If you're looking for a local escape, head on over to The North Carolina Botanical Garden. There's a new surprise around every turn in the path—Monet worthy lily pads, wacky outdoor art, a life-size chess set, and the list goes on (we don't want to spoil all the surprise). As a part of UNC Chapel Hill, the Garden has been a leader in native plant conservation and education in the southeastern United States for more than 40 years. Enjoy the display gardens, nature trails, an Education Center, and a number of natural areas. If you stumble across the giant chess board, make sure you play, we promise the game will be less intense than that infamous scene in the first Harry Potter. If you don't know what we're referring to, you've got some reading to do! The Botanical Gardens are the perfect spot!