When George Vanderbilt began purchasing land for his grand Biltmore Estate in 1888, the tracts were rough and overworked. Vanderbilt wanted to create a European country setting to complement his grand chateau, but he knew that he needed help to accomplish his goal.
He hired Frederick Law Olmsted, the first American landscape architect, to fulfill his vision. It would be Olmsted’s final project and perhaps his most grand legacy. To assist with developing the gardens, Olmsted hired a Cornell-educated horticulturalist Chauncey Beadle. Beadle was hired only temporarily in 1890, but ended up staying until his death in 1960.
During his time on the estate, Beadle developed a love for azaleas and amassed a personal collection containing 3,000 plants. In 1940, he donated the entire collection to Biltmore. Check out these stunning images of the famous Azalea Garden along with Biltmore’s other notable gardens.
Hilton Head Island to Biltmore (Asheville, N.C.)
Duration: 4 hours, 57 minutes (302 miles)
Hip spots in Asheville
Where to eat
Sunny Point Café (breakfast), Over Easy Cafe(brunch), Plant (lunch), HomeGrown (dinner)
Where to drink
Biscuit Head (coffee), Cúrate (wine), The Times at S&W (cocktails), Funkatorium (beer)
Where to go
Mast General Store, North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville Pinball Museum,Western North Carolina Nature Center