Visiting Biltmore House and Gardens is one of the absolute highlights of Asheville, North Carolina (as I’ve said once before). This spectacular and enormous private residence is only a part of the much larger Biltmore Estate, though.
Biltmore was constructed for George W. Vanderbilt in 1895 as a retreat where he could get away from his busy day-to-day life. It was meant to be somewhat of a vacation home, a place where friends and family could go to relax, walk, hunt and read. Biltmore comprises no less than 8,000 acres of parks, woods and gardens. The Biltmore House is the focal point of the domain, a truly vast chateau-like building that has more than 250 rooms. It is still the largest private residence in the entire United States.
Visiting Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville
A ticket to the Biltmore Estate, which includes visiting Biltmore House and Gardens, and Antler Hill Village and Winery, costs between $50 and $60 per adult, depending on the time of year that you are visiting Biltmore House. Also good to know is that purchasing tickets online in advance grants you a discount.
The one main highlight on this huge domain is Biltmore House, an enormous building that was inspired by the French châteaux and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. The self-guided tour of the house is nothing less than amazing and takes you through and past dozens of rooms. This includes the imposing entrance hall, the towering banquet hall, the main bedrooms, the kitchens, the entertainment rooms and the library. It takes about two hours to complete this stroll across three floors. When leaving, however, you still can’t help but realize that there are still about 200 rooms left to explore. That’s how vast the building is.
Right next to the house lie the Biltmore Gardens, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (famous for designing Central Park in New York City). These expansive area comprises hiking trails, a conservatory, rose garden, walled garden, terraces and much more.
When you’ve seen all of this, continue your tour of the Biltmore Estate by visiting Antler Hill Village and the Winery. This complete village was built to house the Biltmore’s employees and included a school, post office, church and cottages with heating and plumbing, which could be considered luxuries at the time.
Your ticket includes a wine tasting at the winery, so make sure to do that! It’s one of the greatest wineries in the United States.