Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a spectacular 65-acre botanical garden and mansion located on the Fowl River in Theodore, near Mobile Bay, AL. The site was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on September 14, 1977, and on the National Register of Historic Places on October 19, 1982.
The property on which the gardens were constructed was purchased in 1917 as a fishing camp by Walter Bellingrath, then president of Mobile’s Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. His wife, Bessie Bellingrath, began developing the gardens with architect George Bigelow Rogers in 1927.
The wonderful southern estate garden includes a bridal garden, a conservatory, a great lawn, a nature walk, an Asian garden, a rose garden, a chapel, the Mermaid Pool, Mirror Lake, an observation tower, and a river pavilion where river cruises are provided seasonally on the “Southern Belle” and the “Kingfisher”.
The estate home was completed in 1935, encompasses 10,500 square feet, and features hand-made brick salvaged in Mobile from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont. It is the passion of Bellingrath Gardens to enhance and preserve the beautiful gardens and the grand estate home of Walter Bellingrath. It is available to be enjoyed and open year round.
“Magic Christmas In Lights” at Bellingrath Gardens celebrates the Christmas season each December (the Friday following Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve) with a display that includes some three million lights, fifteen scenes, and eleven hundred set pieces.
Admission Fee: $21 for gardens and home or $13 for gardens only. Reduced entrance fee for children 5–12 years of age.
Hours: Open almost every day of the year, daily from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Closed only on major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days.
What’s in Bloom at Bellingrath Gardens?
Plan your visit around what’s in bloom at the 65-acre garden estate. To help plan your visit, the Gardens maintain a What’s in Bloom page. Or just surprise yourself and show up to enjoy the flowers and plants.
Among the favorites times to visit are the spring Azalea Bloom Out, featuring thousands of mature azaleas which typically reach its peak in March, together with other spring blooms throughout including daffodils, tulips, and delphiniums. The annual Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums event each November isn’t to be missed. Don’t forget the annual, unique Magic Christmas in Lights display.
Explore Bellingrath Gardens
There are two miles of self-guided walking tour available to guests. Opened to the public in 1932, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, is the oldest public garden in Alabama.
No matter which season you visit, you’ll always see amazing displays that range from the famous spring azaleas, the multi-color roses during summer, brilliant chrysanthemums in the fall, and poinsettias at Christmas.
And there is even more. The landscape and the architecture are also spectacular, including the great lawn; the mermaid fountain, camellia parterre, the Asian-American garden, Mirror Lake; the glass conservatory set in a distinctly style, and the estate home with beautiful antiques abounding. Lastly, the views of the river and its marsh grasses; the cypress tress with their moss adornment, and the famous stone grotto with splashing water.
Your day trip to Bellingrath Gardens is one that you’ll never forget.