As daffodils emerge at the entrance of Biltmore, it’s safe to assume that Biltmore Blooms is returning to the estate. Biltmore’s annual celebration of spring has been delighting guests for more than three decades. This year’s event kicks off April 1 and continues through May 23, 2019, combining acres of historic gardens, a new exhibition in Biltmore House, a spring wine release, and much more.
Biltmore’s spring gardens and bloom reports
A vibrant landscape of flowers blankets the estate during Biltmore Blooms, paying homage to the legacy of landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and his final professional project – George Vanderbilt’s gardens at Biltmore.
Daffodils, crocus and forsythia are among the first to bloom, followed by thousands of tulips emerging across the estate. The concentrated tulip bloom in Biltmore’s Walled Garden pattern beds will be the result of some 80,000 bulbs planted in late fall last year. Tulips can be seen in warm hues of purple, pink and red. Later spring days bring irises, roses and azaleas, with mountain laurels and rhododendrons close behind.
For trip planning during Biltmore Blooms, stay up to date with what is currently flowering with weekly reports from the estate’s director of horticulture Parker Andes at Biltmore.com/bloomreport.
Spring is brought indoors in Biltmore House
Floral arrangements and tropical plants flourish inside Biltmore House, complementing the estate’s current exhibition, A Vanderbilt House Party – The Gilded Age. Flowers familiar to western North Carolina such as rhododendron, viburnum and japonica are integrated into Biltmore House, reflecting what might have been cut and used by the staff during the Vanderbilt era.
The exhibition tells stories of celebrations once held in Biltmore House, bringing to life how George Vanderbilt and his family entertained with festive house parties during the Gilded Age. The exhibition features the recreation of elegant Vanderbilt-era clothing by Academy Award-winning costume designer John Bright. Black-and-white photographs (circa 1900) in Biltmore’s archives served as the source material to create the outfits.
Seasonal activities, events and savings
Annual Easter Egg Hunt Sunday, April 21
One of the largest in the Southeast, Biltmore’s Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Easter Sunday, April 21, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Entertainment is for children ages 2 through 9 and includes treat bags, magic shows, jugglers, and photos with the Easter Rabbit. Egg hunts begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration begins two hours before each hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs. Family-friendly activities continue in Angler Hill Village including giant bubbles on the Village Green, sheep herding in the farmyard, a grape stomp at the Winery and music at the Bandstand. Activities are included with regular estate admission.
Gardening tips and design inspiration
Join Biltmore’s gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques, included with the price of estate admission. Weekend “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with horticulture experts. Effortless Orchids, a free demonstration on caring for this beautiful and diverse plant species, takes place daily at 1 p.m. at A Gardener’s Place Shop located beneath the Conservatory.
- Easter Sunday Brunch: On April 21, special Easter brunches are served at both the Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Deerpark Restaurant.
- Mother’s Day Brunch: On Sunday, May 12, special Mother’s Day brunches are being served at both the Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Deerpark Restaurant.
Spring wine release
Every admission to Biltmore includes a visit to Biltmore Winery and complimentary tastings of award-winning wines. Look for the 2019 Limited Release Spring Seasonal Wine, a semi-sweet fragrant white wine with floral aromas and hints of citrus, ideal for sipping, entertaining and relaxing outdoors.
Spring break getaways
Spring days are perfect for exploring Biltmore’s 8,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Outdoor Adventure Center serves as headquarters for Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, kayaking and float trips along the French Broad River, and the Land Rover Driving Experience. New experiences offered this spring are falconry and Outrider USA Adventure electric trikes. Young guests can encounter chicks, goats and lambs at the Farmyard in Antler Hill Village.
Stay at Biltmore and save: Three nights for the price of two
Biltmore’s two hotels offer Vanderbilt-inspired hospitality and easy access to the estate’s 8,000 acres of beauty during Biltmore Blooms. The Inn on Biltmore Estate invites guests to enjoy world-class service and luxurious spa treatments. At Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, guests are just steps away from the Winery in an ideal home-base for enjoying a variety of restaurants, shops, and outdoor activities. Guests save on spring getaways by staying three nights for the price of two at The Inn March 22 through April 15, 2019 and at Village Hotel now through May 14, 2019 (blackout dates apply).
Estate spring savings
- Purchase estate admission tickets seven days in advance of your visit and receive $10 off.
- Receive a free custom exhibition audio guided tour of A Vanderbilt House Party when guests purchase estate admission tickets online.
- Moms enjoy $25 admission on Mother’s Day weekend, either Saturday, May 11 or Sunday, May 12, with the purchase of an adult or youth daytime admission ticket.