Stroll Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Mobile is known as the Azalea City because, in the 30s, the garden club actively encouraged planting these colorful flowers to attract visitors. Their idea blossomed, and the Azalea Trail grew to be over 50-miles long and attracted over one hundred thousand visitors every year.

Coca-Cola bottlers Walter and Bessie Bellingrath built their namesake mansion and gardens just outside Mobile during the same time frame. They were avid collectors of old south memorabilia, including porcelain, silver, and mature azalea plants. These collectibles were procured from the finest homes and mansions that had fallen into disrepair with the collapse of King Cotton. The Bellingrath’s modern estate had such an old southern charm, it was too unique and beautiful not to be shared. So, on April 7, 1932, they opened their gardens to the public for the first time.

The Azalea Trail, and pretty much all of Mobile, was severely declining by the 1970s. However, Walter Bellingrath established a foundation to preserve his home and gardens in perpetuity to honor his late, beloved wife. Today, the 65-acre gardens have something blooming every season, but it’s hard to match their beauty in March when more than 250,000 azaleas explode in a vibrant collage of color.

Flowers are always romantic, but the love story behind the Bellingrath Gardens makes the blooms that much sweeter.

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