Charlotte, NC, is home to a wide variety of gardens and botanical gardens. Each has its own allure and mix of greens and blooms. Need an escape from life’s daily hustle and bustle? Get outside and reconnect with the nature around you.
Put away your screens for the day and head out to one of the many majestic gardens around Queen City!
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is over 100 acres of lush green land in Belmont. Plus, the property includes a spectacular garden that is open all seasons thanks to its array of flora. You’ll also find sparkling fountains, a conservatory dedicated to the preservation and display of tropical plants and orchids and a pavilion. Engage in a nature walk that takes you around the flourishing garden.
Additionally, DSBG has a gift shop where you can purchase a memento from your trip, and a great annual Christmas display. It is one of the top Charlotte botanical gardens.
McGill Rose Garden
McGill Rose Garden is a hidden gem tucked away on North Davidson Street next to the NoDa district. The garden houses over a thousand rose bushes with more than 200 varieties. Further, McGill is a nonprofit garden that allows the community to host their events here. McGill Rose Garden provides a beautifully intimate setting for weddings and celebrations.
This Charlotte garden is also open to the general public for visitation. Come by and enjoy a relaxing stroll through the roses, or lay out your picnic spread to feast on with your loved ones.
Wing Haven Gardens And Bird Sanctuary
The Wing Haven Gardens And Bird Sanctuary is rich in Southern horticulture, natural wildlife and birds who have made it their home. The property also includes the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden. This garden writer’s living laboratory and the SEED Wildlife & Children’s Garden provides hands-on learning experiences and explanations. Together they are called “Wing Haven.” Further, Wing Haven welcomes visitors year-round to come and learn about nature’s offerings.
The pretty gardens are open for visitations every Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.
Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park is a 5.4-acre public park in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, serving as a signature backdrop to Charlotte’s contemporary design. The name is homage to Charlotte-born African American artist, author and songwriter Romare Beardon.
Romare Bearden Park was built in 2013 to incorporate more culture, green space and public art into the city block. Around the park, you will find plenty of benches to rest on alongside statues and a central water exhibit.
Fourth Ward Park
This 3-acre park is housed in Fourth Ward, a quiet neighborhood with beautifully preserved historic homes in Charlotte, NC. Fourth Ward Park features lovely fountains, a children’s playground (for children aged 5-12), walking trails and decorative water fountains. Further, the park also carries a wide range of plants. These include flowering Apricots, Serviceberry, Cunningham, plus Japanese Maple.
Several artistic pieces from around Charlotte also dot the green park, giving it a creative touch.
Independence Park, originally constructed in 1906, is Charlotte’s first official public park. The park recently underwent extensive renovations. These efforts included adding a historic memorial fountain and a stunning WPA-era amphitheaters. Visitors will also enjoy stonework walls and a mature cascading canopy of trees.
Finally, Independence Park also houses two sand volleyball courts, two playgrounds, permanent restrooms and a lovely view of the Charlotte skyline.
At 800 East Third Street lies the 5.43-acre Marshall Park. The park is named after James B. Marshall, Rt., the city manager of Charlotte from 1935 till 1940. He is said to have long envisioned this park before it was built.
Expect a 1.24-acre pond and a stunning fountain, an amphitheater and an open green space for citizens to stroll through. Further, the urban park offers a beautiful view of the Charlotte skyline. Citizens can also organize small to medium-sized events in its open green space.
The Charlotte Botanical Gardens at UNC Charlotte
The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens are located at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. The property houses the 4000 square feet McMillan greenhouse. There, you’ll find a diverse collection of desert plants, ferns, orchids, carnivorous plants and Southern native varieties. Plus, with several different climates according to the type of plants it houses, you’ll want to take time to explore each one!
Visitors can enjoy indoor and outdoor displays of plants from around the globe, opt for free tours and purchase plants. It is one of the most-visited Charlotte botanical gardens and one of the top indoor botanical gardens in the area.
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a linear-style park and stream in Uptown Charlotte. It extends to nearly 4 miles from Brandywine Road to 7th Street. Along the way, it connects to several key attractions, including Freedom Park and the Charlotte Nature Museum. Plus, it’s easy access to the Metropolitan shopping area.
The trail running through this greenway connects to the up-and-emerging Carolina Thread Trail. This Greenway is a popular site for birding, biking and plains trekking. You are also welcome to bring your dog!
The Memorial Garden is an exquisite garden in Charlotte’s metropolitan region, Concord. It was originally part of the First Presbyterian Church back in 1804. Even after the church buildings were moved, the garden continues to be cherished and loved by all for its rich heritage.
