Spring is one of the most colorful seasons in the Blue Ridge Mountains — nearly tied with fall’s majestic color display — thanks to dozens of species of native wildflowers that blanket forest floors and mountain meadows this time of year.
It’s also the perfect time of year to take a day trip to see the blooms at one of Western North Carolina’s top spring attractions — the Biltmore Blooms celebration at the Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville.
What to see at Biltmore Blooms
Thousands of tulips adorn the expansive grounds of Biltmore, the site of America’s largest privately owned home. Once the residence of George W. Vanderbilt and his family, the 250-room chateau and 8,000-acre estate are now open year-round for tours. But in no other time of year do the gardens come to life quite the way they do during Biltmore Blooms, the estate’s annual springtime celebration kicking off April 1, 2022.
Biltmore House itself gets into the spirit of spring with vibrant flower arrangements displayed among the luxe historical furnishings and artwork. When you leave the house, besure to visit the walled garden to see (and snap a selfie with) a kaleidoscope of 72,000 blossoming tulips. As April stretches into May, venture through the Azalea and Rose gardens as these sweet-smelling, showy blooms steal the stage.
Be sure to check out these special happenings during Biltmore Blooms 2022:
- Monet & Friends: Life, Light and Color (through July 10): Enjoy this immersive art experience that spotlights the Impressionist painters of 19th-century Europe. Find tickets here. And look for more Monet inspiration across the estate, from a replica of the famous water lily bridge to two rarely viewed Money paintings on display in the Morning Salon of Biltmore House.
- Olmsted’s Biltmore: A Collection of Scenic Stops: In 2022, Biltmore celebrates the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of American landscape architecture and the genius behind Biltmore’s own stunning landscape. Look for new interpretive panels placed through the grounds to learn more about Olmsted and his work at Biltmore.
- Biltmore Gardens Wonders of the World: Visitors of all ages will love this popular large-scale model railroad display highlighting the Vanderbilts’ travels to the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and more. (All of the structures are created from natural materials like twigs, bamboo and acorns!) Look for the display in Biltmore’s Antler Hill Village.
Plan your visit to Biltmore Blooms
Biltmore is about a 35-minute drive from downtown Marion. Take I-40 W to exit 50B, then follow the signs to Biltmore Estate. Having your own vehicle on the estate makes it easier to access many of the attractions, including the gardens, winery and Antler Hill Village.
Admission prices to Biltmore start at $86 per person, with kids 9 and younger admitted for free. Tickets or annual passes are required for all visitors, regardless of whether you plan to tour the house. Your ticket includes complimentary parking and an audio guide for the house tour. Touring Biltmore House requires a timed reservation, which you can choose when you purchase your ticket.
The Monet & Friends exhibition requires an additional admission, which can be purchased along with your regular ticket.
Biltmore’s admission gate is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily. Find more information at www.biltmore.com.