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“A lovely place to enjoy the beauty of a spectacular garden!”

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
Ranked #7 of 146 things to do in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Part of the North Carolina State University, this eight-acre garden contains a wide variety of cold hardy temperate zone plants.
Raleigh
Level Contributor
134 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“A lovely place to enjoy the beauty of a spectacular garden!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2012

We first visited JCRA about twenty years ago, and have returned often. Located just off the Beltline (I-440) at Hillsborough St., it is a convenient stop. Whether you have an hour or a day to meander through the collection, it is a worthwhile stop.

When we were selecting plants for our new home 14 years ago, we spent time studying the specimens of almost everything that grows in the Raleigh area. It was wonderful seeing what the tiny plants we were considering putting in our yard might look like in five or ten years or more. It is important to understand how much space a plant will need as it grows and what kind of light and moisture is required for it to thrive.

This garden gave us many useful ideas about fantastic plants that can survive our climate. Today our yard looks outstanding full of healthy plants that have thrived on site. We also have relied heavily on a book called The Carolinas Gardener's Guide by Bost and Wilson.

This arboretum has been a training ground for many students in the landscape design programs at NC State and is quite active in serving the gardening community. Our landscaper (a grad of this program), Uli Gratzl, recommends this garden for checking out grown plants.

Select a cool morning or sunny later afternoon for a long walk through the arboretum, and take something for recording notes and photos of plants you will want at home. This is a wonderful place for the kids to experience plants in nature. And of course the elderly enjoy seeing healthy plants as well.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank bagsalwayspacked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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248 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
117 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A little jewel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2012

We thought it was a jewel. Just ten acres of delightful collections including a cactus collection (some of it blooming), a serene Japense garden and lots of local plants.
Warning: the paths really need to be made more accessible. The area near the visitors center has been paved beautifully, but further out it becomes brick and then slate and then just hardened dirt. Some areas are just grass.
I use a manual wheelchair to go through gardens and museums and I found sections of the garden difficult. In several places I elected to walk a short distance.
If you are going in hot weather be sure to bring water, a hat and sun tan lotion because some of the paths do not provide shade.
There is no charge, but donations are welcome. The staff is very nice and informative. We got to talk the the full time gardener who was very nice.
I would recommend this treat and we will be back even though the path was a bit challenging for me.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Margo96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Huge and Beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2012

We were spending the night in Raleigh and I love nature, so we stopped here. It is so big, with many different themes. My kids had a great time running around and pointing out all the different things that they saw. Nice little gift shop, clean bathrooms, plenty of parking. Bring your camera!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank JCKelsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
home
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“nice conifers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2012

If you want to see some full size conifers this is the place to go.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank homeron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Flowers everywhere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

It is a wonderful spot to roam and enjoy. It gives many ideas for the local gardeners about what to plant, where to plant it and when it blooms.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Peggie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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