One of the highlights of any trip to Asheville is spending at least a day at the famed Biltmore Estate. On Christmas Eve 1895, George W. Vanderbilt officially opened Biltmore House with more than 250 rooms. It became the home of his bride Edith and their daughter Cornelia and remains in the family today.
It was a grand home for entertaining. You can see this as you walk though the famed Winter Garden, The Billiard Room, the Banquet Hall which could seat 38 people, the Breakfast Room, the Salon with its John Singer Sargent portraits, The Music Room, The Tapestry Gallery where guests enjoyed afternoon tea and music, The Library, Smoking Room and Gun Room.
The tour continues through the bedrooms upstairs; the guest bedrooms; the guest recreations areas including a gym, bowling alley and swimming pool; the kitchens and servants’ quarters.
The many acres of beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding Biltmore House were designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. You will find the Italian Garden, Spring Garden, Shrub Garden, Walled Garden, Rose Garden which features more than 250 varieties, the Conservatory with beautiful orchids and the Azalea Garden. There are over 2.5 miles of trails throughout the grounds that you can explore. There is also a Boat House and Bass Pond.
You can explore Antler Hill Village and have lunch at one of the good restaurants on the grounds. There are exhibits plus many shopping opportunities in the stores. One of the highlights is the Biltmore Winery. You can take a tour of the and taste some of their good wines. They make a number of reds, whites, and rosés. There is also the Wine Bar at the Winery where you can sample wines along with cheese and truffles.
I enjoyed the Bistro which is an upscale restaurant. The restaurant places a strong emphasis on a farm-to-table philosophy. Dishes include locally farmed mountain trout, locally sourced meats, local farmstead cheeses, and local honey. They also grow some ingredients in their own Kitchen Garden. There is also The Smokehouse for Carolina barbecue, The Creamery for ice cream and Cederic’s Tavern for global pub fare. There is also the Village Social for southern favorites and The Kitchen Café for coffee, baked good and more.
Check the website for a list of the specialty tours offered throughout the day. There are many outdoor activities offered as well, including hiking, biking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, Land Rover Adventures, carriage rides, Segway tours and sporting clays. You can book your activities before you go including admission to the House and grounds.
If you wish to stay on the property, there is the Inn on Biltmore Estate or the more moderate Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate as two options. The Inn has the Library Lounge and The Dining Room for restaurant options. The Village Hotel is close to the Antler Hill Village with its several dining options.
The Biltmore House and Gardens also has the following dining options: The Stable Cafe, The Bake Shop, The Biltmore Dairy Bar for ice cream, The Conservatory Cafe and The Courtyard Market.