About the Biltmore
In 1895, George Vanderbilts’s legendary, European style mansion with views of the blue ridge mountains was finally complete. After six long years of construction and work, the Biltmore estate was complete. A space the size of four football fields, home to 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces was fit for a king – or a steamboat and railroad heir.
The estate was a modern marvel, and over a century later it still is. Spanning 8,000 acres, the Biltmore Estate is home to a great American history, beautiful art, stunning views, numerous gardens, a winery, shops to explore, and horses to ride.
Every year, the estate brings in around 1.7 million visitors to Asheville to experience the Biltmore Estate. Many visitors like to make a weekend out of it and stay on the grounds. If that’s not an option and you’re just passing by, check out these top spots to get the most out of your Biltmore experience.
The Biltmore House
First stop at the Biltmore should be the house. The 175,000 square foot home is too exquisite to pass up. The best way to add in a house tour in your one day trip is to reserve a spot early! Spots fill up fast so reserve your spot well in advance and get one of the first tours of the day. This will help you get to early start, plus, you will be able to navigate the tour easier and quicker without stragglers slowing you down.
The tour is extraordinary, bringing you through the maze of rooms and fireplaces. We went during the holidays and the entire house was decked out in holiday decor and trees. Throughout the home there are representatives with a wealth of Vanderbilt and Biltmore knowledge at the ready.
There are a few tours to choose from, we opted for the self-guided audio tour so we could go at our own pace. If you are super into the history of the estate and family or looking for some rare finds, opt for a guide led tour for more information and access to back rooms.
Before the tour be sure to grab a coffee and pastry at the adjacent The Bake Shop or any one of the cafes in the courtyard area.
After the tour, head back over to stables area next to the house to do some souvenir and Biltmore centric shopping.
After you’ve purchased your fair share of souvenirs, head to the other side of the house and explore some gardens. There are 75 acres of gardens to explore that could take an entire week to finish!
It is best to choose one trail or garden to explore before heading off on your next adventure. Check the bloom and fall report to find the best gardens for when you are visiting.
We roamed around the yard and then checked out the outside area of the Conservatory before heading down to the Antler Hill area.
The Biltmore Estate takes their gardens and outdoors seriously. They even have an environmental stewardship for the work and effort they put in to sustaining their lands.
Sustainability and conservation have always been a big part of the grounds, by practicing in the field-to-table program. Plus, the Biltmore Estate is seen as the birthplace of American Forestry.
Antler Hill Village
Behind the Biltmore house lays Antler Hill Village. The village is made up of boutique shops, pubs, restaurants, and more. While driving down to the village you’ll pass paths full of bikers and horseback riders, rolling hills, and views of the blue ridge mountains.
The village is always festive and bustling with shops to explore and places to drink.
While in Antler Hill you can shop, visit the farmyard, and explore the history of the Biltmore. There is even a hotel within the village to stay if you are looking to extend your stay.
The Biltmore Winery
Located within the Antler Hill Village but special enough to need its own section is the Biltmore Winery.
No mountain luxury day is complete without a wine tasting and this winery takes tastings above and beyond.
You can take a tour of the winery or opt for just a tasting and leave with your favorite wines. Be ware, they may still be taking reservations only so reserve a time the day of and get to drinking.
The winery can be entered through Antler Hill Village. From the village you take a stone tunnel to the winery and pop out at the entrance where you are met with wines of all different kinds and colors.
Once there you get brought to your tasting where you choose which wines you would like to taste.
After your tasting you get to buy whichever bottles you fancied and can drink out back while snacking on some classic winery bites like chips and hummus.
The wines are delectable and the food is delicious making this the perfect place to spend the afternoon.
Our favorites were the Chardonnay and the Malbec.
After the winery it is best to head back to Antler Hill Village to sober up at one of the many restaurants.
More to Explore at the Biltmore
As you can see, the Biltmore offers up days of history and exploration. If a day visit isn’t for you or you walk a bit faster than I do, discover more of what the estate has to offer.
There is a new Land Rover Experience where guests get to go off roading in a Land Rover vehicle.
If you enjoy the outdoors but not in a vehicle, look to hike one of numerous trails throughout the grounds. Or look for a bike riding tour or horseback riding tour. There are no limit on tours of the grounds of any style.
If you are looking to relax, take a spa day and lavish yourself like a Vanderbilt.
With so many acres to explore, there is no shortage of activities to do.
Looking to explore the area around the Biltmore? Check out these great spots to extend your trip.
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