North Carolina December 28, 2017
The Fairytale Garden In North Carolina That Will Simply Dazzle You
You know that time between Christmas and the New Year where everything is a blur and you’re always unsure of what exact day of the week it is – or what you’re supposed to be doing? We’ve entered the Christmas comedown, and while the ‘Christmas spirit’ might now be replaced with waiting for the new year and a fresh start, there are still plenty of ‘spirited’ activities to fill the time between now and 2018.
The gorgeous Elizabethan Gardens is an elaborate ode to Sir Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colonists. Reflecting Queen Elizabeth I's love for gardens and strolling through as recreation, its fanciful and elaborate enough for a queen or king. Today, many enjoy visiting for the various gardens and noteworthy statues. Even the entrance has history, the gatehouse is a replica of a 1500s orangery, a greenhouse used to protect citrus plants from the harsh English weather. Above the entrance is Elizabeth I's coat of arms; the gate itself was actually a gift to the US by the French Embassy.
While year round Elizabethan Gardens glow with their own certain magic, wintertime transforms it into a dazzling array of lights and sounds to accompany the already immaculate grounds. Different sections have their own charm while you're guided by an illuminated path from one display to the next.
Sights to see along your walk include the Queen's Rose Garden, the statue of Queen Elizabeth I, and the statue of Virginia Dare. There's also the woodland gardens and twinkling paths that possess their own unique charm and wonder.
Of course there's very Colonial-centric decor too, like the white doe to symbolize the legend behind Virginia Dare and what could have happened to her in her adult life. While the mystery of the Lost Colony might forever remain just so, many have theorized that Virginia Dare, the first English child born on American soil, might have lived a peaceful life with the Native Americans...perhaps even getting involved in a love triangle and turning into a white doe from a curse. For many North Carolina and Revolutionary history buffs, you'll love the small nods and odes to history that are decorated through winter lights.
Speaking of, the Virginia Dare statue is an absolute must-see. It was carved by Maria Louisa Lander during her time working in Rome. The controversial display shows Virginia in adult form, draped in nothing but a fishing net. After quite the journey to America, the statue has found its home in Elizabethan Gardens...not far from where Virginia Dare was born.
There's also the Queen Elizabeth statue, one of the largest statues of its kind in the world at 1.5 times her actual size.
While winter lights might seem 'Christmasy,' the event runs until January 20, allowing a little more time to stretch the magic and wonder of the holiday season. If you're off work through the New Year or will be in the Outer Banks sometime soon, check out this marvelous display fit for royalty.
Have you ever visited Elizabethan Gardens or gone to see the winter lights?
For another illuminated event, check out the
Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary.
Elizabethan Gardens –
1411 National Park Dr
Manteo, North Carolina 27954
Some images courtesy of Wes Snyder Photography.