The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum
4.5
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains just south of Asheville, The North Carolina Arboretum offers acres of cultivated gardens and groomed trails featuring some of the most beautiful, botanically-diverse plants in the region.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Julie&Rach
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sunshine and Nature
    Loved the Arboretum!! This was a hidden gem that we initially weren’t planning to visit but I’m so glad we did! Being that it was in early March, the gardens were not in their full glory but the trails were great! The weather was perfect for hiking too so an added bonus! Trails were well marked and easy to navigate! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful and their gift shop is five star!! Would strongly encourage anyone for a love of nature to make this a stop on their trip! Oh and we took an Uber there, so because we didn’t have a car there was no parking fee or admission!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 12, 2023
  • Erin B
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great visit to gardens and trails!
    We had a fabulous morning at the Arboretum. We toured the gardens and hiked the Carolina mountain trail (I think that is the right trail?) We had hikers of all ages, including a toddler, a six-year-old and adults from the ages of 29-70. The hike was beautiful with great views, followed a creek for a while, and was easily followed with the signs. Fun for all ages! They gave us great advice for what trails to take when we walked in. And you gotta love their museum store!
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written April 12, 2023
  • Maureen W
    Ave Maria, Florida48 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very nicely organized
    Stopped here after walking a lot and visiting other sites in Asheville. We had a reciprocal pass for certain arboretums so parking was free. I was pretty tired of walking, so we did the 3/4 mile walk and looked at the plants closer to the welcome center (still plenty of steps for me!) The bonsai section will have more plants out later in the season. The model railroad train was a pleasant surprise to see here and running on the weekend. There is a pollinator/butterfly garden section that we may have been a bit early for this too. As a quilter, I really enjoyed the quilt garden too. There was plenty more to see, we were only there 1-2 hours. Lots more paths and apparently quite dog friendly too.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 22, 2023
  • Nancy P
    Glen Ridge, New Jersey78 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful gardens—a gem!
    What a gem! The grounds are lovely, with lots of areas for strolling or sitting. Many of the specimens clearly marked and identified , which is a nice plus for curious gardeners. We were there during the special Blooms with a View show, which was spectacular. We’ve also visited in the Fall and found that beautiful as well.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 11, 2023
  • Cindy T
    Pinellas Park, Florida92 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely stunning!
    My mom, sister and I drove down after visiting the Biltmore and their gardens. The Arboretum did not disappoint! There is a per person “parking“ fee but we felt it was worth every penny. We grabbed a quick bite at the bistro which was very good, then slowly strolled through all the exhibits. When we were there they had a lily exhibit that was gorgeous. Beautiful raised beds overflowing with all types and colors. Plan to take lots of pictures 😊
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 15, 2023
  • Christine K.
    Cortlandt Manor, New York2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great guide in a beautiful setting
    We spent a beautiful day at the NC Arboretum. If you are lucky enough to visit, be sure to go on a day with a tour for a 2 hour informative walk. We really appreciated Jeff's ability to weave information we now remember with personal anecdotes that everyone enjoyed hearing.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 23, 2023
  • Lisa G
    Grand Forks, North Dakota36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful visit
    Really enjoyed this place on a dreary day. My five year old loves the scent/perfume exhibits. The bonsai collection is awesome. Well laid out and peaceful. The volunteers were wonderful and took the time to tell us about the box turtles that they were tracking.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Tuxtails
    Savannah, Georgia452 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Setting and Gardens
    Great place to explore trails and so many beautiful plants and flowers. We love to come here often and the flowers do change regularly. Bonsai area is impressive. We did come at Christmas for the lights and it was pretty!
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 5, 2023
  • judie210
    505 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Gardens!
    Had tried to go to the Arboretum several years ago for the Holiday display but there was a snowstorm and it shut things down in and around Asheville. Didn't miss it this time! Beautiful June day. The Arboretum did not disappoint. It had rained earlier that day so there were some slick spots so I didn't get to do everything. Stunning gardens. Beautiful sculpting's. Definitely worth making a trip there.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 18, 2023
  • hikewithgabe
    Asheville, North Carolina7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    NC Arboretum
    I like coming down to the Arboretum to Hike, Access to the Shut in Ridge Trail to Mount Pisgah as well as Lake Powhatan camping area nearby. Beautiful landscaped facility featuring natural inventories. 2 miles from the Biltmore Outlets and the bus route. No admission fee if you don't have a car. Scenic views close to the Blue Ridge Parkway where the high bridge crosses the French Broad River.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 18, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,806 reviews
Excellent
2,009
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592
Average
144
Poor
37
Terrible
24

