carolina, a gristmill powered by a water wheel still in operation today. The mill and its small presence in the early works in harmony to preserve and respect its surroundings, a nature reserve. The Mill’s history of survival of attempted arson in the tensions of the Civil War and recent hurricanes is documented for all visitors to the mill. Nature treks and animal watching opportunities are also plentiful in the area. 

SunFest at Dorothea Dix Park

A gorgeous community event occurs around the bloom of the Sunflower Fields at Dorothea Dix Park, every summer. Families, couples and groups of friends all come out to Dix Park to admire the flowers and enjoy a day of festivities with the city. Live Music comes to play, and arts and crafts are on sale and available to participate in. An army of food vendors and food trucks also come to attend the festival, and visitors have a choice of diverse global cuisine like Curry and Tacos, local North Carolina staples such as Barbecue and festive treats such as Ice Cream. Enjoy the Bluegrass, country, food and company at the Sunflower Fields of Dorothea Dix Park.

GalaxyCon Raleigh

Fans of pop culture will be delighted in late summer, as enthusiasts from all interests converge at GalaxyCon Raleigh. Here, the crowds celebrate everything anime, cosplay, gaming, television, comics and cinema- with costume contests, exclusive vendors, interest clubs and celebrity panels. Fans of pop culture young and old will appreciate the diversity and depth of interests- snap a selfie with a ( friendly ) T-800 Terminator, search for rare Funkos and Comic Books, hunt for an autograph, or ask an actor that question you always had.  

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5 Great Place to Have a Picnic in Raleigh/Durham, NC

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Raleigh or Durham.

Raleigh Rose Garden

A beautiful, traditionally landscaped garden with a wide variety of roses. Stone pathways traipse through the garden, fountains provide elegant focal points in the center of the garden, and vine-wrapped pergolas make for some shade as you walk around. This garden is tranquil and not so overcrowded with flowers or landscaping that you feel overwhelmed by it. Pause for a picnic on the steps of the Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre which overlooks the garden.

JC Raulston Arboretum

Arboretums are usually phenomenal places to picnic because they are well-designed and full of greenery. This living museum has plant life from nearly every climate in the world, but the best parts are the benches and picnic tables scattered along the paths of the Arboretum. There are even plenty of fields for an open picnic where you can play catch with the frisbee or football.

Dorothea Dix Park

There is no other park so classically setup for picnics as Dorothea Dix Park. The majority of the park is a vast, open lawn with the occasional tree for shade. The space is perfect for picnics in the sun, with lawn games and more than enough room to spread out and enjoy oneself. In the summer, Dorothea Dix Park becomes extra special when the field of sunflowers blooms. 

William B. Umstead State Park

This park boasts over 5,000 acres of woodlands with three manmade fishing lakes. There is so much to explore that visiting the park can feel overwhelming but is hard to go wrong. Picnic Pavilions are located nearly everywhere, and benches can be found along the trails. The lakes have walking trails and open grass areas to stop, sit and eat. Or you can follow Sycamore Trail and choose to picnic on the large rocks along Sycamore Creek, watching the water rush by you.

Eno River State Park

Much like William Umstead Park, Eno River State Park is vast. It is filled with woodland trails, bridges, and many rocks over the river to climb on. Many people opt to canoe along Eno River, stopping for lunch when they find a landing site along the way. You can also picnic on the lawn near the historic Piper-Cox House. Be sure not to miss the suspension bridge (also known as the Eno River Pedestrian Bridge) for a fun start to your hike. 

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Raleigh, NC

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

William B Umstead State Park

8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

William B. Umstead State Park is a North Carolina covering 5,599 acres nestled between the expanding cities of Raleigh, Cary, and Durham, North Carolina. It offers hiking, bridle, bike trails, boat rentals, camping, picnic areas, and educational programs. Part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile-long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida, runs through the park.  Hikers, trail runners, bicyclists, and equestrians cherish the extensive network of hiking and multi-use trails at William B. Umstead State Park. Trailheads on both sides of the park—accessible from Interstate 40 and US 70—surround three man-made lakes.

Marbles Kids Museum

201 East Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Marbles Kids Museum is a nonprofit children’s museum in the Moore Square Historic District. Marbles was founded in 2007 as a result of the merger between Exploris, an interactive global learning center, and Playspace, a children’s museum aimed at preschool through early elementary age children. Marbles’ mission is to “..spark imagination, discovery and learning through play.”  Play is how children learn best!  At Marbles, play is fun and educational, with innovative hands-on exhibits, award-winning programs, and larger-than-life movies. 

