About the Gardens

Welcome to Airlie Gardens!

We are excited to share our garden with you. Last year we saw over 120,000 visitors at Airlie. Our goal is to showcase the natural beauty of the garden while sharing the history and ensuring the preservation of the area. Each year we welcome 4,000+ students to the garden to share our connection to the environment, protecting it for future generations. We hope you will join us for one of our signature events held throughout the year, or just for a relaxing stroll around the garden.

–Tara Duckworth, Executive Director


The Airlie Gardens Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is:  To ensure and help preserve Airlie Gardens as an outstanding, historic public garden with cultural and environmental programs developed to serve New Hanover County residents and other visitors.


Airlie Gardens’ history dates back to the early 1700’s. The gardens you see today are the vision of Sarah and Pembroke Jones. The Jones purchased the property in 1884 and transformed it into a picturesque garden.  In 1999, a commitment from the New Hanover County Commissioners, along with a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the support of local residents, made possible this county’s purchase and restoration of Airlie’s 67-acres of gardens.

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Guided Tours

Explore Airlie Gardens and learn about its rich history with one of our volunteer Garden Guides. We recommend contacting us at least two weeks in advance to coordinate your reservation. All tours require a reservation and are only offered during weekdays.

Guided Tours | $10/person

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