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Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate Asheville

Just about everybody has at least heard of the Biltmore Estate and the famous “Vanderbilt’s” but not all have visited the fabulous massive estate.  Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II from 1889-1895 the Chateauesque – style mansion is the largest privately held home in the United States at 135,000 square feet and has a staggering 250 rooms.  Today, the home is still owned by the Vanderbilt’s (William A.V. Cecil, III) and sits on approximately 8,000 acres, most of which are incredibly manicured. The land is split in half by the French Broad River and contains the Biltmore House and Gardens, the Biltmore Farms, the Biltmore Winery, the Inn on Biltmore Estate, the new Antler Hill Village and more.

The designer of the house was prominent New York architect Richard Morris Hunt and had the experience of working with various other Vanderbilt’s for previous designs.   The French style of architecture makes visitors feel like they have traveled directly to the French Countryside throughout the entire house.  The meticulous interior design and furnishings, along with the self-guided audio tour can really make any guest truly picture how the Vanderbilt’s lived over 100 years ago.  Expect to spend a minimum of 2 hours just touring the main estate and we do recommend making reservations as they can fill up quick, especially during high travel dates.  We do suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and pay attention to the fine details throughout.  Be aware that flash photography is not permitted while touring the estate. 

Driving through the expansive property takes some time in itself and how they keep the entire property so manicured must take an Biltmore Gardens impressive staff.  The one way paved road winds gracefully from the entrance gate and travels a path passing all the important sites and could easily take 20 minutes by car.  The designer of the landscape was Frederick Law Olmsted and it would be very difficult in today’s age to find another comparable individual to even come close to the design.  When visiting, give yourself extra time to enjoy the entire property by visiting the gardens and the new Antler Hill Village which consists of the winery, restaurants and shops.

If you enjoy wine, visiting the winery is a must during your visit. From the main house you can either drive your own vehicle or take the free bus that travels around the grounds.  We typically drive our own vehicle to give us the freedom to make stops along the way and it has been very convenient to park at the Antler Hill Village and take our time.  You do not want to miss stopping at the beautiful Biltmore Gardens which will be the first stop along the way to the winery.  The Biltmore does not cut any corners when it comes to details and they sure did not do this in the gardens.  Plan on spending about an hour enjoying the variety of flora and fauna before continuing down the road.  Touring the winery itself is a wonderful addition to your Biltmore experience and you can do this at you own pace without a guide.  Just follow the path enjoying reading about the history and viewing the different stages throughout.   At the end the complimentary tasting is a true bonus and if you are interested in purchasing wine and/or gifts the store will provide a huge selection to choose from.

If you want to read more information and purchase tickets please visit the Biltmore Estate website.

The map below shows directions and distance from Sunset Farm Cabins to the Biltmore Estate.

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