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Good For Kids
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The front of the mansion from a road directly in front. The architectural details are impressive to see up close.
Closest available address
One Lodge Street Asheville, NC 28803
House is generally open 9:00am to 4:30pm. Evening tours are offered seasonally.
Best time to visit
The largest privately owned home in America
The Biltmore estate was constructed by George Vanderbilt II between 1889-1895 as his home and country retreat. The lavish 250 room mansion was designed in a French chateau style and is considered one of the finest Gilded Age homes in existence. The estate also was built with extensive gardens, landscaped grounds, and a planned village. The 8,000 acre property today is a major tourist draw with approximately one million visitors annually. In addition to historical attractions, the Biltmore has an upscale inn, winery, multiple restaurants, museum exhibits and a petting zoo.
While George Vanderbilt inherited great wealth, his interests were more literary and artistic than commercial. He was a learned man, who travelled often and could speak 8 languages fluently. He decided to construct Biltmore after some trips to the area. George married after Biltmore was completed, and he had one daughter. He died only a few years later in 1914 after which his wife and daughter continued to live here. The house later was opened to the public as a tourist attraction and is still owned by the family today.
Nothing at Biltmore is cheap except for the free parking. A ticket for the basic house tour, garden access and winery tour will run around $40-60, depending on the time of the year. An audio tour for the house costs another $10. A basic house tour should work for most people, and the audio tour is worth the extra money. Strolling around the gardens and conservatory is a good follow-up to the house, especially if you like flowers. The winery tour at Antler Hill Village was nothing special, but some of the wine tastings were enjoyable. Kids will enjoy a petting zoo area with farm animals at the village. There are also museum exhibits at the village with information about the Vanderbilts. A visit to western North Carolina is incomplete without a stop at the Biltmore. While it’s pricey, getting to experience an estate on this scale and opulence is a one in a million experience.
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