Great Botanical Gardens of the World
Courtesy of Biltmore Estates
Lay of the Land: When the American Horticultural Society announced its 2008 Asheville travel plans, the trip sold out within just a few weeks. The draw?The tour's highlight, the Biltmore Estate, built at the turn of the 20th century by George Washington Vanderbilt III, who—appropriately enough—hired the so-called founding father of U.S. landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, to design the grounds. Today, the estate's 8,000 acres encompass an Italian garden, a rose garden, an English walled garden, and an (especially southern) Azalea Garden with more than 1,000 plants.
Don't Miss: The estate's 250-room castle—the nation's largest private residence, designed by Richard Morris Hunt and opened in 1895—where you can tour a small fraction of the elaborately, gorgeously decorated rooms.
More Info: Biltmore Estate.
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