During the summer months, Greater Raleigh flourishes with the greenery of fresh-cut grass, shrubberies, and trees, and the beautiful colors of flowers that are sprinkled throughout the city. The gardens in this city are some of the most beautiful in the state, and they’re definitely worth setting aside a day to explore them.

The Juniper Level Botanic Garden is a six-acre display garden that contains more than 17,000 unique plants, many of which are ornamental. For one of the most dazzling collections of orchids, visit the Orchid Trail Greenhouses. Here, you’ll find more than 2,500 orchids that make up one of the largest private collections in North Carolina. The historic Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden features approximately 1,200 roses of 60 varieties that bloom from late May until the Fall. Admission to all of these spectacular gardens is free.

If you’d like to throw a little history into the mix, then visit one of the historic sites in Raleigh that also have beautiful gardens. The Joel Lane Museum House has a Neo-Colonial garden containing fruit trees, a grape arbor and herb garden. Haywood Hall, which is the oldest house on its original site within the city limits of Raleigh, also has a wonderful garden you can explore in addition to the historically rich house. Then, of course, there are the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens, which was the first public park in the United States solely devoted to Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

Find several more gardens and arboretums in Raleigh on this comprehensive list.