With the weather warming up and Spring just a few weeks away, wildflowers are starting to bloom, and North Carolina has so many beautiful gardens and natural landscapes to see them in full bloom if you’re in the mood. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to Arboretums, these are our favorite 5 places to see flowers in full bloom when springtime season starts.
1. Airlie Gardens
This year at Airlie Gardens, the Spring Blooms have already started, with the flower exhibition taking place from March 1st to April 15th. The gardens’ Spring Bloom hold over 75,000 azaleas and 60,000 spring blooms which are expected to bloom mid-March through mid-April. This photo is from 2021 during the peak of tulip season and give a glimpse of what you can see at Airlie. All general admission has to be purchased in advance and the gardens are open from 9am to 5pm daily (with last entree at 4:30). Tickets costs $9 and can be purchased online.
Where: 300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403
2. NC Botanical Garden
The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a variety of different events on their premises, but we’d recommend a personal tour through the gardens on April 8th from 10-11am to get the full experience. The tour takes place the second Saturday of every month, costs $6, and is available to register here.
Where: 100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
3. The North Carolina Arboretum
Just south of Asheville is the North Carolina Arboretum, which offers acres of beautifully cultivated gardens and trails. Check out one of their many exhibits from their Wildflower exhibit that offers views of azaleas, wildflowers, and many many more. The gardens open up for their full bloom starting on April 1st. Don’t forget to check out their Plant Sale and Vendor Market on May 27th and 28th for a last hurrah before summer starts.
Where: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
4. Biltmore Estate
From April 1st to May 25th, you can see Spring Blooms take place at Biltmore Estate’s ‘Biltmore Blooms’ event that takes place in multiple areas of their estate. The buds start to bloom in mid-March but they’re usually at full bloom in April and May. With your ticket, you get access to, not only the gardens, but the Biltmore House, the Antler Hill Winery, wine tasting, and complimentary parking.
Where: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
5. Linville Gorge
Springtime in the Blue Ridge Mountains is nothing short of spectacular and each months boasts their own particular type of flower. In March, you can get spectacular views of beauties like daffodils and iris and in April, you get to see tulips, redbud, and pinkshell azaleas. (Hint: one of the most popular bloom is the rhododendron bloom which takes place in June). Some of the best wildflower bloom hikes are Craggy Gardens Trail, Pinnacle Trail at Craggy Gardens, and Graveyard Field Loop trails. For frequent sightings of violets, trillium, and azaleas, you can try hiking down Craven Gap Trail to Bull Gap.