Things to Do

6 Gardens to Explore in Charlotte

Relish spring and summertime's beauty all around the Queen City.

In Charlotte, “May Flowers” isn’t just a colloquial calendar expression; it’s a reality. With the sun out and the occasional breeze keeping the toastiest of temperatures at bay, detach from your phone and take a stroll through one of Charlotte’s many majestic gardens.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden - Photography by Patrick Schneider

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Area: Belmont, NC

Located on 380 acres, this garden boasts spectacular blooms, sparkling fountains, and a conservatory dedicated to displays of tropical plants and orchids. Enjoy their plentiful nature trails at your own pace, or join in on a guided group tour, horticulture walk or birding walk. The garden also plays host to various public events throughout the year, including Jazz at the Garden the first Thursday of each month and holiday events.


McGill Rose Garden

Neighborhood: NoDa

This hidden gem is tucked away at the very edge of Uptown and NoDa. Featuring over a thousand rose bushes in more than two hundred varieties, the rose garden is best known for the flower that gives it its name — but keep an eye out for the numerous annuals, perennials and herbs that can also be found throughout the grounds.


UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

Neighborhood: University City

Learn about a wide array of plants by exploring the 10 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens, eight on-site greenhouse rooms and six themed collections that can be found on UNCC’s campus. The splendor includes the Carnivorous and Bog collection, which spotlights plants that prey on insects, as well as the Dinosaur Garden, where a T. rex skeleton roams and prehistoric vegetation flourishes. Be transported into a rainforest at the Tropical Plants collection, which features bright and exotic plants, including the infamous Titan Arum. The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens is also a part of the Charlotte Trail Guide, a guide to the region's most popular trails and greenways.

Photo courtesy of The Duke Mansion

The Duke Mansion

Neighborhood: Myers Park

Four and a half acres of immaculately kept grounds beckon at The Mary D.B.T. Semans Gardens, located on the grounds of The Duke Mansion. Soak up the sunshine, or bring a book and find the perfect shady spot to relax the day away.


Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary

Neighborhood: Myers Park

This peaceful oasis is home to three public gardens that serve as a respite for birds and other wildlife, as well as a variety of flora and fauna. The staff puts on educational programs and events throughout the year, including garden tours, bird walks and family gardening, so plan your visit accordingly.


Historic Rosedale Plantation

Neighborhood: NoDa

Built in 1815 and located just minutes from Uptown Charlotte, a visit to Rosedale will help you take a step into the past. Learn about the historic home and grounds, which feature stunning gardens and treasure trees that only serve to enhance the magnitude of the property’s storied past.

Article originally written by Emily Nobles. Updates by Kristen Moore.