The Biltmore Estate has been on my bucket list since childhood – I was a very historically intrigued kid. My childhood dreams came true this past February when Michael and I decided to venture to the mansion for Valentine’s Day. He was living in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time, and it only took a couple of hours to venture to Asheville from his apartment so we thought, why not?
If you’re not familiar with it, the Biltmore Estate is home to the largest privately owned house in the United States making it a huge tourist attraction. It was built in the late 1800s by George Vanderbilt, member of the esteemed Vanderbilt family who made their enormous fortune in the railroad business. The mansion at Biltmore was built to be a summer home for George Vanderbilt and his family, as he had grown to love the mountains of Asheville. It has fifty bathrooms, an indoor pool, a bowling alley, and the most exquisite reading rooms I’ve ever seen.
We started our day-trip as early as Michael would allow. I will say that I was probably very annoying in the fact that I was a ball of excitement, as I am about almost everything travel related, but he should be used to this by now, right? The weather wasn’t exactly cooperating as we had hoped, and it ended up being below freezing during our visit. I didn’t let bother me. I bundled up as best as I could with what I had packed; freezing temperatures hadn’t been in my thought process while I was packing, so mostly everything I brought included dresses & cardigans. I threw on a modge-podge of items which ended up working out (at least to me) and we started out on our trek to Asheville.
Upon arrival to the Estate, I instantly knew it was going to be worth every second in the car and every moment in the ice-cold. We parked beside the village that is a little ways from the actual house but offers so much to do. We participated in the wine tasting that’s offered and it was great. I love all wine (who am I to discriminate?) but this wine was the bee’s knees. You get to sample several types to get a good idea of what they offer, and you’re also able to purchase their on-site-created wine. There are other things you can purchase, too, that exemplify the goods of Biltmore Estate in the same shop. The village also offers shopping, but we didn’t want to shop, we wanted to see the mansion so that’s exactly what we did.
Biltmore House is too overwhelming to even describe. I can’t imagine living there, and it was only the Vanderbilts’ summer home! The tour is very informative with signage & guides at every turn. From the details in the woodwork to the design of the tiles to the furniture adorning each room, it is truly breathtaking.
After visiting the house, we had a great lunch at the Stable Café, which is literally a café in the former stables of the Estate. It still had the stable feel – the booths were situated like stalls and it still had that rustic charm. This is a more affordable option on the Estate, but there are lots of other restaurants if you plan to stay longer than one day & pick and choose. Right outside of the Stable Café there are little shops that sell candies and other goodies that is fun to browse & sample.
When we were finished eating and exploring the inside of the Biltmore House, we made our way to the outside of the manor. The outside of the house is stunning, and this is the only reason I wish we had visited in warmer months. We were so cold that we didn’t spend much time venturing through the gardens which are supposed to be one of the best things about the Estate. On our next trip we definitely plan to come in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
Outside we did get some pretty stunning views of the mountains and areas surrounding the house. The Estate is essentially encircled by mountains & rural beauty while being just outside of bustling Asheville. It was nice to just stand on the patio of the mansion and take in the beauty of the day.
Shop my Biltmore 'fit: Blazer – Sweater (similar) – Chambray Button-Up – Jeans – Boots (similar) – Scarf (similar) - Purse
To read more about the Biltmore Estate, check out their website here.
Hi, I'm Madeline
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