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“Beautiful flowers!”

The North Carolina Arboretum
Ranked #3 of 196 things to do in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 24, 2014

The "quilt" garden was beautiful, planted to look like a patchwork quilt. You can spend as much time outdoors as you want. There was an indoor exhibit of dinosaurs which kids would like. No fee, just pay for parking.

Thank Nancy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2014

Spent a few hours here on our way out of Asheville. It was a reasonably warm sunny day which made it enjoyable. The kids spent some time on the indoor activities such as the dinosaur exhibit. It is small and half the games that they have for it were broken but the kids still had a decent time. Took a walk through the outdoors on one of their trails and then had a picnic lunch in the garden. They could definitely use some more tables. We asked, there are only two picnic tables in the park and they are by one of the buildings. They have other tables inside near their own cafe but that's it. So our picnic was on a park bench in the garden. A nice day for it but a table would have been nice. The only fee is a $12 parking charge so it doesn't cost very much and is a nice way to spend a couple of hours, but probably only a nice day. The building attractions are rather small and your kids will go through them very quickly.

Thank PatrickP873
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We are members of the Arboretum and we frequently visit to see the many varieties of flowers, plants and shrubs. In addition, the Arboretum has numerous exhibits, flower shows, and artwork that changes periodically, as well as excellent trails. The gift shop is excellent too!

All of this is wonderful -- but many visitors probably overlook the Savory Thyme Cafe. That would be a mistake. The cafe serves surprisingly creative and good fare. Try it and you won't be disappointed. Occasionally, the cafe also serves special meals, such as Easter and Mother's Day brunch. We have been very impressed with both the quality and creativity of the food as well as the service. The cafe is a little gem -- and just another reason the Arboretum is a very special and enjoyable place to be.

Thank AVLwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

Gorgeous gardens. Our only regret was not having enough time to see everything. We will definitely be back!

Thank Andrea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We visited the NC Arboretum during spring break from Florida. Turns out spring in Florida is not spring everywhere else, and in fact NC was a bit cold and dismal in mid-march. My kids wanted to go hiking though and we had never been to the Arboretum so I thought it sounded like a nice place to go for a walk.

We started at the main exhibit building. We briefly looked at the dinosaur exhibit they had set up. My son said it best "a waste of a perfectly good greenhouse". Especially during the winter months it would have been nice to see plants in here, instead of hokey fake dinosaurs (OK, we're from Orlando and we've seen enough of Jurassic Park.)

At the direction of the gentleman at the front desk we next set off to the natural garden trail outside. The trail started off well enough, but at some intersections the signage didn't seem very clear and we ended up making a few wrong turns. Luckily we had the map and were able to find our way back fairly easily, but we went way off course and ended up walking much longer than expected. We had a good time regardless.

And then there were the plants... everything was gray and brown. It was not the spring I had hoped for at all.

The bonsai area was nice, however most of the bonsai plants were in "winter storage" which was a bit of a disappointment.

Overall, we will go back. I can't blame the weather, just my lack of judgement for going at the wrong time of year.

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

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