Since North Carolinians (and the rest of the country) are eagerly anticipating the arrival of warmer weather, it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the Tar Heel State right now in February. There's one hidden gem that's boating a plethora of beauty this month, but it's so exclusive that you can't witness it just every day. This free botanical garden in North Carolina is home to thousands of plants to remind you that winter isn't so bad after all. 

Juniper Level Botanic Garden is Raleigh's best-kept secret. The 28-acre oasis of greenery is blooming with life, even in the midst of the cold. 

Visitors can bare witness to 27,000 different types of plants while touring the massive grounds freely. Those impressive stats land this garden as one of the top five collections in the United States. 

It remains so well kept and seemingly untouched because public visitation only happens two weekends each season. This winter, those select dates are February 21 to 23 and February 28 to March 1.

Unlike similar gardens around the state, there's no admission charge at this non-profit. 

Wander the designated trails, kick back on a bench or visit the greenhouses. The flora and fauna packed in the park are guaranteed to have you mesmerized because you likely haven't seen some of them before.

If you want to keep a piece of the garden with you for the next few seasons, you can purchase a plant from the nursery either weekend. 

Where there are plants, there's wildlife. You might catch glimpses of butterflies, grasshoppers nymphs and colonies of bees buzzing about.

The miniature waterfalls are an added treat, giving the grounds a small-scale Tarzan feel. 

Here's to living in the moment and discovering the beauty of North Carolina every day, not just in spring and summer. 

 

Juniper Level Botanic Gardens 

Price: Free

When: February 21 to 23, February 28 to March 1

Address: 9249 Sauls Rd., Raleigh, NC 

Why You Need To Go: You only have a limited amount of time to see this secret garden at absolutely no charge. 

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