Our Favorite Local Gardens

Kristina Riehle
If you're looking for a beautiful spot to enjoy natural beauty, there are many excellent choices nearby. Here's our roundup of the best local gardens within an hour of Winston-Salem.

Walking through a garden is a wonderful experience year round, even in the winter. Gardens provide knowledge and insight into North Carolina’s history, horticulture, pollinators, and beauty. Here’s our list of our favorite local gardens within an hour of Winston-Salem. 

Reynolda House and Gardens 

If you have never been to the Reynolda House and Gardens in Winston, you are missing out! Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University has beautiful formal gardens, greenhouses, woods and trails. The grounds and the gardens are open to the public year round from dawn to dusk, and admission is always free. You’ll find stunning arrays of annuals, perennials, and shrubs, along with beautiful trees, vegetable gardens, fountains and shelters. No matter the time of year, you’ll always find something beautiful at Reynolda! 

The Gardens at Old Salem

Located within Winston-Salem is Old Salem, a historic district full of beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets rich with history.  Old Salem offers something unique to your experience that a botanical garden just can’t do! The gardens at Old Salem display the horticulture practices of the Moravians, who settled there from 1766-1856. A walk through Old Salem not only provides sights of beautiful flowers and buildings, but – depending on the garden – you can see openly pollinated vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruits, and grains. All gardens in Old Salem are functional and sustainable. The Gardens at Old Salem are free to see, but some of the attractions in the area are not.  

Paul J Ciener Botanical Gardens

Located in historic downtown Kernersville, this 7-acre garden is the perfect spot to stop and spend a few hours. Open daily from dusk until dawn and year round, this garden is fun to visit during every season. There is always something beautiful and unique to see here.  This garden is free to enter and provides themed gardens, tours, a visitor center and a shop. Come take a walk and be inspired by the various plant arrangements while soaking up the beauty of nature in this tranquil spot. 

Tanger Family Bicentennial Gardens and Bog Garden at Benjamin Park 

We included these two gardens together because they complement each other wonderfully and are right across the street from each other. 

The Tanger Family Bicentennial Gardens is a must-see. This place has such a warm and inviting feel to it with a beautiful assortment of flowers, trees and plants. It is also known for its massive annual plantings and beautiful bronze statues that adorn the garden. Thanks to the garden’s big trees, shade is plentiful, and the benches located throughout the park provide the perfect spot to stop and relax or read a book. 

Once you’re done exploring the Bicentennial Garden, walk a short distance across the street to the Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. The Bog Garden offers elevated boardwalks that take you on a walk through 7 acres of natural wetlands. It’s hard to believe you’re just miles from the city with the sounds of the meandering stream and Serenity Falls nearby. Don’t forget to watch for wildlife, you’ll be sure to spot some ducks and geese in the areas around the boardwalks.

 Both gardens are open year round, and with free admission they are perfect peaceful getaways right in the city! 

Tanglewood Park Arboretum and Rose Garden 

Located in Clemmons, this garden is open during the same hours as Tanglewood Park. There is a small admission fee of $2 per vehicle to get into the park, which includes the gardens, and it is well worth it! At Tanglewood you can enjoy taking in the sights of some plants that grow natively to Forsyth county. Walk the Memorial Brick Walkway through the garden while stopping to see the various points of interest, some of which include the outdoor pavilion, wildflower garden, the bog garden, and even a vegetable and children’s garden. This is a wonderful place to bring children, as this garden provides parts specifically where kids can explore and learn.

The Greensboro Arboretum 

The Greensboro Arboretum is one of those places you can spend a few hours just taking in all the wonderful trees and greenery along with beautiful structures within the garden. This 17 acre area is so peaceful and serene, you’ll find yourself lost in the beauty of your surroundings and relaxing your mind before you know it. Featuring 14 plant collections, there is a lot to learn at the Arboretum. This is a must-see if you’re in the area, and it’s open year round with free admission.