Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces in your home? Well then welcome to the world of George Vanderbilt and the world famous Biltmore House and Gardens.
Built in 1895 and located in Asheville North Carolina, the 250 room mansion is one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions. Situated on an 8,000-acre estate with beautifully landscaped gardens, a lagoon and a working winery, the Biltmore is the largest privately owned home in the United States.
It took six years and 1000 men to build the 175,000 square foot house, which includes three kitchens and a banquet hall, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to take it all in. But that’s no problem, because the Estate is open to visitors seven days a week, 365 days a year.
So, what will you find as you enter the lives of the rich and famous?
- The Biltmore House contains a priceless collection of art and antiques collected by Mr. Vanderbilt himself during his world travels. The family’s original furnishings have also been faithfully preserved. The House offers self-guided tours, but you’ll probably want to purchase the audio companion in order to get the most out of your visit.
- Spectacular views are available at every turn with 75 acres of breathtaking gardens design by Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect that design New York’s Central Park. The property includes reflecting ponds, a walled garden, a conservatory, a bass pond, and numerous trails and garden paths perfect for strolling hand-in-hand with that special someone.
- Learn the art of winemaking with a behind-the-scenes tour of The Biltmore Estate Winery. Then enjoy a great meal at the popular European-styled Bistro Restaurant. Want to learn a little more? Then take a wine tasting class or sign up for cooking demonstrations by the Estate’s own chefs. Don’t forget to bring home a bottle of the South’s most popular wine as a souvenir of your visit.
- The Farm Village provides a glimpse into the agricultural heritage of the Biltmore. The Estate has supported a rich farm life for more than a century. Kids will love the opportunity to interact with live horses, calves, lambs and chickens. You’ll also find displays of historic farm equipment and see authentic blacksmiths and woodworkers in action.
- A number of entertaining outdoor activities are available for visitors, including horseback riding, biking, hiking, and fly fishing. Make special arrangements to conclude your visit with a romantic sunset carriage ride, complete with a complimentary bottle of Biltmore wine.
You’ll want to add an extra few days to your Smoky Mountain vacation in order to experience the historic Biltmore Estate. And for those who are renting Gatlinburg cabins or Pigeon Forge cabins, please note that Biltmore is just a short drive from the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.