We spent Days 3 and 4 (May 13 and May 14) at Biltmore Estates in Asheville NC. A little more than a week before leaving on vacation, we purchased tickets online for admission to Biltmore Estates. Ordering tickets online at least 7 days in advance provided a 15% discount on the ticket price. Even with the discount, the price for admission to Biltmore Estates is pricey (but well worth the cost). I paid $94.16 for two tickets. Admission includes a self-guided visit of Biltmore House, access to acres of historic gardens, access to Antler Hill Village, admission to “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” exhibit, and a free wine tasting and guided Winery tour.
We visited Biltmore Estate one time before. Our first visit was 6 years ago, in May 2008. We were in North Carolina that year to attend the South Eastern Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally, the same reason that brought us to North Carolina this year. Neither Bob nor I was interested in touring Biltmore House a second time. We were interested only in seeing the grounds again, in a more leisurely fashion. On our visit in 2008 we attempted to see everything on the estate in one day. By the end of the day, we were exhausted and didn’t come anywhere close to seeing everything on the estate. We didn’t see everything on the estate this year either; however, we had a much more relaxing visit! This blog post and several more posts to follow will provide details and photographs of our visit to Biltmore Estates.
Biltmore Estates was a short drive from the Best Western of Asheville Biltmore East, our hotel while staying in Asheville. After passing through the entrance gate, it is a 3-mile drive to Biltmore House. We were directed to Parking Lot A. Signs at the parking lot indicated it was an 8-minute walk to Biltmore House. A shuttle bus was already at the parking lot, so we chose to ride the bus to Biltmore House. I realized, upon reaching Biltmore House, that I had forgotten to put on suntan lotion. We walked back to our car. After putting on suntan lotion, we walked back to Biltmore House. By the way, we easily made the walk to Biltmore House in 8 minutes or less.
Biltmore House is America’s largest home. George Vanderbilt commissioned its construction in 1889. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau was completed six years later and officially opened to friends and family on Christmas Eve 1895. Three years later, George Vanderbilt brought his bride Edith Stuyvesant Dresser to Biltmore, and in 1900, their only child Cornelia was born here. George Vanderbilt died in 1914. In 1924 Cornelia married the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil. The young couple made Biltmore their home. The Cecils opened Biltmore House to the public in 1930, in response to requests to increase area tourism and to bring in money to preserve the estate. Biltmore Estates remains a family business to this date.
We walked to the right of the expansive green lawn to an information booth, where we purchased two next-day admission tickets for $10.00 each. After paying for the next-day admission tickets, we continued walking to the right of Biltmore House through a courtyard to the location of public restrooms. The next two photographs were taken on our way back through the Courtyard and as we walked across the front of Biltmore House.
To the left of Biltmore House are the Library Terrace and the South Terrace.
The terraces provided the Vanderbilts and their guests a relaxing setting near the house. The South Terrace was originally designed as a bowling green for playing the sport of lawn bowls. On the South Terrace are several statues and a Teahouse. Spectacular mountain views are provided from the South Terrace. The Library Terrace provided shaded seating.
I believe that this canopied walkway is part of the Library and South Terraces.
I will share more photographs from our visit to Biltmore Estates in my next blog post.