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 2023
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.
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, be sure 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.
Also be sure to check out these special happenings during Biltmore Blooms 2023:
- Italian Renaissance Alive - Italian Renaissance Alive celebrates Italian culture, architecture, sculpture, and literature. Staged at Amherst at Deerpark, light, color, sound and fragrance are choreographed in this large-scale multi-sensory event. A powerful Italian score enhances Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus, and other works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, and Veronese.
- Ciao! From Italy in Antler Hill Village - The perfect companion to Italian Renaissance Alive, Ciao! From Italy is a charming display that showcases eight large-scale sculptural postcards inspired by George and Edith Vanderbilt’s Italian travels. The design is reminiscent of accordion-style picture postcards, and combines botanical designs with authentic greetings from the Vanderbilts, including notes from George Vanderbilt’s travel journal. It goes on view in Antler Hill Village on April 1.
- New! Chihuly art at Biltmore Winery - A newly commissioned, blown-glass Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly was recently installed in Biltmore Winery. George Vanderbilt was a thoughtful collector of wine and art. “He (Vanderbilt) enjoyed bringing beautiful objects to fill Biltmore House and sharing excellent vintages at his table,” said Bill Cecil, President and CEO of Biltmore and great-grandson of George Vanderbilt. “Our family commissioned this piece to represent the importance of wine in our history, from the Vanderbilt era to our modern-day winemaking philosophy.”
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 Italian Renaissance Alive 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.