8 places in North Carolina to see spring blooming in all its glory

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of The North Carolina Arboretum via Instagram.

By Dorothy Scott

April 9, 2024

From hyacinths to tulips, North Carolinians deserve to see spring blooms blossom in all their glory.

As the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, but you don’t have to wait until May to see spring bloom in all its glory in North Carolina. Most perennials bloom in our beautiful state in April, and many shrubs and trees follow suit. However, many of the latter two groups bloom in May and June as well, so you won’t be able to see every native plant species bloom until summer and even beyond. Still, April and May see a great variety of foliage waking up for the warmer months, and they can wake you up with their beauty, too.

Some of the most common perennials in North Carolina include dwarf crested irises, foamflowers, obedient plants, a few unique species of sunflowers, and many different species of aster flowers, which are often characterized by their long, thin petals. Our forests are even home to enchanting-sounding plants like the blue mistflower, dutchman’s breeches, and the aptly named spring beauty flower. On the shrub side, you can look forward to witnessing Carolina allspice (also known as sweetbush), hoary azalea, sweet pepperbush, and more come to life.

With winter coming to an end, it’s officially time to get out and see these plants come into themselves, which is why we’ve gathered the best spots to become one with nature and see spring flowers in North Carolina. From parks to arboretums and botanical gardens, there’s a place for everyone on our list — and you really won’t want to deny yourself spring’s smile after how gray and rainy this winter was.

1. North Carolina Botanical Garden

Address: 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Funded by a nonprofit organization, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is a stunning conservation garden in Chapel Hill that brings people and nature closer together. It accomplishes this not only by merely immersing humans in a world of foliage but also by hosting lectures and various other events that educate curious people about conservation and keeping nature healthy. Covering more than 1,000 acres, including hiking trails, this garden is perfect for those wanting leisurely walks as well as sporty folks who want to incorporate exercise into their bloom-viewing time.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of NC Botanical Garden via Instagram.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina natives know that you sometimes only need to hit the road to see the best blooms. Blue Ridge Parkway runs up the northwestern side of the Tarheel State into Virginia, but you don’t have to cross the border to see your fair share of flowers. Because you can see them in the car, this entry is particularly great for folks with disabilities who want to enjoy spring’s arrival in all its glory.

But just what might you see? As you drive along the parkway, you’ll encounter allegheny blackberry, bead lily, black locust, fetterbush, foam flower, mayapple, and painted trillium plants — and so, so much more. Different plants bloom along the parkway all year, so it may be worth making a semi-annual tradition out of driving some of the parkway closest to you to soap up each season’s gifts.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Parkway via Instagram.

3. Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Address: 151 WT Weaver Blvd, Asheville, NC 28804

Nonprofit-funded like the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville is a free attraction that any plant lover will adore. These gardens are home to countless plant species — okay, hundreds, but that’s pretty countless when you consider how much one can really take in during one visit.

What sets this collection of plants apart from other gardens is its rare and endangered species. According to the gardens’ website, the site is home to over 70 such plants. With that in mind, there’s no reason not to head to Asheville for a day spent under the spring sun — just don’t forget to pop into the gift shop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to purchase a token of your time spent among the blooms.

4. Pisgah National Forest

Ready to metaphorically get lost in a day of springtime adventuring? Pisgah National Forest should be your go-to destination. With over 500,000 acres — and those all being in North Carolina — this forest has room for everyone to get in some quality bloom-viewing, especially for those more interested in trees and shrubs than just flowers. This forest is full of trails, and it has gorgeous watering holes (that’s what we’re calling its beautiful waterfalls and rivers) for all of your break and photography needs.

For the best plant views, the United States Forest Service recommends checking out the South Toe River Area, the Harmon Den Area, and the Hot Springs Area. Our top plant picks, you ask? For trees, we particularly adore the American sycamore, the redwood, and the catawba rhododendron. For flowers, it’s all about spring beauties and mountain laurels to us.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of Pilot Cove via Instagram.

5. Elizabethan Gardens

Address: 1411 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954

If you guessed that the Elizabethan Gardens are named after Elizabeth I (that’s the one who feuded with Mary, Queen of Scots, not the one who died in 2022), you’d be correct. In fact, this nonprofit-funded sanctuary, nestled in the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, boasts a bronze statue of the queen on its premises. Naturally, though, you’re here for the flowers, and these gardens have plenty — plus an annual butterfly release if you visit early enough in spring.

The Elizabethan Gardens’ spring blooms include breathtaking hyacinths, Japanese cherries, winterhazels, narcissuses, buckeyes, foxgloves, and so many more. And you’re in luck if you want to learn more about these blooms, as the Elizabethan Gardens hosts workshops and classes to help unite people and plants.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of The Elizabethan Gardens via Instagram.

6. Biltmore Estate

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

The Biltmore Estate is a tourist attraction like no other, but even if you’ve visited it before for its museum and gift shop, you’ll want to come again in early spring to see the massive property dotted with flowers of myriad colors taking their first breaths of the year. It’s the ground’s answer to the sky’s rainbow, and it’s just as mesmerizing. After all, the property sits on 8,000 well-kept acres.

In addition to just viewing flowers, the Biltmore Estate offers a Flower Petal Art class in which participants are guided through crafting colorful artwork with — you guessed it — flower petals. These artworks are framed for you, too. This class costs $45 and is held each Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11 a.m. It’s not the cheapest option on this list, but it could build beautiful memories.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of Cozy Blue via Instagram.

7. New Hanover County Arboretum

Address: 6206 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403

We couldn’t forget one of the state’s best arboretums on our list. The New Hanover Country Arboretum is a free spot where folks can see spring blooms blossom every day of the week. Because the arboretum is affiliated with the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension program, it’s able to instill knowledge about plants and the ecosystem directly into visitors and the wider community through various events and educational initiatives. (The Cooperative Extension program specifically works to provide educational opportunities to North Carolinians in the area, not just students.) What’s more, this arboretum hosts plant sales on occasion, so you can purchase some blooms for your home and grow them using the knowledge you gained while visiting.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of NHC Arboretum via Instagram.

8. The Raleigh Rose Garden

Address: 301 Pogue St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Last but certainly not least is the cutest rose garden this side of the Appalachian Mountains. No North Carolina list would be complete without a visit to our capital, Raleigh, and the rose garden at the Little Raleigh Theater is more than worth a stop. It’s especially poignant because it fully immerses you in roses — where other entries on this list can be overstimulating due to their wide variety of plants, the Raleigh Rose Garden is a serene escape with just one type of flower for those looking to get some photography, writing, or general relaxing done. However, there are different colors of roses for the perfect amount of spice for your visit. It’s also free and open all year, so there’s nothing holding you back from a good time here.

8 Places In North Carolina To See Spring Blooming In All Its Glory

Photo courtesy of Triangle Explorer via Instagram.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.8 places in North Carolina to see spring blooming in all its glory8 places in North Carolina to see spring blooming in all its glory




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