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Recognized as the largest privately own home in America, George Vanderbilt’s 250 room Biltmore House sits on an 8,000 acre estate that is still owned by the family to this day. Ever since our first visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, Biltmore Estate has been on our list of things to do in Asheville. Before attending the Overland Expo, Joe and I dedicated an entire day to exploring America’s largest home in our camper van.
Spending a Day at Biltmore Estate
Depending on how much you want to do and see, one day may not be enough time. My tip is to start your day early in order to maximize time and experience what the estate has to offer.
Biltmore House & Gardens
Start the day with a tour of Biltmore House. During our visit, the house was beautifully decorated for Christmas which added a magical experience to our self-guided tour.
Most of the visitors paid for an audio tour of the house, but we had more fun talking to the docents who were eager to share interesting tidbits about the house. One interesting fact we learned is each grotesque attached to the house is making fun of someone.
After touring the house, go for a stroll through the gardens to the conservatory. Inside the four main rooms of the conservatory you’ll find a beautiful collection of palms, ferns, orchids and other flowers. The scent of this flower made the trek out to the conservatory more than worth while. If you know the name of this flower, please leave a comment on this post.
Antler Hill Village & Winery
When you’re finished touring the house and garden, drive to Antler Hill Village where you can redeem your complimentary wine tasting.
The staff recommends a sample of five to seven wines from the collection, which could take a while. My tip is to give yourself at least one hour to enjoy the wine tasting.
In addition to the winery, there is an Outdoor Adventure Center where you can rent bicycles, go on a kayaking trip or book a class at the sporting clays school.
My favorite experience at Antler Hill Village is learning about the working farm on the estate which supplies all the restaurants on property. Joe’s favorite is the woodworking display in the barn where a local woodworker makes hand crafted brooms available for purchase.
Biltmore Estate Tips & Notes
- Plan to spend the whole day at the estate.
- Adult admission includes complimentary wine tasting.
- Dog friendly grounds. Dogs are not allowed inside the house or buildings.
- Plan a visit during Christmas at Biltmore.
- Consider an annual pass
If Joe and I lived in the area, we would purchase the annual pass. The estate has so much to offer, one day isn’t enough to experience it all. After spending the entire day at Biltmore Estate, we both left saying we wish we had another day.
Looking for more travel ideas? Check out the Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s Favorite Drive.