Welcome to Bellingrath Gardens and Home!
If you're a flower lover or gardener, you'll definitely appreciate the abundance and array of colors, fragrances and scenic views that await you at Bellingrath Gardens! The gardens around the Bellingrath home are in bloom throughout the year. You can find camellias in the winter, azaleas in the spring, roses in the summer and chrysanthemums in autumn. This 65 acre Bellingrath garden estate is truly one of the gems in Gulf Shores Alabama.
Bellingrath Gardens was ranked one of the top public rose gardens in 2004.
If you happen to be in Gulf Shores at Christmas, Bellingrath Gardens almost looks magical with it's Christmas light display.
The walking tours are self guided, so take your time and take in:
Behold the Great Lawn
The Butterfly Garden
The Bellingrath Home
Cruise the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle
Any many more formal gardens and terraces...
The Bellingrath Garden Tour
The Bellingrath Gardens were the creation of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath. Walter was looking for place to fish and hunt and Mrs. Bellingrath preferred gardening over the local bikini beach... Oh ya, no bikini's on the beach back in the day, the real reasons below. The publics first glimpse of the Bellingrath Gardens came in 1932 when a national garden club meeting was held in Mobile.
Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile paper, announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. The response from the visitors was overwhelming. Five thousand visitors stormed the gates. Police had to be called in to manage the crowd. This success positioned the Bellingraths to open the gardens for public viewing during the summer months.
The Bellingrath Estate started as a fishing camp with a couple of dilapidated shacks. Over the years improvements were made, the shacks turned into a lodge with screened porches...and eventually the Bellingrath home was built. The Bellingrath Garden evolved from Mrs. Bellingrath's love for flowers and an inspirational trip to Europe where she gained a deep appreciation for the beautiful estates and gardens there... she had to have one.
For us snow birds, winter is a great time to tour the Bellingrath gardens. This winter wonderland (no snow) features tulips, snapdragons, pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale, camellias, daffodils, poppies... and more. On Wednesdays in Jan. and Feb. you can learn more about winter gardens along the Gulf Coast.
Spring is spectacular in the Bellingrath gardens, probably the most beautiful time of the year. They have over 200,000 azaleas, hydrangeas, Easter lilies, impatiens, salvia, fuchsia, geraniums and more.
If spring is spectacular, than summer is sensational. The warm summer days of southern Alabama bring blooms of allemandes, hibiscus, copper plants, begonias, ornamental peppers, bougainvillea, caladiums, coleus, vinca, marigolds and more. An outstanding rose garden has over 2,000 roses in 75 varieties
You get the picture... It's beautiful here all year long with more flowers than you can imagine
Tour the Bellingrath Home
The Bellingrath Home is complete with all the original furnishings and extensive collection of decorative arts. This English Renaissance home was built in 1935. This mammoth, 10,500 square foot home was designed by one of the most prominent architects of the day, George B. Rogers.
Flagstone terraces, a slate roof and figural copper downspouts join with a central courtyard, balconies and covered galleries to give the Home a Gulf Coast flair. The intent of the architect was to present the Bellingrath house as a home and not a mansion (which it obviously is).
The Bellingrath Home is the only Alabama property to be featured on the popular America’s Castles series on A&E.
Last check showed tours of the Bellingrath Home every half hour from 9 AM to 4 PM. Obviously they stay open later around Christmas for the lighting display.
Fowl River Cruise
Take a break from the walking tour, and climb aboard the Southern Belle for a 45 minute river cruise. Relax as you learn about birding habits, ecological systems and the civil war history of the area. The Southern Belle departs daily from Bellingrath Gardens and the Bellingrath Home between March and November.
The Southern Belle offers dinner cruises on Friday and Saturday nights through most of the year. It's also available for private cruises and charters. The main deck is air conditioned while the upper deck is open for a better scenic view as you cruise the river. Dinner dress is casual. Try it, it's a nice night out. I think the price is around $50 per person and a cash bar is available.
You may want to call 251-973-2217 for more information, seasonal availability and departure times.
Map It! 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, Alabama 36582
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