A Spring Excursion

Warm spring weather calls for day trips and long walks to enjoy the blooms and fresh air. When the weather is warm and no rain is in the forecast, I often drive over to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. It is only sixty-five miles away, so I have purchased annual passes for the past few years. The gardens and grounds of the estate provide miles of delightful paths to wander.

I always take a hat and wear sunscreen (here and here) when I will be outdoors for more than a few minutes. The lip color is Girls’ Night here. I wore a couple of my favorite recent purchases. Denim Jacket here – Striped pants here – Similar sneakers here – No-Show Socks here. *Shell here.

*I adore the flattering jewel neckline and appreciate that this shell isn’t too long, and I can also remove my jacket without showing bra straps. This one is a size medium, but I have ordered two more shells in size large here. I am fully embracing the trend for slightly more oversized garments.

All of my accessories are several years old. A similar hat is here – A similar tote is here – A similar watch is here – Similar earrings are here – A similar ring is here.

A statue of Diana the Huntress is located at the top of the hill across from the Biltmore House. I spent most of the day walking on the grounds and at Antler Hill Village, enjoying the beautiful blooms. It was such a joy to be outdoors for a few hours.

I was thrilled to see countless lambs frolicking in the meadows. The image of the lamb is from Biltmore’s Pinterest page. I couldn’t get close enough to get a good photo.

I always look forward to visiting the Conservatory, and it never disappoints.

Above and below are miniatures of the house and the Conservatory. Miniature trains pass along the track visible at the top of the photo below.

Gardenias have the most delightful fragrance.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from my outing earlier in the week. As I prepare this post, we have snow flurries and a freeze warning. Spring is always fickle here in the hills of east Tennessee.

Thank you for all the lovely comments this week. Congratulations, Christine Culbert! You are the winner of the beautiful pearl and silver bracelet.

Shopping links on my site may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. So happy to enjoy this visit to Biltmore!! It really is a magical place. I think I’ll start planning a trip there later today.
    You look gorgeous in that color combo.

  2. We will be at the Biltmore later this month and your photos make me even more anxious to see it. I am hoping the weather will cooperate and we will be able to be outside as much as possible.

  3. Congratulations Christine!
    Biltmore is amazing! I need to go back. The rows and rows of Tulips were breathtaking! I had never seen that many flowers in one place.
    Happy Easter everyone!

  4. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! I’d love to visit Biltmore if I ever get the opportunity. Susan, I’m confused about your pants. The color is black/ivory stripe but I cannot see black or stripes. Would you describe the coloring? Thanks and have a GOOD FRIDAY and a HAPPY EASTER!

    1. I didn’t eat while I was away, but some of the restaurants were open on the estate, and many eating establishments in town were open. The Bistro in Antler Hill Village is my favorite, but it isn’t open for lunch.

  5. Congratulations Christine!
    I love your hat, Susan. I’ve always worn hats all year for warmth as well as for protection from the sun.
    Thank you, so much, for the beautiful and cheerful photos of Biltmore. Years ago, my mom’s family retired to that area so your photos bring back many wonderful memories. Your pictures and informative blog offer such a needed escape as we enter the 3rd lockdown and rising cases of Covid here in Canada.
    On a more cheerful note, wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter.

  6. I love our classic style. It can go so many places. The color of your handbag adds a nice punch to your outfit. I’m hoping we can travel to your area this summer. It looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your excursion with us.
    Happy Easter to you and yours.

  7. Loved seeing the photos of the Biltmore. We have never been, so I enjoy your photo sharing! It looked like a beautiful day & gorgeous flowers!! Loved your casual yet still classy outfit!

  8. You don’t know how very lucky you are to live within driving distance of Biltmore!!! My husband had planned a trip there last fall, and due to covid restrictions, we didn’t get to travel. Now he has been diagnosed with cancer and we probably will never get to see it. Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos. I can only imagine and enjoy the photos of such a beautiful place!

  9. Thank you for sharing pictures of flowers. I am allergic to flowers, grass, and trees (among other things.).
    So I really enjoy seeing all the places I cannot enjoy in person

  10. Oh, what beautiful scenery! Thank you for sharing. You inspired me to schedule a visit to Asheville during Thanksgiving in 2019 and we were not disappointed in our visits to the Biltmore estate, the Grove Park Inn and Chimney Rock. Now, I want to visit again in the Spring. Thank you for fresh and informative posts about a number of topics.

  11. Hi Susan, oh thank you, thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. You are so luck to live close to the Biltmore. I’ve traveled there once, thanks to another post from you a few years back. We thoroughly enjoyed the grounds and stayed at the hotel on the grounds. It was a really lovely 3 day visit, I can’t wait to return. It’s so nice to see the grounds in the Spring! Your look is just perfect! Amy

  12. Beautiful photographs I loved seeing the Biltmore through your camera’s lens.
    As always you looked great. So confident and so put together!