Sam S
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
This was not a great experience. Paying $30 for 10 minute of lights (if that) was a waste. The lights also didn’t have much theme. It was really just thrown together on some trees, made some deer, and put some icicles. We were looking forward to these because we read a lot about it. But we are super disappointed. We are glad to at least know the money is going somewhere useful. But it’s still sad that we didn’t get to see good lights.
For those of you reading this, if you’re ever in Concord, NC, the speedway motor lights are the best lights to pay $30 a car for.
Written December 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sj0iner
Tampa, FL76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We stopped by here while visiting Ashville to take advantage of a nice day with great weather they charge a little pricey parking fee but once you learn that it includes admission to the gardens and facilities it was all worth it. The gardens are wonderfully maintained and very colorful with both native and non native plants that are very well shown.
There are also several walking/Hiking trails on the property that made for a nice walk in the woods the gift shop was nice but we could not use the snack shop as they were closed during our visit (looks like due to staffing issues)
Overall a very enjoyable couple hours spent and we would visit again during other seasons to see changes to plantings.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BlueTravels
Jacksonville, FL461 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
We spent several hours here and loved it. We wished we'd have come here before spending $160 to visit the not-well-maintained gardens of Biltmore House.

The gardens are well built out with various small theme gardens. The bonsai garden in particular is extensive and lovely. We also really enjoyed walking the trails on the property which would through the woods and by a stream.

So much to see here and it doesn't cost a dime! (Free parking too.)
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Denise A
Columbia, SC44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
The Bonsai exhibit was our favorite, with the train village a close second (it runs only on weekends and winter festival). Beautiful grounds with wide, flat walkways and plenty of space. Some uphill but gentle grade and easy exists to parking lot all along the path. Lots of seating as well. Good experience for elders and there are loaner wheelchairs at the visitors center for checkout if needed. Small gift shop for mementos, plus plants for purchase. You can carry your water or purchase some at the cafe located at the top of the garden (it's pricey). We also had a sandwich with great bread. The garden is free but you pay for parking ($16)
Written November 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue Ellen H
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Winter lights a must see event!. It drizzling rain off and on the night we went but it did not interfere with our experience. The light displays were stunning. Some of them synchronized to music. There were several fire pits located around the park that provided opportunities to make s'mores, and get warm during the light rain. This was our first visit, we intend on going next year and taking more family members.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mixa's Travels
Oldsmar, FL3,089 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We have visited the Arboretum previously initially just ourselves, seniors, touring this magnificent arboretum and gardens and another time with our grandchildren to thrill at Winter Lights. Having our grandchildren visit again and since they love “LEGO’s” we were excited to visit the Lego Exhibit at the Arboretum. Specifically this is a very popular traveling exhibit that has 500,000 Legos. The exhibit is called Nature Connects: Art with LEGO bricks by Sean Kenney. Our grandchildren were so excited to stroll the gardens locating the 16 larger-than-life-size sculptures. Amazing how each sculpture is carefully placed in an appropriate location. This created excitement to find each sculpture and get a picture with each one. These Lego sculptures are just magnificent with design, color, depth and imagination. Additionally, the scale train was exciting for them to watch. They loved the “eyes” on each engine searching the tracks.
A fun afternoon. There is much more to do at the Arboretum with hikes, creeks, and more. We plan to check into on our next visit
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LUVNLIF1969
Spartanburg, SC19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
So this arboretum is pretty average. Nice staff and plenty of beautiful plants and flowers to look at during your visit. Lots of walking trails, too. But here's the thing...the parking fee, whether you just want to use the trails or picnic, is ridiculous. Maybe they are doing this to discourage crowds of people from coming and enjoying the grounds, but I found it off-putting. I'm OK with parking fees in general, but when you require $14 to just park and walk around the outside, I think that is a rip-off. A better way would be a $5 parking fee and a $10 admission to the buildings.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maapar
Mount Pleasant, SC901 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Spent a couple of hours here angering the gardens and walking nature trail. Had lunch at the bistro and it was very good. They are currently requiring masks indoors due to COVID surge. The gardens are well labeled and lovely. Our favorite is the bonsai exhibit.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael R
Granville, OH574 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We visited the NC Arboretum while visiting Asheville. There is an indoor center that was exhibiting some high quality nature photographs by a well known nature photographer. There are various cultivated and arranged gardens of various types, with an educational facility and cafe. Best of all are the extensive 7-8 miles of paved, graveled, mulched, or natural trails winding and looping throughout the property. A friend who lives locally accompanied us and guided us on 3-4 miles of the trails. Many of the trails run alongside some lovely creeks. Others are suitable for bicycles. Many people were walking dogs (on leashes). This is also a great place for kids. The terrain is not very rugged. Although the trails are often intersecting they don't feel at all crowded. A very quiet and naturalistic setting. A day pass is $16 per car.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MacinTex
Pittsburgh, PA384 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Your parking fee is basically the price of admission (check AAA) and what a bargain. The grounds are so well kept and it's laid out perfectly. I wish it hadn't been so hot or we would have tried one of the trails too. The Exhibits were beautiful and the special LEGO sculptures were so much fun. The Bonsai garden is SO well done. I'd love to go during different seasons to see the change in the flowers. Wonderful visit
Written October 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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