Quiet Reflections Retreat
: Here, a small, stunning chapel built from poplar and glass opens up to a view that looks out onto a clearing at 3,5000 feet and spreads across the Black Mountains, reaching all the way to Mount Mitchell. Look through the windows behind the pulpit and you can’t see a single thing man has built. For 25 years visitors have come to escape highway noise and artificial light and the constant chatter of our wired world.
730 Rock Boulevard • Burnsville, NC 28714
: In the middle of Duke University’s campus sits a 55-acre tract of horticulture heaven. Occasionally the Gardens will host Japanese Tea Gatherings
in the Culberson Asiatic Arbortum’s tea house. This ceremony allows participants to focus on appreciating their surroundings and connecting authentically with the present moment. When you enter the Japanese pavilion’s outer edge, known as the roji
, you’re asked to leave your preoccupations behind.The next Japanese Tea Gathering at Duke Gardens will be held on February 14, 2014.
420 Anderson Street • Durham, NC 27708
: You can get here by boat or not at all, pulled into the harbor by way of the Cape Fear River. Cars are not permitted – instead, visitors and residents travel using electric golf carts. Everything is slow going, slow growing, slow moving. At low tide you’ll get a sense of what it means to be isolated in a place built from nothing but sand and water and sky.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
: Mike Lubbock
is driven by a passion for saving bird species. To fund these efforts, visitors are invited into his Sylvan Heights Bird Park
. Find tranquility while gazing at toucans, flamingos, pygmy geese, black-crowned cranes and more. It’s impossible not to be enchanted – the park currently is home to around 2,000 birds.
500 Sylvan Heights Park Way
Scotland Neck, NC 27874
Where are your peaceful places in North Carolina? Tell us in the comments section below.