  13. Hi Susan,
    I admire your lifestyle, and how you always are so put together. What size are you wearing in the denim jacket, does it run large? I’m 5’4″ and it is always a guess if I should order petite, or regular. Happy Easter!

  14. What a wonderful place in which to spend time, my favorite fragrance is gardenia, and they are difficult to grow outside here in pacific nw, I’d love to bury my nose in t hose flowers!! ann lee s

  15. I am wondering if you could expand a little on what you said in your post, quote: “I am fully embracing the trend for slightly more oversized garments.” Are you applying this to both tops, jackets, pants? I was not aware that this is a trend and would like more information on how I might select new purchases going forward. Asheville pictures are beautiful. Thank you, Susan for sharing your trip.

    1. I am seeing loose-fitting slacks or tailored trousers on stylish women of all ages. Relaxed fit shirts and jackets look more modern, but if you wear them with loose-fitting slacks, the waistline needs to be belted, or the top tucked in partially to show your shape. As I age, I am more confident in clothing that skims the body rather than hugging every curve.

  16. I always enjoy your pictures! And we’re no strangers to temperature schizophrenia here in Central New York!

  17. Your pictures make me want to visit the Biltmore. Lovely flowers and I wish I could smell that gardenia. My favorite!
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  18. When we lived in southwest Virginia I always enjoyed our trips to the Biltmore Estate. I really miss it!! Such a pretty place.

  19. I love to tour all these old estates and places of interest. Bellingrath Gardens in Al is just a short drive. It’s always beautiful in the spring with the azaleas. Beauvoir is right here where I live. New Orleans is just a short drive away from Gulfport. They have some great old graveyards.
    I love the red. When you stick to neutrals, there are so many ways to add a splash of color. I’m checking out that shell. You look beautiful.

    1. I visited Bellingrath Gardens many years ago when I lived in Gulfport. All of the places you mentioned are magical. Thank you for reminding me of Bellingrath. I’m sure it is stunning in the springtime.

  20. Your photos of all the beautiful flowers made me a bit jealous! We aren’t even close to that here in Alberta Canada but when I read you were expecting flurries I totally relate. We had snow and 90 km winds last weekend and this week had beautiful 15 C and sunny skies. A typical Spring here! Lol I can’t wait to walk and smell the flowers!

  21. Dear Susan,

    Wishing you a Happy, Blessed Easter! Thank you for sharing your fashion and travel adventures. I always look forward to your latest – and sometimes past – posts.

  22. Oh yes when we lived in that area we always went there especially on Sunday. It never disappointed. Such a beautiful place. By the way loved those slacks so got me some. I always feel better after reading your article. So thank you very much.

  23. You are beautiful and I love reading all your posts! And your trip on this one looks magical!♡♡
    Paola, Kansas

  24. Hi Susan, I finally tried the Shek no show socks and wow, they are fabulous! I have narrow feet and have never found anything to stay on. These stay on all day and night! What a great find! Thank you!

  25. Thanks for sharing Susan. Your trips are always descriptive and expressive! Have a great weekend! I love your description of your outfits. You look great!

  26. Hello, Susan!
    You are looking happy & healthy!
    I have been to Biltmore Estate a couple of times in the spring & late summer.
    I love to garden & looovvvee all the flowers at Biltmore.
    Roam Mtn. should start blooming with rhododendrons soon.
    Hope you have a beautiful & blessed Easter!

  27. Good morning Susan from Arizona. When you talk about what is coming your way weather wise it could not be more opposite than what we are experiencing this week. Yesterday it was 90 degrees, the heat has hit us early this year. Global changing is on the rise.
    I so enjoyed your photos of your day trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The grounds are beautiful. I love, love, love flowers. They bring so much joy into my life. If you would like me to send you a photo of my “Katherine’s Victory Garden” let me know. The Rose bushes are now three years old. We converted our veggie garden into a rose garden. I am so blessed that my hubby Barry is a Master Garden. The roses bring me so much joy and always lift my spirits.

    Sending Easter Blessings to you.

  28. I love all of the photos! The Biltmore is one of my favorite places to visit, especially in the Spring and Christmas. I love your look for your outing so classy yet comfortable looking. Have a great Easter weekend!!

  29. Thank you for the beautiful photos of such a lovely place. I live about 5 hours from Biltmore but finally got there in the spring a few years ago. So so lovely. Planning to return for a visit in December!

