From cycling to paddle boarding, water-biking to leisurely kayaking, Spartanburg, SC offers an abundance of outdoor activities.

Friday, May 24, 2024
2024 Fairy Door Sponsor
May 24 – Aug 31 all-day
Bullington Gardens

Last year, our fairy gardens attracted almost 9,000 visitors between June and August 2023. We see this as an opportunity to highlight Bullington’s circle of contributors through the sponsorship of a fairy door. The handcrafted doors will have the sponsor’s name, will be opened by guests to reveal a hidden message, and will be given to the sponsors when they are taken down after the summer.

Here are just a few statistics about the 2023 Fairy trail and sponsors from last year:

  • Visitors – Local visitors (from a 50-mile radius) numbered 2,647. Total visitors: over 8,700 from 18 countries, 41 different states, and D.C., 138 cities in N.C., 52 cities in S.C.

  • Appeared on WLOS and over 15 print publications.

  • Appeared in over a hundred social media posts (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.)

  • Acknowledgement of sponsors were printed on 1350 of the Woodland Gazettes that were given out to children as they visited.

  • Sponsors were highlighted in our Friends of Bullington newsletter.

The dates of the fairy garden will run from June 1, 2024, through August 31, 2024. Please consider being one of our ‘Sponsors with Heart’ by purchasing a fairy door. We need to hear from you no later than April 15, 2024, so we can customize your door and message in time for the grand opening of our Fairy Gardens kickoff.

Fairy Door Sponsor Information:

Thank you for supporting Bullington Gardens, and sharing our passion for providing WNC with magical public gardens aimed to connect to the natural world and provide science-based education.

Dates: June 1- August 31, 2024

Location: Bullington Gardens Fairy Trail, 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Sponsor Benefits $350

  • Business or name listed on a medium (approx.) 12” fairy house doors. (You can help our artist to design if ordered early enough)

  • Recognition of sponsorship in Bullington Board newsletter.

  • Acknowledgment on the Bullington Gardens social media pages.

  • Sponsor logo and link on the Bullington Gardens website for 90 days

  • Donation is tax-deductible.

Invoices and tax-deductible receipts will be sent from Bullington Gardens, Inc. Please send payment and the form below by April 15, 2024. For any questions, please contact Annie Higgins at [email protected] or call (828) 698-6104

Sponsor a door here.

BRING ON SPRING w/ Nantahala Outdoor Center
May 24 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

 

Hippies by the River
May 24 all-day
Events by the River

Join us for an unforgettable day of peace, love, and music at Hippies by the River! This groovy event will take place on Fri May 24 2024 – May 26 2024 at 62 Arnold Branch Rd.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the 60s and 70s, as we celebrate the spirit of the counterculture movement. With live performances from talented local artists, you’ll be transported back to a time of freedom and self-expression.

At Hippies by the River, you can expect a laid-back and friendly environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals. Feel free to dress up in your favorite hippie attire, and don’t forget to bring your blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy the beautiful riverside location.

Indulge in delicious food from various food trucks offering a wide range of cuisines. Explore the colorful market stalls filled with unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and vintage clothing.

Whether you’re a true flower child or simply curious about the hippie culture, Hippies by the River promises a day filled with good vibes, great music, and positive energy. So mark your calendars and get ready to experience a groovy time!

Memorial Day Weekend Outdoor Adventures
May 24 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 24 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Raft + Rail A Fully Guided Experience
May 24 all-day
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The original Raft & Rail© since 1988: enjoy the two best adventures in the region in one day, great for families. Southern Living Magazine calls this “an ideal adventure for families, first-timers, young or old.” This full-day guided adventure starts with a Wildwater staff member greeting you at the train depot, followed by a scenic train trip, deli lunch with all the fixings, and a Nantahala River whitewater trip with a guide in every boat. Hot showers and a photo show follow immediately after your 8-mile Nantahala River trip. All transportation is included to and from the Bryson City Train Depot. Available April–October with the morning departure of the Nantahala Gorge Excursion departing Bryson City, NC. Train seating in Open Air Gondola. 2024 bookings starting soon!

Ticket fares subject to 7% Historic Preservation Fee and 7% North Carolina sales tax. Schedules, fares, motive power, equipment, seat selection, and meals are subject to change without notice. We guarantee the class of service you select. You will be notified if a change in schedule or motive power affects your reservation. Payment in full at booking by major credit card is required to finalize a reservation. You may cancel your reservation in full or in part and receive a refund less a $14.00 fee per adult ticket and $7.00 fee per child ticket as late as 5 days before departure, except The Polar Express Train Ride; The Polar Express Train Ride is as late as 60 days before departure. Within 5 days of the departure, or 60 days in the case of the Polar Express Train Ride, the reservation becomes nonrefundable. You may reschedule any time prior to your originally scheduled departure with a $7.00 fee per ticket for another date within the same calendar year. You may not reschedule a reservation after the scheduled departure.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
May 24 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden
May 24 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

What is Bonsai?

