When traveling to a new place, I’m always torn between seeing the popular attractions and simply wandering around getting lost in the atmosphere. Ideally, there’s time for both, but our stop in Asheville was quick and dirty. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend our precious little time exploring The Biltmore Estate. How interesting could a big mansion really be? Plus, tickets aren’t cheap.
However, everyone we talked to insisted we had to visit this epic property. Perfect weather on our last day in town sealed the deal. The only caveat — we’d already checked out of our hotel so Ashton had to tag along. Luckily, the grounds of The Biltmore are dog friendly but no dogs are allowed inside the house or the nearby winery. This didn’t matter too much, as there are 8,000 lush acres of property to explore.
The Biltmore Estate
After buying our tickets, we wound our way down a wooded path towards the estate. It really is something to behold. Built for George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s, the massive house boasts 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.
The house is beautiful from every angle. I can’t imagine the parties and dances that must have gone on in there during its hey day.
The back of the estate looks out onto tree-lined hills, and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. It definitely wouldn’t suck waking up to that view over coffee every morning.
The Gardens & Grounds
Since we were unable to go into the house (technically we could have traded off, but our time was limited), we spent most of our time exploring the expansive gardens surrounding the property. If you’ve read The Devil in the White City, you’ll likely recognize the name Frederick Law Olmsted – the architect who designed the gardens. He also designed Central Park and Golden Gate Park, so we knew we were in for a treat.
Antler Hill Village + Winery
A trip to The Biltmore Estate isn’t complete without a stop at Antler Hill Village. This sprawling area features an on-site hotel, several restaurants and shops and a full service winery.
Of course we had to sample the wine. Wandering around all day had made us rather thirsty. We opted to share a flight out on the dog-friendly patio. Full tours and wine tastings are available as well.
Overall, we were glad we went the touristy route and visited this beautiful landmark. Maybe someday we’ll return sans pup to tour the inside of the mansion.
Budget Tip: If you plan to visit the Biltmore, buy your tickets more than seven days in advance to receive a $10 discount on each ticket. However, even at full price the experience is more than worth it. You could spend an entire day on the property without seeing it all. Pack a picnic lunch (permitted in certain areas) to enjoy on a budget while still basking in the beauty of the lush landscape.
Like it? Pin it?