Everything You Need to Know About the Botanical Gardens at Asheville

If you’re planning a trip to North Carolina this spring, be sure to visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. This facility houses a spectacular collection of plants and flowers that are native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Visitors may attend classes on photography, painting, and plant identification, or stroll a scenic walking trail. You can even sign up for a guided tour! Whether you’re an Asheville local or just passing through, the gardens are the perfect place to stop and enjoy nature. Here are some of the things you’ll see there.

Learn more about the Botanical Gardens at Asheville when you download our free vacation guide! It’s full of information on great places to visit during your stay at The Esmeralda.

History of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Most people are surprised to find out that the Asheville Botanical Gardens were established on eroded, abandoned timberland. Cleanup and trail building took place from 1962-1963, and planting started in 1964. More than 5,000 plants were transplanted from private lands and national forests. Today, the gardens represent over 600 species of trees, vines, wildflowers, herbs, grasses, aquatic plants, and ferns. The gardens are open every day of the year during daylight hours.


One of the best ways to explore the gardens is to follow the half-mile walking trail. This route leads visitors across bridges, through meadows, and into a wildflower cove. Along the way, picnic benches and tables invite guests to stop for lunch and take in the scenery.

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville also hosts a wide range of programs, workshops, and events throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Annual Spring Wildflower Walk in April. This informative stroll is lead by Dr. David Clark, a professor in the UNCA Biology Department and one of the premier botanists of South American floras. He has discovered dozens of new plant species and is eager to share his knowledge! Call (828) 252-5190 to register.


Want to experience peak spring blooms? Head to the gardens in April or May. Thousands of flowers flourish during this time, including Trilliums, Spring-beauties, Crested Dwarf Iris, Wild Geranium, and more. Mid-summer through early fall is the second bloom peak and is generally restricted to the sunnier parts of the gardens. You’ll see species like Joe-pye Weed, Blazing-star, Green-headed Coneflower, and Goldenrod. Some even bloom year-round!

Be sure to stop by the Garden Path Gift Shop during your visit. It’s open from mid-March through mid-December and offers a wide range of garden-themed items, including T-shirts, tools, handmade artwork, and more.


When it’s time to start planning your spring or summer getaway, look no further than The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant. Our Chimney Rock bed and breakfast offers some of the best lodging in the area. And it’s just a short drive from the Botanical Gardens of Asheville! You can spend the day outdoors, then unwind in one of our beautiful guest rooms or cabins. Simply visit our accommodations page to see what’s available and contact us to book your stay. We look forward to having you!

Looking for more great places to explore?
Read our blog about the 
North Carolina Arboretum!