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The North Carolina Mountains Sights

Biltmore Estate

  • 1 Approach Rd. Map It
  • House/Mansion/Villa
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 11/07/2012

Fodor's Review

Built in the 1890s as the private home of George Vanderbilt, the astonishing 250-room French-Renaissance château is America's largest private home. Some of Vanderbilt's descendants still live on the estate, but the bulk of the house and grounds is open to visitors. Richard Morris Hunt designed it, and Frederick Law Olmsted landscaped the original 125,000-acre estate (now 8,000 acres). It took 1,000 workers five years to complete the gargantuan project. On view are the

priceless antiques and art collected by the Vanderbilts, including notable paintings by Renoir and John Singer Sargent, along with 75 acres of gardens and formally landscaped grounds. You can also see the state-of-the-art winery, one of the largest in the East, and an 1890s-era farm, River Bend. Candlelight tours of the house are offered at Christmastime. Also on the grounds are a deluxe hotel, seven restaurants, and an equestrian center. A new section called Antler Hill Village, with shops, restaurants, and crafts demonstrations, opened in 2010. Each summer, Biltmore Estate hosts music concerts with nationally known entertainers. Most people tour the house on their own, but guided tours are available. Note that there are a lot of stairs to climb, but much of the house is accessible for guests in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. At busier times, self-guided visits of the interior of the house now require a reservation, so call in advance or book online. Save money by buying tickets online rather than at the gate, with the lowest prices for tickets purchased seven days in advance. The best deal is the annual pass, allowing unlimited admission for a year and costing only a little more than one-day admission.

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Sight Information

Address:

1 Approach Rd., Asheville, North Carolina, 28803, United States

Map It

Phone:

828-225–1600

Website: www.biltmore.com

Sight Details:

  • $59 Sun.–Fri., $69 Sat. Discounts available with advance purchase online and at certain times of the year.
  • Late Mar.–early Nov., daily 9–4; late-Nov.–early Mar., hrs vary.

Updated 11/07/2012

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Fodorite Reviews

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Sep 9, 2012

Great pre-Christmas Experience

Everything about our post-Thanksgiving 2011 stay at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate was excellent. Large, comfortable top floor room with view of the mountains. 5-star dinner in front of the fireplace in the dining room. Bountiful breakfasts with views over the grounds. The huge Christmas tree in the lobby. The Christmas candlelight tour of the Biltmore Estate itself. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The holiday lights and decorations

on the whole estate is a perfect way to get into the spirit of the season.

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By Cyanna

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Aug 19, 2010

Biltmore Estate Review

Visiting Asheville without seeing Biltmore is inexplicable - it's such a major element in Asheville's history but also in American cultural history. The main tour is wonderful, but so is the "behind the scenes" tour, which will remind you of "Upstairs Downstairs" or "Gosford Park"; and the grounds are spectacular. Two hints: 1. It's not "The" Biltmore (which applies to the various Biltmore hotels around the country); it's just "Biltmore."

2. Enter late in the day for one tour and your ticket (after a certain hour - check their website) is good again the next day. Candlelight tours of the main house during the holidays are lovely - crowded so avoid weekends - but lovely.

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By cd

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Feb 27, 2006

Not sure

I'm not sure why they don't have a van to take guests the five miles from the gate up to the house but they don't, so if you pay to go all they way there, please think to hire a car, as otherwise, like me, you've wasted a trip and all you'll have to show for it are souvenirs from the gift shop. and watch out, Barney Fife at the cash register makes mistakes in his favor and if you catch him, bless you.

By Renee

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May 13, 2004

You haven't seen Asheville if you miss the Biltmore!

The Biltmore Estate is a must see attraction! It is absoutely beautiful. Even if you are not a garden enthusiast, you will be in awe of the spectacular gardens -- they are worth the walk to just soak in the entire ambience. HINT: Purchase the audiocasset and headphones! The price to enter the estate is a little price-y, but please splurge for the audiotaped tour. It adds so much and you WILL be missing out if you tour the house on your own,

which is what the base price allows you to do. Ice cream in the snack shop was to die for! The winery tour was a little disappointing as they do not take you through the vineyards as they do in Canada, but still worth the time and the wine is yummy! Purchase a few bottles and you will not be disappointed.

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