It’s official. 2014 is a great year to be a butterfly in North Carolina! NC State Parks even proclaimed this the Year of the Lepidoptera (aka butterflies and moths). Because it took such a long time for spring to finally show itself this year, caterpillars got a late start.
That means August is showtime for butterfly spotting all across the state. Whether you’re visiting North Carolina on vacation or you’re lucky enough to be a NC resident exploring new places around the state, you’ll find dozens of ways to enjoy and appreciate these amazing beauties.
At last count, 176 butterfly species have been recorded in North Carolina. NC State Parks has compiled a rich, searchable online database with butterfly photos and detailed information on nearly all of the identified species. Butterfly lovers will definitely want to bookmark this spot.
NC Innkeepers Do Their Part
Members of the North Carolina Bed & Breakfast Inns love cultivating beauty. That’s one of the reasons you’ll find so many blooming things on the grounds of NC Bed and Breakfasts and Inns all across the state. Take a closer look and you’ll notice that many of the plants and shrubs at the B&Bs have been planted to attract and provide a lush habitat for native butterflies and moths.
From the fascinating Evening Primrose which attracts nightly visits by the spinx moth to the colorful butterfly gardens at 1898 Waverly Inn, a Certified Wildlife Habitat, North Carolina innkeepers are helping to protect the pollinators and make our state even more beautiful.
North Carolina’s Butterfly Houses
Treat yourself and family to an unforgettable and breath-taking experience by visiting one of the butterfly houses near your B&B.
In the Coastal region of North Carolina, here are our two top choices:
Airlie Gardens in Wilmington. At Airlie Gardens, you’ll see hundreds of butterflies — all native to North Carolina. This is a 2,700-square foot butterfly house, open from April 15 – October 15 every year.
The Butterfly Bungalow at NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The Aquarium created a temporary exhibit space on the grassy area adjacent to the main parking lot – with a garden and 1,800 square foot Butterfly Bungalow. You’ll get up close and personal with hundreds of exotic butterflies from all over the world. But hurry. The exhibit closes at the end of October, 2014.
In the Piedmont area of North Carolina, here are our top three choices.
In Charlotte : Charlotte Nature Museum
In Durham : Museum of Life + Science
In Raleigh : Living Conservatory at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
So, now it’s your turn. Get out there and enjoy the flights of the butterflies!
Learn more about the NC State Butterfly here