NC Arboretum Survival Guide

Photo by Jessica Hewett

So as a belated anniversary surprise, my very sweet man-bear took us to the North Carolina Arboretum.  He had been there several times before, while for me, it was the first time.  The flowers had just started blooming, and there were lots and lots of bees {so I suggest bringing along the epi pens}.  Instead of doing a full post waxing poetics on nature, I am presenting you with a survival guide! Unfortunately unlike my man-bear, nature and I don’t get along. So this post is for my non-outdoor savvy brethren out there!


1) Bring snacks: this is 434 acres of nature, find a spot curl up with a good book and enjoy it.  Food is really optional but speaking from experience {well a days worth at least and an empty stomach later}, this is a great place for a picnic especially the Azalea Garden.



Photo by Jessica Hewett

2) Bring a map: this comes from personal and not so personal observations and stories.  While on the trails, the man-bear and I passed three people who a) couldn’t remember where they parked and b) couldn’t find their way back, so like the awesome people we are-we shared our maps, and directed people on their way.  The not so personal information is based upon a very good friend of mine {names will not be mentioned to protect the sort of innocent}.  She called me from the middle of the Arboretum on a trail, lost, twenty minutes before it closed.  She did use the power of Google to find her way out. But if she had gone prepared, ya know with a map, she would have been a lot less lost.  So the lesson in this: maps are IMPORTANT {click here for your very own printer friendly one}.

Photo by Jessica Hewett

3) This place is both pet and kid friendly: but please read the signs.  Dogs are not allowed in certain areas {i.e. the exhibit hall, and the formal gardens} while kids can go where ever their imagination takes them. If like me, the sight of tiny humans sends terror straight to your heart-avoid the main exhibit hall, and take some of the harder trails.



4) They have EXHIBITS:  Right now through May 18th, they have Be The Dinosaur.  This interactive show has four animatronic dinosaurs, one of which you can control {which coincidentally is also my favorite}, the Triceratops.And several video games, that allow
the inner child and the real child to explore the world of late Cretaceous. I suggest watching Jurassic Park
before you visit-it just makes it all the more awesome. And if, in your excitement, you run up to those bad boys and inadvertently shove
several children out of the way to view them, just know I did it first.

Photo by Jessica Hewett

5) Remember to
bring a camera
:  I have a tattoo on my right wrist to remind me of the important things, however, camera was not on the list.  So if you want to capture the majesty of nature, and not have to rely on
you awesome friends to supply you with photos for a certain blog post- remember
it.  At the very least, you can sing the selfie song while chasing around
the squirrels.
The Arboretum is
seasonal operation, check the time of year and day before you go:
April 1 to October
31: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with entrance gates closing at 8 p.m
November 1 to March
31: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. with entrance gates closing at 6 p.m.
Cost is 12 dollars
per car, and on the first Tuesday of every month, its half off.

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