Visitation Tips

Touring the Gardens

Horticulturists, nature lovers and history buffs will find something unique to see each season at The Elizabethan Gardens. Winter, spring, summer and fall contribute to the ever changing beauty and tranquility of this unique garden, an oasis of color in a land of sea and sun. (Visitation/ticket information)

Visit our “events” page to see what is going on in The Gardens.

See our “what’s in bloom” page to preview the tapestry of color you can expect during your visit.

You’re on vacation. It’s time to relax. Right?

The Elizabethan Gardens is the perfect place to reconnect with the natural world. Here’s some tips to enjoy your visit:


  • While you leisurely stroll the dapple-shaded paths, notice the points of light above made by the tree canopy and the lace-patterns the light makes at your feet.
  • Sit at one of the carved marble or elegant cast stone benches. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply the fragrant air. Listen to nature’s symphony.
  • Be on the lookout for birds! The gardens is part of the NC Birding Trail.
  • Use your mobile device to access the audio tour.
  • Photograph blooms, dancing butterflies, soaring birds or frolicking squirrels.
  • Stop at the large bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth I. Ponder the personal strength and endearing influence of one of the most powerful women in history. As you pass about her, feel the lace details depicted on her gown.
  • Gaze out at the lapping waves from the Overlook Terrace. Ponder if this same sight delighted the colonists who once stood upon these shores.
  • Visit the Virginia Dare statue. Perhaps she will tell you the mystery of the lost colony?
  • At the Well Head Mount notice the family crests, figures and wonder who came to drink at this refreshing well.
  • Stroll the tall border, peak through the arches and listen to the babbling fountain at the Sunken Garden. Let your eyes follow the twisted growth of the Crape Myrtle trees.
  • Stop in the Sunken Garden and look at the ancient Aphrodite statue, fountain and balustrade. Imagine how it first appeared in Italy.
  • Stand alongside the Ancient Live Oak tree and revel in her outstretched arms.
  • Rest by the Lion Couchant and note the renaissance elements from veined marble base to the bird bath adorned with curly-flocked cherubs.
  • Treat yourself to something special from the gift shop or nursery and share your visit with a friend.
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