I’d like to share with you all my recent trip to the Biltmore.
I’d like to share with you all my recent trip to the Biltmore. But first let me share a little background about the “house” above. The Biltmore Estate is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It is the largest privately owned house in the United States and was built by George Washington Vanderbilt in 1889. It would take another 6 years before the Biltmore would be complete. There are 250 rooms with amazing views of the mountains and beautiful gardens. And the saddest part is George was 26 when he set out to have Biltmore built, the same age I am know and this was only a vacation house.
Oh if only my family had money too.
Being only about two and half hours away from Asheville you would think that perhaps I’ve been here many times before. But sadly I have only been one time before when I was about four maybe five so I don’t remember a whole lot about that trip. Which is mainly why I wanted to go back again so I left early Saturday morning and made my way to the Biltmore. I arrived at about 9am and because I was also staying at the Village Hotel on the Biltmore Estate that night I decided I would spend my day there as I couldn’t check in until 4pm. And trust me there is plenty to do there besides touring the house.
Now even though I arrived early there were still a lot of people there within the hour. One thing you should know if you plan on visiting is that on the weekends and during their more popular tourist seasons, reservations are required to tour the house. They do this so that they don’t have too large a capacity of people there at once.
The rooms inside are stunning. But I wouldn’t expect anything less of a large mansion from a wealthy well-known family. And the Biltmore is a Gilded Age jewel. Of course I might be a little bias because before I decided to get a business degree I was history major. And I’m proud to say I’m a huge history geek but I especially love historical architecture.
My favorite room in the house is Edith Vanderbilt’s room. In fact it was my favorite the first time I visited as a kid and I loved it so much that the post card of the room was the only thing I wanted in the gift shop. I was entranced by the purple and gold through out and when I walked back through it was like I was four again.
You may be wondering about the clothes in the room. The Biltmore sometimes runs extra exhibits in the house. From now until July 4, 2016 Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film will be going on. The house is also decorated as though a wedding is being hosted there.
And like any modern home (note the sarcasm) they have several amenities to bring entertainment.
Such as a personal library:
And billiard room:
Just your normal average house especially for 1895. But this is exactly what makes this place so grand. Not to mention the gardens and though I went too soon for the full blossoming of all the flowers and trees on the estate I still managed to see a few things but I would advise that if you would like to see the garden in all its glory then go some time closer to the middle of April.
Now I stayed at the Village Hotel which just opened last December and what I loved most about it is that it sits right next to the Antler Village and Biltmore Winery. Antler Village was great. There are a few shops and restaurants which was great for me because I didn’t have to venture into town for dinner that night as I had literally walked about 7 miles that day around the estate and was exhausted.
But I did manage to treat myself to a few things:
The tea is Passion fruit Peach black tea (exclusive to the Biltmore) and the ceramic mug comes from Tea Forte. The book in the back is a cook book with recipes used in the Biltmore house. I can’t wait to try a few recipes from it!
I did also bring a book along with me, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson however I didn’t manage to read a lot because I found myself too busy exploring
This was a really great getaway and I hope to get back soon. I believe that the Biltmore Estate is a place that should be on anyone’s bucket list for destinations in the US. It’s a prime example of the Gilded Age and a page right out of a history book. So I’d like to offer a few suggests if visiting:
- If planning during a weekend or during the peak season plan to buy your tickets ahead of time. If you buy early on the Biltmore site the tickets will be $10 less than if you buy them at the estate.
- Try to reserve a time early in the morning or come to the estate early. Even though I got there around nine that morning my reserved time wasn’t until 10:30 and it was already pretty crowded by then.
- Make sure to bring water with you as the prices like most tourist places are higher than normal. You’ll especially want water when touring the gardens or walking the trail. As a side note: no food is or drink is allowed in the house except water.
- The tour of the house took me about 90 minutes and I did the audio tour. I highly suggest this because unless your planning on paying for a guided tour not much extra information is offered about the history of the house. And the audio tour is cheaper.
- Be patient. A lot of people will be there and you can’t really breeze through or go at the pace you want. It’s pretty much one long line of people going from room to room.
- There are multiple gift shops all over the estate so don’t worry if you can find that one souvenir you want. Don’t worry you can probably find it in another location.
- Take the time to tour the winery and visit the Antler Village. The winery tour is free and Antler Village has live music and a large grassy area for kids to run around on. Plus the Creamery has the best milk shakes.
- Enjoy your time and don’t forget to visit the town of Asheville too. The only regret I have is that I couldn’t spend a lot of time in the town as it was Sunday when I left and either things didn’t open until noon or they were closed.
I hope you enjoyed the post and that this encouraged you to check the Biltmore out someday.