Bonsai is a challenging and rewarding horticultural activity, in which ordinary plants are grown in an extraordinary way. Through rigorously applied cultivation techniques, trees, shrubs, vines and even herbaceous plants are kept in a miniaturized state, developed into artistic shapes and then displayed in special containers.

What makes the Arboretum’s bonsai endeavor unique among all other public collections in the United States? Regional Interpretation. Visitors will find the Arboretum’s bonsai collection of more than 100 specimens carefully cultivated with a Southern Appalachian accent. The collection draws inspiration from the traditional roots of bonsai, but takes the form of a contemporary, Southern Appalachian influenced American garden. Plantings in the landscape include species and cultivars of American, European and Asian origin.

 

The Bonsai Exhibition Garden

Established in October 2005, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that displays up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Interpretive signage throughout the garden conveys information about the art and history of bonsai, and the Arboretum’s own creative approach to it.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden

  • Bonsai on Display Mid May – November; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
  • Garden Open Year Round
  • Parking Fees
    • Personal/Standard Vehicle (up to 20′ long): $20
    • Large vehicles (21′-29′ long): $60
    • Busses and Oversize Vehicles (30′ long+): $125
    • Members: Free

    Apart from the parking fee, there is no other admission charge to enter the Arboretum or our facilities, except in the case of advertised ticketed events.

Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays
May 24 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
NOMA Square

Wind up the work week at Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays presented by Pepsi, listening and dancing to the best in musical entertainment.

FREE ADMISSION

This weekly music series on Main Street at NOMA Square opens at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 9:30 p.m., with bands playing two sets at 5:50 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. NOMA Square chairs go fast, so bring a tailgating chair if you are not arriving early.

Main Street Fridays
May 24 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
NOMA Square

Wind up the work week at Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays presented by Pepsi, listening and dancing to the best in musical entertainment.

FREE ADMISSION

This weekly music series on Main Street at NOMA Square opens at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 9:30 p.m., with bands playing two sets at 5:50 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. NOMA Square chairs go fast, so bring a tailgating chair if you are not arriving early.

April 5, Iliana Rose Cuban Jazz Band

April 12, Encore

April 19, Hwy 25 Band

April 26, Alice’s Marmalade Cat

May 3, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues

May 17, Upstate of Mind

May 24, Eric Weiler Group

May 31, Eclectic Band

June 7, Sweet Soul

June 14, Kami Ocean & The Rhythm

June 21, Xperience Soul

June 28, Carolina Coast Band

July 5, Jazzy Trinity – A Stevie Wonder Tribute

July 12, Infinity Remix

July 19, Marvin King Revue

July 26, Beth Inabinett & For the Funk of It

August 2, David Rodriguez & The Latin Hustle

August 9, Rock N Roll Reunion

August 16, Soulfield 7

August 23, Hot As A Pepper

August 30, Shades of Brown

September 6, Tuxedo Junction

September 13, Whitney Bradley & Groove Planet

September 20, Split Shot

September 27, True Blues

Gallabrae Scottish Parade
May 24 @ 6:00 pm
Main Street in downtown Greenville, SC

We’ll be marching north on Main Street in downtown Greenville from Broad Street to East North Street.
More, more, more. That’s been our motto for our Parades, and we sure have more more more for you in 2024. There will be more pipe bands, marching clans, Scottish Chiefs, and a multitude of Scottish-themed entries. Floats, Scottish Woods Faeries, Braveheart, Axe-throwers, Longbow Archers, Scottish military re-enactors, more more more.

Our Joint Military Salute is bringing in stunning additions to our Parade. Look for lots of stars — the kind you see on the shoulders of the finest military officers in the US and Scotland. We will have 8 Royal Highland Fusiliers serving as the Honor Guard of the games. Greenville will never have seen a Parade like this. Bring your family and check it out.

See you Friday, May 24th 2024 at 6pm on Main Street in downtown Greenville, SC!

The Parade route: starts at the Peace Center and ends where E. North Street crosses Main Street.

For more information email: [email protected]

Saturday, May 25, 2024
BRING ON SPRING w/ Nantahala Outdoor Center
May 25 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

 

Hippies by the River
May 25 all-day
Events by the River

Join us for an unforgettable day of peace, love, and music at Hippies by the River! This groovy event will take place on Fri May 24 2024 – May 26 2024 at 62 Arnold Branch Rd.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the 60s and 70s, as we celebrate the spirit of the counterculture movement. With live performances from talented local artists, you’ll be transported back to a time of freedom and self-expression.

