We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Always beautiful”

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Ranked #1 of 75 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Always beautiful”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

A place for you heart and spirit all year, but spring and summer are especially beautiful with a plethora of blooms in all directions. Great place to picnic, walk, or be.

Visited April 2013
Thank Lpb2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,566 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Terrific for Photography”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

The gardens are very extensive, offering several distinct areas for you to enjoy and to explore. The main attraction is the terraced area showcasing tulips, daffodils, and so many other kinds of blooming plants, depending on the time of year. The terraces look out upon a newly renovated koi pond, and they stretch out under a wisteria covered gazebo. You might get to see a wedding in progress there! On either end is a lovely small stone house, one housing restrooms, the other housing a cafe which is open sometimes on busy days. The Blomquist area has lovely walking paths through a wooded area which features plants native to the area. There is a beautiful pond to the extreme right as you enter, just keep following around and bearing right. You might see the latitude marker set in the ground opposite the pond. This marks the 36th parallel. There is another section for Asiatic plants. It features various kinds of small fountain water features and some stone sculpture. In summer, if you come on the right days, you might get to see a concert on the lawn behind the Doris Duke Pavillion. https://gardens.duke.edu/events The White Garden is in the same area, as well as a beautiful water lily pond. You might see the resident Blue Heron fishing there. If not, he might be hanging out by the larger pond below, where a number of ducks live.

Duke Gardens is a major spot for local photographers, both amateur and professional. (Pros might need to get a permit, for certain kinds of work.) The challenge, if you are there to take pictures, is to get one without another photographer in the shot, lol. That is easier on weekdays than on weekends.

Bring a picnic and a blanket and stretch out on the sunny lawn, or under one of the shady magnolias. Parking will run you about four dollars most of the time, but is free on Sundays if you are visiting and leaving by 1PM. Admission to the gardens is free, and if you are driving through the area and have a little time for a walking break, this is the place to go.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank MeWindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
184 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Very peaceful location”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

A great place to relax and stroll around the lake and formal gardens. If you want a relaxing location in the centre of Durham.... This is the place to go.

Visited January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saginaw, MI
Level Contributor
157 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Lovely setting for a pleasant walk”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

We enjoyed wandering the gardens and enjoying the quiet paths. The gardens are extremely peaceful and pleasant to wander.

Visited July 2013
Thank janet48603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great for a date!”
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

Duke gardens are positively beautiful. It's pig choose nice to visit in sorting when everything is blooming, but even in winter it's a delightful spot for a stroll and/or picnic.

Tip: grab a baguette and some cheese to share

Thank Ezra F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Sarah P. Duke Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing