Located in Asheville, North Carolina, this historic 8,000-acre estate created by George Vanderbilt opened Christmas Eve in 1895. Its focal point is Biltmore House, America’s largest private home with 250 rooms and four acres of floor space designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Still owned by Vanderbilt’s descendants, the estate is completely self-sufficient, receiving no public funding of any kind, and as such, has maintained the home as it was when first established, complete with over 70,000 artifacts and pieces of art. A National Historic Landmark, the mansion boasts over 20,000 volumes of Vanderbilt’s personal book collection; paintings by Sargent, Whistler and Zorn; an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley; and a 70-foot high Banquet Hall.
The extensive gardens and grounds were designed by America’s father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed pivotal parks such as Central Park in New York. Also on the property are Biltmore Estate Winery, 80 acres of vineyards, the beautiful Inn on Biltmore Estate, an Outdoor Adventure Center, five restaurants, an equestrian center and Antler Hill Village, offering shopping and historical exhibitions at Biltmore’s Legacy.
Biltmore also offers special events throughout the year, notably Christmas at Biltmore featuring elaborate decorations inside Biltmore House and across the estate. During Christmas guests may also visit the home in the evening by reservations during Candlelight Christmas. In the spring, the estate holds its annual Festival of Flowers, featuring over 100,000 blooming tulips, acres of spring gardens and special music and activities.
Tips For Visiting Biltmore
- Biltmore requires at least a full day to experience so set aside plenty of time to enjoy it.
- Make use of the advance tickets offer on-line.
- Arrive early in the day.
- Dress comfortably.
- Bring your own car as they estate is expansive.
- Children age 9 and under have free admission with a paying adult.
- Child carriers are recommended in the house due to multiple stairways.
- The farmyard and ice cream parlor at Antler Hill Village are a special treat for young visitors.
- Renting bicycles is a terrific way to enjoy the village/winery area down to the lagoon.
For hours and tickets, visit www.biltmore.com