  30. Thank you Susan for another delightful post. I love seeing the photos from your trips out. You have such beautiful countryside and it is a joy to see pictures of all the different places you visit. Love your outfit too 🙂

  31. What a lovely outing. We used to live in Charlotte, NC and have been to Biltmore, but its been a long time now. Miss those cooler days. . We have fewer days like that here in Florida now. Enjoy….

  32. Fond memories have returned of spending spring days on vacations in eastern Tennessee. When travel is safer, a trip back would be fun. Thank you for sharing your day trip.

  33. Thank you for sharing your trip to the Biltmore. I love that area and hope to visit there this summer.
    Your adventures during this pandemic have helped me look forward to better days.

  34. Oh so beautiful! Love sharing that walk with you exploring all those wonderful trails and seeing pretty flowers! Biltmore is such an amazing place – you are so lucky to be able to visit often. We were there at Christmas, and hope to visit again in the fall to see the leaves changing. I guess each season is special to see. Happy trails to you and Happy Easter too!

  35. Your pictures are so beautiful, and I hope to travel to see those gardens someday. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, so we were certainly proud of our Bellingrath Gardens.

    Now for a fashion question. I have three pair of navy dress pants (full-length). Should I wear black pumps with these? I also have a pair of cream (not nude or cognac) pumps. Would these work? I always try to extend the line due to being petite with shorter legs.

    1. I am wearing black shoes with navy pants at this very moment. The cream would look lovely with white pants but would call too much attention to themselves with dark slacks.

  36. How wonderful to be able to take an hour’s drive to The Biltmore and spend leisure walks for the day. We were fortunate to be able to go there in 2018 and spent all day, what an estate! Loved the beautiful Azaleas and the winding paths. I must have over 100 pictures of that awesome adventure, one of the best vacations ever. Really enjoyed all of Tenneseeas as well. Your outfit looks perfect for a casual day of travel and walking. Since travel may be limited yet this summer, I hope to take in more of the wealthy automotive mogols estates, as they are only about an hour from me, such the Henry Ford estate and Meadowbrook Hall, the home of heiress to the Dodge fortune, Matilda Dodge Wilson. You are so very fortunate that you are close to so many historical sites and can take day trips to the surroundings states to enjoy them. I will enjoy them through your pictures, thank you.

  37. Thanks for sharing your Biltmore pictures. I’ve been once to enjoy the flowers and another time at Christmas. Such a beautiful estate!

  38. Susan, you look so smart in this outfit! Love the tailored jean jacket and those earrings are drop dead gorgeous!!! Did you make those when you were in the jewelry business?

    I have admired your orange hand bag for awhile. This morning I got on Dooney & Bourke’s website, and they have it in lots of colors on sale this weekend in the $99 sale bags with code TREAT and free shipping over $99. Since I have a bag in that color I got the lemon yellow one for spring/summer. Thank you for all the steering in the right direction. My wardrobe has vastly improved and all works together now.

  39. Living in Florida I miss the crocus, daffodils , grape hyacinths, and tulips Spring explosion. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures at the Biltmore.

  40. I enjoy reading your blogs and your pictures of the countryside are so beautiful.You are one classy lady, keep up the good work!

  41. The photos are so beautiful! It’s so encouraging to think of spring. I always enjoy your posts. Thanks so much!

  42. Beautiful photos. The gardens are glorious with those massed flowers! I think spring is my favourite time of the year.

  43. Susan my husband and I also have annual passes to Biltmore and were there earlier this week enjoying the beautiful grounds and especially the tulips and daffodils. We only live about an hour away also and go at least once a month to enjoy the area. It was a great afternoon on Tuesday. I wish we would have crossed paths! Have a wonderful Easter weekend and please continue to blog!

  44. So enjoyed this peak at what’s in bloom at Biltmore. We’re going to Greenville SC in a couple of weeks to visit our daughter and already have our tickets to visit Biltmore. Also heading from there to Blowing Rock before heading back to Greenville to fly home to Tx. Your posts have inspired me to see more of north and South Carolina. Thank you.

  45. Hi, Susan!
    I’m new here. I love your blog and am reading through your older posts. I adore your style and appreciate your advice regarding dressing for your body type and how you feel comfortable.
    I have the opposite figure from you. I unfortunately inherited a pear shaped figure, so even when I was a size 2 on top I was a size 4-6 on the bottom. I’m 5’5 , gained up to 191 pounds after a back injury, and am on a weight loss journey (now at 155, with a final realistic goal for my age of 140, based on my doctors advice). Even though my figure is much different from yours I still find I can adapt your gorgeous outfits in styles that flatter my own figure, which generally means closer fitting pants/jeans, tunic tops that flow gracefully and just past the hips, A-line dresses that skim over the hips instead of clinging, etc…
    I completely agree with your advice of building a classic wardrobe of neutrals and adding pops of color with accessories like blazers, scarves, and bags. This is so true as we age! Super trendy hasn’t looked good on me since probably the 80’s-lol. I really liked the way you attached a couple of strands of pearls together to make one long one! I’ve never thought of that but am going to do it!! Coco Chanel would’ve loved that tip.
    I love Biltmore as well. We make a couple trips there each year (when there’s not a pandemic), and hated missing seeing it decked out for Christmas this past year.
    Also, I’ve driven through your lovely area of Tennessee before! We’re from Charleston but have a second home in Gatlinburg, and one of my very best friends grew up where you live. Next time we come through I’m we’re going to try that restaurant you’ve mentioned in your blog!
    Thanks for all the amazing inspiration!!

