Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Rd., features more than a dozen themed areas that include the Four Seasons Garden, the southern Cottage Garden, the subtropical Canal Garden, the Encore Azalea Garden and perennial gardens. The first of two trails that connect to the Carolina Thread Trail and form a 3.2-mile loop around the garden leads three-quarters of a mile to a pond with flora and fauna, while the second traverses field and forest to a view of Lake Wylie. The Orchid Conservatory is an 8,000-square-foot home to a variety of orchids and tropical plants. The grounds feature a children's garden, 12 fountains and a visitor pavilion topped by a 1909 stained-glass dome.
Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 1 hour, 30 minutes minimum.