Neuse River Trail

Raleigh, NC

The Neuse River Trail is a 33-mile long paved greenway located in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, running along the banks of the Neuse River from Falls Lake Dam to the town of Clayton. The route passes through the jurisdictions of Raleigh, Wake Forest, Knightdale, and Clayton in Wake and Johnston counties. The Neuse River Greenway trail is part of the Capital Area Greenway system as well as the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that crosses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. Open to both cyclists and pedestrians, the Neuse River Trail is the longest greenway trail in North Carolina and the longest paved trail between northern Virginia and western Georgia. The Neuse River Trail is a part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida.

Historic Yates Mill County Park

4620 Lake Wheeler Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603

Yates Mill is a fully restored, circa 1756 gristmill that is the centerpiece of Historic Yates Mill County Park in central Wake County. The park features the restored mill, a visitor center with a museum focused on milling and on the natural history of the area, classrooms, an auditorium, and space for research conducted by North Carolina State University faculty and students; a 20-acre lake; and extensive hiking trails. The park is managed as a native wildlife refuge with a mission to study and interpret the park’s cultural, natural, and agricultural heritage.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Raleigh

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Raleigh this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Go to a Baseball Game

As the ultimate American pastime, baseball pairs perfectly with Independence Day! And Raleigh’s team, the Bulls, just happen to be playing the Gwinnett Stripers all Fourth of July weekend. Games typically start around 6 pm each day and you can get tickets here. Thursday the 1st is “Beats, Brews & Baseball” and Friday the 2nd will feature a post-game firework show. Stay tuned for if they plan anything special during the games on Saturday and Sunday.

EnoFest

The 42nd Annual EnoFest is returning this year! If you haven’t heard of the Eno River Association, they’re a non-profit organization that works to protect the environment, wildlife habitats, and natural resources of the Eno River Basin. And they know how to throw a good party! The event will kick off on Friday with a free virtual concert, before moving to an in-person, ticketed festival over the weekend. The festival will be located in the Eno City Park and will include live entertainment (over 40 bands), food and drinks (including food trucks), craft vendors (over 60 local makers), art, dance, and fun! Tickets are under $50 with discounted two-day passes and discounts for children. Proceeds go to helping support the organization’s environmental work.

Lake Johnson Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Lake Johnson Park. It has picnic facilities you can rent, BBQ grills, and plenty of shady spots to lay out some picnic blankets. There’s also enough to do here to spend a whole festive Fourth of July, such as:

·   Hammock posts for a post-meal nap

·   A lake with boat rentals and fishing

·   Over 5 miles of walking trails, plus a “fitness trail”, where you can burn off the calories from those hot dogs

·   Wildlife viewing (it’s a nature preserve)

·   A swimming pool

Laser Light Show

On both evenings of Fourth of July weekend, there will be a free, socially distanced laser light show at the Durham County Memorial Stadium. You can watch the show either from within your car or bring a lawn chair and sit in the marked space directly in front of your vehicle. Make sure you register ahead to secure a parking space!

Knightdale Community Pool

Cooling off in the water is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Raleigh has public pools where you can do just that! Knightdale Community Pool is a great one to check out, and will be open on Sunday the 4th from 12 to 6 pm. Admission for folks 13 and up is $5 for residents and $6 for non-residents, or you can also buy a summer pass.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Raleigh

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educates with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening as well as the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

JC Raulston Arboretum

4415 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

In 1976, J. C. made the first plantings at the North Carolina State University Research Farm Unit 4 (now the Horticultural Field Laboratory) on Beryl Road on portions of an eight-acre parcel designated as the NCSU Arboretum. Over the years, the Arboretum would grow to ten and a half contiguous acres, be renamed in his memory as the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Juniper Level Botanic Garden

9241 Sauls Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603

The goal and passion at JLBG is to be one of the most unique botanic gardens in the world. In the quest for new plants, JLBG has initiated over 80 botanical expeditions and sponsored many more, both domestic and global, since 1994. JLBG also works closely with the top plant explorers and breeders around the world to grow and evaluate the best in new ornamental plants.

WRAL Azalea Gardens

2619 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606

The gardens may be expanding into another section. It appeared the ground had been prepared for new plantings, and there were some containers of new plants.  I will return in June to see the hydrangeas and other flowers and plants as it is a nice place to visit and see the changes throughout the year.

Sarah P Duke Gardens

420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708

Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a 55-acre public botanic garden on the campus of Duke University. Among its many attractions are Italianate terraces, an Asiatic arboretum, a garden of native plants, an organic food garden, a white garden, a rose circle, a Japanese tea house and pavilion, water gardens, a memorial garden, water lily pools, a duck pond, and a century-old fountain. Duke Gardens also has a café, gift shop, and visitor center with an elegant rental hall.

North Carolina Botanical Garden

100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Our guiding mission is to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. We are a conservation garden focused on the plant of the southeastern United States.

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