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  • Philadelphia CVB Spotlight LB 9-2018

Charming history meets beauty at Bellingrath Gardens and Home

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Opened in 1932, Bellingrath Gardens and Home shares a wealth of blooms, history and beauty in Theodore, Alabama. 

Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama

Photo: Bellingrath Gardens and Home Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore, Ala.

“We believe our history makes our gardens truly special,” said Sally Ericson, director of marketing and public relations at Bellingrath. “The gardens first opened to the public on April 7, 1932. The historic Bellingrath Home was completed in 1936 and offers an intimate look at life on the Fowl River in a now-vanished era. Bellingrath Gardens and Home is also different from other public gardens because of our balmy Gulf Coast climate — we’re able to offer lush blooms and beautiful plantings year-round.”

Sitting on 65 acres, the iconic Southern estate garden is the creation of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. The couple played a strong role in the community of Mobile, Alabama, during the economic depression, by purchasing flowers and crafts from local businesses for the gardens, and helping others in need.

Today, groups can tour the gardens and experience a slice of the Bellingraths’ life in the nearly 11,000-square-foot home.

“We always get compliments on our award-winning Rose Garden, which is the first garden on the tour,” Ericson said. “Our guests also especially enjoy the guided tours of the Bellingrath Home, which is filled with the Bellingraths’ original furniture and collections. There is always something blooming at Bellingrath Gardens. In winter, come see over 400 varieties of camellias, Alabama’s state flower. In spring, the gardens are filled with 250,000 gorgeous azalea blooms. Summer is all about roses, hydrangeas and exotic tropicals. You absolutely don’t want to miss our spectacular Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums gracing the gardens each November. At Bellingrath, all seasons are simply beautiful.”

 Tour reservations must be made at least eight days in advance and discounted rates are offered for groups of 20 or more. Groups can select tours with lunch options. Ample motorcoach parking is available. 

For more information, call 251-973-2217 or visit bellingrath.org.

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About Author

Kelsey Smith, Associate Editor

The more wine columnist Kelsey Smith travels, the more tales she can’t wait to tell. She especially likes to discover how destinations and attractions can accommodate groups. To earn a star on her travel checklist, there better be parking for a motorcoach and dining, at least nearby. Watch for the debut of her blog, “Wine Wednesday.”

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