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My mom and I recently visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina over Spring Break. It was an amazing trip and there was so much more to do there than I realized. I know I thought at first it was just about seeing a beautiful mansion, but there is so much more to the estate than the house.
Here’s some tips on how to make the most of a day at the Biltmore Estate!
Take Your Time to Enjoy the Great House
The Biltmore House was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century and was the home of George and Edith Vanderbilt and their daughter Cornelia. The great house was a favorite of the wealthy and elite and saw many parties and social gatherings here. For more history, visit the Biltmore Estate’s website.
When purchasing tickets for the general house tour, you will choose an entry time. But, you are not limited to how much time you can actually spend in the house. You will follow a specific route throughout the house, but you can take as little or as much time as you like.
The library, as seen below, was one of my favorite rooms in the house!
When walking through, you do not have to queue up and you will not be cutting if you find a way around the crowds. Especially when first entering the grand dining room at the start of the tour. The masses will pile in on the right hand side entrance, but you are allowed to walk around to the left side. Very rarely is there an actual line you need to follow, most of the rooms you come to are a fill up the space however you can. So, don’t be afraid to walk around other people to fill in the available space.
They were having a Titanic exhibit when we visited. All of the costumes seen in each of the rooms were from the movie Titanic. An interesting piece of history is George and Edith Vanderbilt were supposed to sail on the Titanic’s doomed voyage, but changed their plans last minute!
The tour will take you through most of the house from the main level grand living spaces, to the upper guest rooms and down into the kitchens and kitchen maid’s rooms…
to the bowling alley and indoor pool…
and then to one of my favorites, the Halloween Room which was hand painted by Cornelia Vanderbilt and her friends. Cornelia also loved her extravagant parties.
Enjoy a Meal at the Stable Cafe
Enjoy some delicious barbecue in the Stable Cafe that was originally the horse’s stables!
Reservations are recommended.
Do Some Shopping
You will find many shops adjacent to the Stable Cafe.
Enjoy the Christmas Shoppe, toy store, candy store and unique gifts including fashion from the turn of the 20th century.
Enjoy the Amazing Grounds and Gardens
There is so much to see and do in and around the house itself. You can enjoy some coffee or lighter fare in the courtyard area.
Take in the fountain and driveway that brought carriages through back before automobiles were common.
The grounds around the house are beautiful.
Venture just down the hill to the beautiful gardens and conservatory.
Enjoy the flowers of the conservatory.
As well as the tulips in full bloom! They were breathtaking! This was definitely a perk of visiting during the spring.
Turn around and enjoy the view of the house from the gardens!
Go On One of the Unique House Tours
My mom and I were at the estate for several days, so we went on a behind the Guided Tour in addition to the general tour.
We chose the Upstairs Downstairs tour which showed you how the staff of the house cared for the owners as well as their many guests.
You can also go on a Rooftop Tour. Each guided tour is 60 minutes long and is $25 per person. They have several times throughout the day, but tours must be booked in advance.
Venture Further Afield
You can also enjoy the extensive grounds of the Biltmore Estate. There are trails, bridges, waterfalls, more gardens, a reflecting pond, the river and so much more!
You can explore the grounds by car, walking, biking and by horseback!
Take a Winery Tour
Can’t Do It All In One Day?
You can stay onsite at one of the Biltmore Estate’s hotels. Stay tuned for my review of the Village Hotel on the Biltmore Estate!
Have you visited the Biltmore Estate? What is your favorite time to go? What was your favorite part? Share in the comments section below!