The Biltmore Estate takes Extravagance to the Next Level
The Biltmore Estate is one of the most well known historic mansions in the United States. It is the largest privately owned house in the country at 178,926 square feet. The estate was built between the years of 1889 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II of the famed Vanderbilt family. It is now a tourist attraction for all to see.
Touring the Biltmore Estate
I visited this Asheville, North Carolina house in the summer of 2014. The tree-lined drive up to the house is relatively short but very scenic. There is plenty of parking in multiple lots and from there it’s a short walk to the mansion. The home is only part of the tour as the house has a very large garden full of various shrubs, flowers, and trees.
After purchasing your tickets, you enter the home for the self-guided tour. The tour keeps you on a one-way guided path through various parts of the house. You’ll be able to see the grand dining room, bedrooms, indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, gym, and much more. You will also get great views of the grounds from the back of the house. Since the tour is self-guided you can take it at your own pace. One of the most interesting things about the house is that it had electricity when it was built, which was relatively new in 1895.
After touring the residence, you can meander through the grounds and see the multitude of shrubs, flowers, and trees in their gardens. It was probably one of the most magnificent gardens I’ve seen outside of a botanical garden. We probably spent an hour seeing all that it had to offer.
Following the home and grounds tours, we drove to the winery on the estate. Your house tour ticket includes a free wine tasting at the winery. It was a large winery and they had many different wines to choose from. Afterward you can buy a bottle and linger around the grounds while you enjoy the wine. Overall we had a great time visiting the Biltmore Estate and would definitely visit again.
Can I photograph my visit?
Similar to Hearst Castle, you’re not allowed to take interior photos. However, photography is allowed in the gardens and on the grounds.