The Duke Gardens is a 55 acre nature oasis, maintained by an army of Duke employees and volunteers. Offering winding trails through wooded areas, as well as impeccably manicured areas of themed vegetation, the gardens are a place to relax, exercise, or play. Take a hike, bring a book, a picnic (or purchase snacks at the Terrace Cafe - open seasonally), a frisbee or ball to throw around, and especially your camera. You'll find the gardens an easy place to waste away a few hours.
This is one of my favorite places to take visitors, especially those visiting for the first time. It never fails to impress, and it's a short enough walk to the heart of campus, if your guests would like to see that as well. It's difficult to put the beauty of the gardens into words, so here are a few pictures from one of my trips a few years ago (really, these don't do it justice either). Follow this link to visit the Sarah P. Duke Gardens Facebook and view photos.
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday
Admission - Free
For a Fee ($1/half hour) 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1:00-5:00 Saturday and Sunday
FREE 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Sunday, and 5:00-6:00 p.m Monday-Friday
Look for FREE street parking outside garden gates (unless parking restrictions have changed)