    1. Thank you. I use the hair care products here. About twice a month, I use the purple shampoo here to keep my silver hair from getting a yellow tone. I blow dry it from the crown to give it some lift. I don’t use any styling products.

  46. What a beautiful place to visit! Lucky you to be so close.
    Your walking outfit looks terrific! Put together, attractive and casual to boot!
    I enjoy your posts!

  47. Susan,

    Pardon me for always commenting on your posts. But today’s on your spring excursion to the Biltmore House caught my eye. I long worked in Asheville and visited the estate several times and wrote stories on it as a reporter for the Asheville newspaper.
    Thank you for adding sparkle to the lives of those of us who follow your block. Best wishes for a wonderful spring.

    Thank you for the photos with beautiful flowers ,the Diana statue and the small lamb!
    I was delighted !

  49. How beautiful to see the lovely Spring flowers!
    A question – What outfits would you put together for a wedding? I am to be Mother of the Groom at a Wedding in Crossbasket Castle Scotland in late Spring and am in need of some inspiration.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Regards Elaine

    1. I would take classic pieces that fit perfectly and mix and match with ease. Wear your favorite color in a fabric that is elegant and special. (Silk or rayon instead of cotton, for example.) Wear nude shoes and carry a small handbag. Pearl earrings go with everything. Plum and navy are the perfect colors for the Mother of the Groom at the wedding. Per general etiquette, the mother of the bride buys her wedding day outfit first, then notifies the mother of the groom about the color, length, and overall formality of her choice.

  50. Susan,

    Thank you for the post. We plan on staying in Sapphire Valley NC in early May and I plan on going to visit the Biltmore. The pictures are exactly why I want to visit!

    Have a great day,


  51. Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures of the flowers at Biltmore. We went in early March and they weren’t in bloom yet. Even though we don’t live as close as you, we have thought about getting annual passes. It is a beautiful area.

  52. Thank you for sharing your spring with me. I do love the blossoms and flowers. Still quite chilly in Alberta but the pussywillows are out. The first sign of spring

  53. Hi Susan
    Off topic: just received the skin line Beauty products. I was surprised they came in glass. What do you do when you travel? thanks. Happy Easter

  54. I have a quick question for you, Susan. As I’ve been browsing through your blog I’ve noticed you have a rather extensive collection of handbags. I do also (has turned into kind of a fun hobby) and find proper storage an issue. I’m currently converting a rarely used spare bedroom into a dressing room and plan to install special storage cabinets for my handbags. I’ve read that leather needs to breath, so I’m not sure if I should have glass doors installed or just leave the cabinets open, keep my bags in their dust bags, and deal with dusting the shelves every week.. I’d love to hear any tips you have for how you store your handbags!

    1. I like seeing my bags, so I only use the dustbags when packing for travel. My closet has a large open shelving unit, so that’s where I keep the day bags. You can see my arrangement here. I have a duster (here) to use on my hat boxes and handbags.

      1. Thanks so much for directing me to the links! The duster is so cute, it reminds me of Flylady’s feather duster. I LOVE your closet organization. I’ll be aspiring to this as my dressing room takes shape. I like the idea of being able to see my bags as well, just trying to get past the nagging worry about dust if I don’t go with the glass doors, or the leather not breathing if I do add the glass. I’m fairly laid back about most of my bags, but have some Chanel Flaps and Lady Diors to consider so they’re sort of an investment. Charleston is subtropical and at one point I made the mistake of buying a Lady Dior in patent leather without considering our climate and how fussy I’d have to be about the finish potentially becoming sticky. I learned a big lesson and now only buy their lambskin. I’ll definitely never buy another patent bag in any brand. Anyway, first world problems, I just need to stop stressing so much about it.

  55. Would you please give me the details on how to order the canvas painting of the piano in your home? Thank you so much.

  56. susan

    i am home with a broken arm. i love reading your articles. it is a relief from the stress and pain. i enjoy seeing the the clothing you select. keep up the articles.


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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.