Family Travel - The Biltmore Estate... Beautiful in Any Season
Published: October 31, 2021
By: Lori Chandler Pruitt
There’s just something about the first moment you see Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, no matter how many times you may have visited. It’s not just a destination – it’s an experience that allows you to immerse yourself into another time and place.
There are so many facets of a visit to this 150-room French Renaissance historic home, opened to friends and family in 1895. It took six years to build, has more than four acres of floor space, and has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. The family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is still family owned and the mission remains the same – to preserve the home and grounds as a privately-owned, profitable, working estate.
My husband and I recently visited Biltmore Estate and enjoyed the beautiful gardens, the stunning views, the enhanced home tour, the rooftop tour and much more. There are several tours to fit every interest.ARVE Error: src mismatch
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Every season at the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate is special – the estate’s beautiful gardens reflect each season. Right now, autumn showcases the gorgeous colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And beginning November 5, the much-anticipated Christmas at Biltmore begins – with the home beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, ribbons, garlands, lights and more. Adjacent to the house is the stable shops and restaurants, where you can find the perfect Christmas gift.
The Biltmore Estate
Parking is not a problem, as there are several parking lots where you can park and ride a shuttle to the home.
While there are several wonderful places to stay in Asheville, you can immerse yourself in the entire Biltmore experience and stay on the estate. There are two cottages on site – the luxurious market gardener’s cottage, built by the son of the architect of Biltmore House and the dairy foreman’s cottage, designed in 1935 in a peaceful woodland setting. Or, you can stay at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star luxury hotel which is a destination itself or the newest hotel, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, which is a warm and welcoming modern farmhouse style hotel adjacent to the shops, restaurants and first-class winery in Antler Hill Village. Even the hotels go all out for the holidays!
The beautifully designed gardens are adjacent to the home. Do not miss touring the conservatory with its amazing model train that travels throughout.
We stayed on the property the entire time – and it was more than enough for us to enjoy. We enjoyed gorgeous sunsets, and live music on the patio at Village Hotel after dinner. Antler Hill Village’s bandstand also features live music. There also are outdoor and indoor art exhibitions.
We ate at most of the restaurants at Village Hotel and Antler Hill Village, including Village Social, Cedric’s Tavern and Bistro – and all offer kids menus.
While tours of the home are the star of the show, there’s so many things to do. And families can have fun too! If you have a daytime ticket, an annual pass or staying at one of the estate’s properties, you have access to several family-friendly activities, such as a playground, wildlife discovery, a kids’ audio guide on a home tour, Biltmore House, farmyard visits, all kinds of craft demonstrations that depicted life on the estate, and more.
Biltmore, always a conservator of nature, also offers carriage and bicycle rides, horseback riding – where you can enjoy seeing the house in all its beauty as well as the mountains – and 20 miles of nature trails. There is something for all ages in this timeless, beautiful place.
Biltmore also offers special events each month. In November, part one of Legends of Art & Innovation features Van Gogh Alive, an immersive exhibit that features 40 high-definition projectors with surround-sound.
For more information on Biltmore Estate and its history and to plan a visit, go to www.biltmore.com. As with any travel destination, always check ahead for any COVID-19 guidelines and precautions.
Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.