Biltmore Estate – An Asheville, North Carolina Treasure
A must-see in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America. This 250 room home contains original furniture and artifacts from the turn-of-the-century life of the Vanderbilt family. George Vanderbilt’s mansion was at the same time opulent and innovative for the period and to this day remains unique.
Admission to the Estate includes self-guided tours of Biltmore House & Gardens, Antler Hill Village, Winery, The Biltmore Legacy, Village Green and Farm. The Estate also offers a multitude of outdoor activities, shopping and 4 restaurants.
The House itself takes anywhere from 2 hours to all day to tour. You can take the self-guided tour, or for an additional fee, add any one of the Specialty Tours. It is recommended that if you choose the self-guided tour, upgrade to the Audio guide. The Audio guide leads you room-by-room, providing historical information about the former occupants.
The Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tour is a 90-minute guided tour. Learn about interesting stories, information on artifacts, parties in the house, friends who visited and ways the Vanderbilts spent time on the estate.
The Biltmore House Architect’s Tour is a 60-minute guided tour. This tour gives you a closer look at the design and construction of the Biltmore House. You will get to see rooms and areas not on the regular house visit. You will also visit the rooftop and balconies providing you with stunning views and photo opportunities.
Biltmore House Butler’s Tour is a 60-minute guided tour. You get to see how the Estate functioned in the past and present. Hear about the work the domestic servants performed when the Vanderbilts lived there. The tour takes you into unrestored rooms and areas not on the regular house visit.
Vanderbilt Family and Friends Tour is a new tour that allows you to imagine what it would have been like to stay at Biltmore with the Vanderbilts as your hosts.
Premium Biltmore House Tour is a two-hour guided tour. You will get a private guide and includes areas seen in the Butlers Tour, Architects Tour, and House Tours.
Guided Tours on the Estate Grounds
The Legacy of the Land Tour is a motor coach tour of the estate. Learn about the history of the land, structures, and former residents.
The Red Wine and Chocolate Seminar informs you about the winery and why chocolate and red wine compliment each other so beautifully.
The Biltmore Bubbles Tour of the Winery is a 45-minute program that allows guests to experience the process of making sparkling wines. A tour of the champagne bottling area is included.
Of course no visit to the Estate is complete until you have strolled the acres of formal and informal gardens designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. The Biltmore horticultural experts continually work to preserve Mr. Olmsted’s remarkable vision for the gardens and grounds. There are nine different garden areas giving birth to hundreds of different plants, flowers and trees and include: The Azalea Garden; Antler Hill Village Garden; The Conservatory; The Estate Entry; The Italian garden, The Spring Garden, The Shrub and Walled Gardens. There are also roses all over the Estate.
During spring the Azalea garden is in full bloom with varieties of Native and Evergreen Azaleas, Red Buckeye, Sweetshrub, Hawthorn, Dwarf Garland Spirea, Weigela, Beauty Bush, Catawba Hybrid, Rhododendrons, Mt. Laurel, Enkianthus, Pink Lady Slippers, Roses and Spring annuals are everywhere. In summer the Estate is blooming with summer annuals, roses and perennials. By mid-September through October hundreds of vibrant chrysanthemums and Salvias fill the Walled Garden, Estate Entry, and Winery beds. By late October the vibrant fall foliage in all its glory.
Now that you have walked off your breakfast served at one of our Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association Inns, there are several dining options that offer the field-to-table philosophy. Enjoy the Bistro, Cedric’s Tavern, Deerpark Restaurant and The Stables.
Estate Outdoor Adventures
If you want to truly explore the 8,000 acres of the Estate you may want to consider visiting the Outdoor Adventure Center in Antler Hill Village. Take in the grounds of the estate by relaxing on a trip down the French Broad River, taking a off-road Segway tour, or a driving lesson in a Land Rover. They offer any number of outdoor activities including: sporting clays, fly-fishing, bike rentals, horseback riding and carriage rides.
You can even bring your own bike and ride the numerous trails. If you have a horse, bring it too and explore more than 80 miles of estate trails, the same trails and paths traveled by the Vanderbilts at the turn of the century. Contact Biltmore’s Equestrian Center for more information.
You have toured the house, roamed the gardens, eaten some lunch, and enjoyed the outdoors now you have to visit the Winery. Believe it or not Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in the United States. Approximately 1 million guests visit the winery to sample award-winning wines each year. Learn more about Biltmore’s Winery.
When planning your trip to Asheville, check out the Biltmore Concert Series calendar to see what concerts might be happening when you are in town. Listen to award-winning artists from the venues at Biltmore Estate. The outdoor setting on the vista overlooks Biltmore House and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Finally…after a day like this won’t it feel good to get back to the comfort of your Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn where you can kick off your shoes and relax.