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Travel Guide for One Day at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina

Thinking about heading to the Biltmore but only have one day?  Wondering if it is worth it?  I would wholeheartedly say, "Yes!" and then send you on your way.  Here's how to make the best of the Biltmore if you only have one day.

A couple of things to note:  The House sits on the highest point on the property, therefore everything else is downhill. That makes for easy walking when you are first starting out, however, please note that when you are coming back to the House, everything is uphill.  Plan on extra time if you need to rest often.  The second thing to note is that there is an app on the App Store that is very helpful and free!

The gates open at 8:30 and the property opens at 9:00 a.m.  There is a long, winding road to the parking lots and if you get there early you may be directed to the A Parking lots.  Take your time on the road to the House.  It is beautiful and very peaceful.  There is a short walk from the parking lot to the first view of the House and it is magnificent.  It is a prime "Kodak moment" and you will see many people taking selfies or asking folks to take their photos.  The wait isn't long and it is worth waiting to see the mansion without a lot of people on the grounds.

This is a good time to use the app to make your wine tasting appointment. The afternoon slots fill up fast, so make the appointment first thing. You cannot make your appointment until you have presented your ticket for entry onto the grounds.

Once you have your photo taken with the House in the background, walk down to the House grounds.  There is a sidewalk that will take you to the House. At the end of the sidewalk is a place where you can get a map of the grounds.  Get one as it will help you navigate around the grounds.  

We took a few photos of the front of the house, then went out to the gardens, which are to the left of the House as you are facing it  Here you will find gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.  He is considered the "Father of American Landscape Architecture" which is a title well-earned.  The Italian Garden with reflecting pools is the first that you will see.  We headed directly to the Walled Garden where the grounds were filled with hundreds of fall mums. What a sight it was.  We wandered around the Rose Garden as well, then headed to the Conservatory.

The Conservatory was one of our favorite places. It was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and houses many tropicals such as orchids, ferns, palms, and more.  

We left the Walled Gardens and went to the Azalea Garden.  It is full of native azaleas collected by horticulturist Chauncey Beadle. Most were not blooming when we were there, even though there were a few varieties that bloom twice in a year.  

At this point, we turned around and headed back to have lunch.  Our house tour was at 12:30 and we wanted to get in line early for our chosen lunch spot, The Stable Cafe.  My husband got in line around 10:30 a.m. and I shopped in all the shops in the Carriage House, including A Christmas Past, Bookbinder's, The Confectionery, and Toymakers.  I saved the Carriage House shop for after lunch.

Since my husband had a good place in line, we were able to go right into lunch.  The Stable Cafe is known for its house-smoked meats, Carolina BBQ, burgers, and southern fare.  The Stable is an original estate horse stable. The original stables are now booths for sitting larger groups.  We had excellent service who helped us make decisions for what to eat and drink.  Our choices were the Housemade Pimento Cheese which was served warm with crackers. We also had the Butternut Squash Bisque, which was the best bisque we have ever had!  We shared a Bison Short Rib Grilled Cheese which was amazing as well.  We also tried two special cocktails.  One was made with gin that was infused with roses from the estate grounds.  The second was a bourbon drink made in collaboration with Woodford Reserve.  Both were incredible.

After lunch, we toured the house. The House was built by George Vanderbilt and was officially opened on Christmas Eve in 1895.  It was the family home for George, his wife Edith, and their daughter Cornelia. The house remains in the family under the direction of Cornelia's children, William Cecil, and Diana Pickering.

I won't give away all the awesomeness that is the Biltmore House. I loved each and every room we are allowed to see.  The tour takes every bit of 90 minutes and requires climbing up and downstairs.  There is an elevator, but I don't recall if it is used for visitors or employees. There are no restroom facilities for guests inside the House, but there are restrooms located in various places on the grounds.

After our House tour, we opted to go to Antler Hill Village.  This is where the complimentary wine tasting takes place. We did a bit of shopping and toured the small museum on the grounds.  Our wine tasting was a great way to end our visit to the Biltmore house.  We tasted five of the Biltmore wines (from a list of choices) and then exited through the wine shop.  

We visited the Biltmore house in late October and saw some fall color in the trees.  Each room in the House had a Christmas tree already set up and most of the mantles decorated for Christmas. 

The Biltmore House had been on my Bucket List for years and it did not disappoint.  I highly recommend this visit.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I love the Biltmore House! This is a fantastic guide! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Joline12:38 PM

    What a stunning place. Looks like a castle in Europe. Definitely putting The Biltmore House in my to-visit list.

  3. This is perfect. I live about an hour from there and have never been but always wanted to.

  4. I have heard of this place before. I have always wanted to visit. It's gorgeous!

  5. Those flowers are so pretty. I just love all the bold colors.

  6. I want to go there and pretend I'm in Downton Abbey. It totally reminds me of it!

  7. This looks like such an amazing place to visit, I would love to visit the Biltmore.

  8. The Biltmore has always intrigued me. Unfortunately, I moved to Europe before I ever had the chance to visit.

  9. Richelle Escat5:39 AM

    How I wished I could visit this place with my nephews. The flowers and grasses are so relaxing to stare at.

  10. The house tour sounds great, what a pretty place to visit. The complimentary wine tasting must have been interesting too.

  11. Wow Biltmore is amazing! I love how vibrant Azalea Garden is, and the fact it has Azaleas collected by chauncery beadle.

  12. I hope you enjoyed our beautiful city of Asheville! :) I love visiting the Biltmore but I haven't visited during Christmastime, yet. This year maybe? -LYNNDEE

  13. That is beautiful place. I would love to visit Biltmore someday. It has been a while I visited the some place.

  14. I so have to go to Biltmore and my aunt just bought a home in that area so now I truly have a reason to go and visit her and maybe take her for a tour as Biltmore is amazing right!?!


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