At Hippies by the River, you can expect a laid-back and friendly environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals. Feel free to dress up in your favorite hippie attire, and don’t forget to bring your blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy the beautiful riverside location.

Indulge in delicious food from various food trucks offering a wide range of cuisines. Explore the colorful market stalls filled with unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and vintage clothing.

Whether you’re a true flower child or simply curious about the hippie culture, Hippies by the River promises a day filled with good vibes, great music, and positive energy. So mark your calendars and get ready to experience a groovy time!

Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 25 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Raft + Rail A Fully Guided Experience
May 25 all-day
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The original Raft & Rail© since 1988: enjoy the two best adventures in the region in one day, great for families. Southern Living Magazine calls this “an ideal adventure for families, first-timers, young or old.” This full-day guided adventure starts with a Wildwater staff member greeting you at the train depot, followed by a scenic train trip, deli lunch with all the fixings, and a Nantahala River whitewater trip with a guide in every boat. Hot showers and a photo show follow immediately after your 8-mile Nantahala River trip. All transportation is included to and from the Bryson City Train Depot. Available April–October with the morning departure of the Nantahala Gorge Excursion departing Bryson City, NC. Train seating in Open Air Gondola. 2024 bookings starting soon!

Ticket fares subject to 7% Historic Preservation Fee and 7% North Carolina sales tax. Schedules, fares, motive power, equipment, seat selection, and meals are subject to change without notice. We guarantee the class of service you select. You will be notified if a change in schedule or motive power affects your reservation. Payment in full at booking by major credit card is required to finalize a reservation. You may cancel your reservation in full or in part and receive a refund less a $14.00 fee per adult ticket and $7.00 fee per child ticket as late as 5 days before departure, except The Polar Express Train Ride; The Polar Express Train Ride is as late as 60 days before departure. Within 5 days of the departure, or 60 days in the case of the Polar Express Train Ride, the reservation becomes nonrefundable. You may reschedule any time prior to your originally scheduled departure with a $7.00 fee per ticket for another date within the same calendar year. You may not reschedule a reservation after the scheduled departure.

Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society Rose Exhibit
May 25 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Presented by the Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society, the Annual Rose Exhibition promises to be the most spectacular exhibition of roses in Western North Carolina! Over a hundred varieties of fragrant, WNC-grown roses will be on display, including rare and beautiful blooms from some of the region’s most admired gardens, along with lovely easy-care roses perfect for your garden.

Rose experts will be available to offer helpful gardening tips and answer your questions.

Admission to the Annual Rose Exhibition is included with the regular Arboretum parking fee.

More info at wncroses.com.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
May 25 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden
May 25 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

What is Bonsai?

Bonsai is a challenging and rewarding horticultural activity, in which ordinary plants are grown in an extraordinary way. Through rigorously applied cultivation techniques, trees, shrubs, vines and even herbaceous plants are kept in a miniaturized state, developed into artistic shapes and then displayed in special containers.

What makes the Arboretum’s bonsai endeavor unique among all other public collections in the United States? Regional Interpretation. Visitors will find the Arboretum’s bonsai collection of more than 100 specimens carefully cultivated with a Southern Appalachian accent. The collection draws inspiration from the traditional roots of bonsai, but takes the form of a contemporary, Southern Appalachian influenced American garden. Plantings in the landscape include species and cultivars of American, European and Asian origin.

 

The Bonsai Exhibition Garden

Established in October 2005, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that displays up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Interpretive signage throughout the garden conveys information about the art and history of bonsai, and the Arboretum’s own creative approach to it.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden

  • Bonsai on Display Mid May – November; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
  • Garden Open Year Round
  • Parking Fees
    • Personal/Standard Vehicle (up to 20′ long): $20
    • Large vehicles (21′-29′ long): $60
    • Busses and Oversize Vehicles (30′ long+): $125
    • Members: Free

    Apart from the parking fee, there is no other admission charge to enter the Arboretum or our facilities, except in the case of advertised ticketed events.

Yoga in the Garden
May 25 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve

Yoga in the Garden with Kristin Shook
Saturdays at 10:30 am
April 6 – June 22
Hatcher Garden Activities Deck

Please register each week for Yoga in the Garden.
Suggested donation is $15 and can be paid online or in person.
All donations keep Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve a beautiful, peaceful place for all to enjoy.

Rocky Cove Railroad Exhibit
May 25 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
NC Arboretum

On exhibit Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 4 p.m., Rocky Cove Railroad is a G-Scale (garden scale) model train that demonstrates the coming of trains to western North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century. The exhibit is located below the Grand Promenade. Please note, Rocky Cove Railroad will not operate in rainy or wet conditions.