The stunning 3-acre Charlotte garden features gently sloping hillsides spread with ancient oaks, intricate carved white Italian marble, and sculpted hollies. Additionally, take in the waterfalls and fountain features.
Elizabeth Lawrence House And Garden
The Elizabeth Lawrence House And Garden is a historic house and garden located along Ridgewood Avenue in Charlotte. It’s a small one-and-a-half-story house built by Elizabeth Lawrence (one of the South’s best garden writers) in 1948. The entirety of the home’s lot was then developed into a garden as an embodiment of her lifelong devotion to Southern horticulture.
Next, in 2008, the Charlotte garden was purchased by the Wing Haven Foundation. The home was converted into a horticulture learning center and a recognized local historic landmark.
Reedy Creek Nature Center And Preserve
Reedy Creek Nature Center And Preserve protects roughly 737 acres of natural, forested lands as a part of the Reedy Creek Park. The property also houses over ten miles of beautiful yet somewhat challenging hiking trails. All in all, it’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. On the other hand, the Reedy Creek Nature Center features live, native animals, an exhibit hall and a gift shop.
Located just South of Charlotte, the Glencairn Garden is in the heart of Rock Hill. This 11-acre garden comprises landscaped lawns, several ponds, and a tiered fountain. You’ll also find bridges, a learning center and stunning flower-filled walkways.
The quaint garden is certainly perfect for visits year round thanks to the assortment of blooms it houses, but visitors recommend paying a visit during March/April for the best experiences. Finally, the picturesque garden also houses a performance stage.
Latta Park is a 31-acre urban park in Dilworth at East Park Avenue. The park houses a basketball court, two multi-purpose fields, 6 tennis courts, and a volleyball court. There is also a picnic shelter with a grill, plenty of walking trails, a playground, plus 2 soccer fields. Finally, stop by the must-visit “sprayground”, a water-themed playground where children can splash and play.
In short, there’s plenty to do at the park, especially if you are planning a day out with the family.
McAlpine Creek Park
The McAlpine Creek Park sits on the north end of Monroe Road in East Charlotte. In the park, find tranquil grassy fields, walking trails surrounded by leafy green trees and two small lakes. The park also features the McAlpine Creek Greenway, a 6.2-mile greenway used for walking, hiking and birding around the park. You may even spot otters and beavers around the lakes.
Wedgewood Urban Garden
Wedgewood Urban Garden is a beautiful urban garden, known for its collection of blooming flowers and the sense of community. Here, community members gather to plant vegetables and fruit, all of which are delivered to the community food pantry once fully grown. You are welcome to visit and contribute your time to helping them plant and care for the garden. Or, simply peruse the blooms.
Freedom is a 98-acre park located between Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods. It is one of the city’s central parks where visitors from all over come to visit, explore and relax. Freedom Park includes a seven-acre lake, basketball court, tennis courts, volleyball courts, plus soccer and baseball courts.
If you are not looking for a sporty outing, simply sprawl out on the patches of grass and enjoy the sights! It is one of the best parks in Charlotte.
First Ward Park
First Ward Park is a 4.6-acre urban park in the First Ward neighborhood in Uptown Charlotte. It is a simple and lovely park, perfect for a family’s day out. There are several stone benches around the park, a water display, and amenities for workouts and sports. Enjoy seeing a variety of plants, flowers, shrubbery and trees.
RibbonWalk Nature Preserve
The RibbonWalk Nature Preserve is a 188-acre urban forest on Nevin Road in Uptown Charlotte. Here, you can have one of the best hiking experiences in the city. The nature preserve includes wetlands, a hardwood forest, a running creek, and two ponds. You’ll also have access to nearly 3 miles of hiking trails. Additionally, a few picnic tables are set up in the large field near the entrance, perfect for holding special events or celebrations.
Mallard Creek Greenway
The Mallard Creek Greenway is a scenic 7.4-mile walking trail located near Charlotte, North Carolina. Around the greenways, you may spot the great blue heron, gray foxes, white-tailed deer and a rich variety of birds. The route following the greenway is a popular site for hiking, mountain biking and birding. Those who appreciate the great outdoors will certainly also love the natural beauty of these greenways.
Note that dogs are welcome on the greenway trails but must be leashed at all times.
Botanical Gardens Charlotte NC: Final Thoughts
Charlotte has a rich assortment of parks, greenways and botanical gardens, many open year-round and beautiful to visit anytime. So, the next time you would like to reconnect with the nature around you, head to any of the serene and pretty gardens we have listed. You will not be disappointed!