The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville

4.6
#1 of 93 in Parks in North Carolina Mountains
The North Carolina Arboretum is home to 26 hectares (65 acres) of cultivated gardens and 16 km (10 mi) of hiking and biking trails. Head to the stream to visit the National Native Azalea Collection, where you can see nearly every U.S. azalea species. Learn about traditional North Carolina crafts, such as basketry and broom-making, at the Heritage Garden. The bonsai collection features an array of traditional Asian trees alongside some American species. You can explore more gardens and discover stunning views of the Pisgah National Forest via one of the easy, moderate, or difficult hiking or biking trails. Work out when and for how long to visit The North Carolina Arboretum and other Asheville attractions using our handy Asheville trip itinerary builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,876 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    I have never seen this kind of well-organized and managed arboretum until now. There are a beautiful flowers, butterflies, and trees in the garden. This is really nice to take a walk and a rest anytim...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    I thought the North Carolina Arboretum might be a letdown after the gardens at Biltmore, but I was wrong. At Biltmore, the emphasis is on mass, but the Arboretum is much stronger in terms of variety. ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Could not get past the price. I think it was $14 per vehicle. I guess if I had our car loaded up with kids I would have thought it was a bargain. So I am reviewing this even though I did not go in. Al...  more »
Google
  • July 9, 2017
    If you are in Asheville visiting, definitely put this on your list of things to do. It is $14 to park, and then everything else is free. All of the gardens are beautiful, the educational center and Baker buildings had paintings and photographs on display, which were very cool to look at, and we were lucky enough to be there for the bonsai exhibit. There are a lot of walking/hiking trails so you could spend several hours, or just spend 1-2 and hit the highlights.
  • June 19, 2017
    Wonderful place to bring the whole family! There are hiking/walking/bike/pet trails available as well as great exhibits in the beautiful new (air conditioned) buildings. They also offer indoor and outdoor gardens as well as a miniature train for little ones to ride. Perfect place to bring a picnic and spend the day!
  • June 11, 2017
    Very fun and relaxing for a good picnic, or great for losing energy on a hike. They offer free rental backpacks for children full of bug collector things, ropes, maps, magnify glasses, etc. A great way to relax for parents too. The flowers are gorgeous and the area is nice. Plus the staff was great too!
  • June 12, 2017
    For an Arboretum that was established in 1986, nice to visit. Charging by vehicle (car) came out to $3.50 person. Quiet, not crowd. A place more for adults, even with the train setup. But, I will take my grandchildren because I know what to expect. Be prepared for what you might see or not see, depending on time of year, when you visit. Remember, it's plants, expect accordingly. Been to the Winter Lights twice and enjoy that. Check the admission price. I think admission maybe a little high priced, so again expect accordingly. Still will go again and again. PS: it can be very cold, so check the weather.
  • June 7, 2017
    The grounds are very beautiful. All of the gardens were great but the Bonsai Garden stood out out as particularly amazing. It was very well done and the signs gave a lot of good information on the history and practice of Bonsai.

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Where to stay in Asheville

To take advantage of the best Asheville has to offer without breaking the bank, stay at one of the city's small motels, many of which offer free breakfast buffets and plenty of secure parking. Asheville's historical district contains most of the city's bed and breakfasts, allowing you to stay within a short walk of downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment. The area also boasts numerous budget-friendly hostels, offering inexpensive private rooms for backpackers. For something completely different, rent an eco-friendly cabin in a wooded area just a short drive from the city.
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