Now there is something you should know before you read this. I LOVE museums. It’s my favorite activity to do while traveling. Now knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know the day we were heading to the museum I woke up at 6 ready to go. Drew being a good sport was up and dressed quickly and we were out the door…at 7. The museum’s hours are Monday – Friday 9 – 5 so we had some time.
We grabbed some coffee and headed to the Raleigh Rose Garden to walk around till the museum opened. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a rose garden, but I was pleasantly surprised at the garden tucked away about a block away from North Carolina State University.
The rose garden was bigger than I had imagined and had plenty of benches and picnic tables perfect for enjoying a morning coffee or lunch. There was no one else there, which is almost a given considering how early we were there, but definitely a must see location if you are looking to get away from the crowds. My one tip for this location is wear closed toe shoes that are preferably water proof. I was wearing my sneakers that are not water proof and I walked around with wet socks for the better part of the day because early in the morning the grounds are soaked!
We spent about 40 minutes walking around the rose garden. There are 1,200 roses and about 60 varieties of roses so take your time and learn a little bit about the roses while you are there. I would recommend this being the first stop of the day or the last stop of the day for a few reasons. The first reason being, first thing in the morning, the bugs are not out yet. You are heading into a garden, you might as well enjoy it while the stingy bugs and biting bugs aren’t awake yet. If you need another reason after that, wait why do you need another reason? Well, ok, if you are that person that is ok with bugs here are a couple more reasons. It’s a very tranquil place that is perfect for planning your day or thinking about what you did that day and gathering your thoughts. Also first thing in the morning, most people are still sleeping so you will more than likely, like us, have the garden to yourself.
The garden is in bloom from late may till autumn and is open daily from sunrise to sunset 7 days and admission is free. When you look for directions to the garden it could come up as Raleigh Rose Garden, Raleigh Little Theatre or Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden. All of these are the same place and will get you to this beautiful hidden gem.