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Asheville's Biltmore Estate shines in every season

We’ve loved exploring America’s largest home, the Biltmore Estate, several times, but after spending a few days at this gorgeous Asheville/Blue Ridge Mountains location in spring, we may have found our favorite time to visit.

“Biltmore Blooms” is an unforgettable carpet of tulips in riotous colors thanks to formal gardens on the massive grounds.

Bonus: These formal gardens are the work of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame. (Biltmore was the designer’s last professional project.) Tulips bloom after the crocus, forsythia and daffodils. After the tulips, look for irises, roses and acres of azaleas. Then come the mountain laurels and rhododendrons that western North Carolina is especially known for.

After tiptoeing through those tulips in the walled garden, be sure to head inside the adjacent, glass-roofed conservatory for more beautiful blooms and exotic plants, particularly orchids. It’s a nice spot, too, to escape summer’s heat.

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