Explore North Carolina
Be inspired by the relaxed elegance of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s 250-room family home and country retreat, the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, NC. Discover original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon’s chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques.
The First Guests & Today’s Tours
Opened to friends on Christmas Eve 1895, this French Renaissance chateáu remains America’s largest privately owned home. A self-guided visit of Biltmore House is included in estate admission. Allow about two hours to explore the house.
Winery & Antler Hill VillageTaste Biltmore’s own wines, produced and bottled on the estate in our 90,000 square foot facility. The winery, which opened in 1985, is housed in a converted dairy barn, originally designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the architect for Biltmore House.
The operation includes 94 acres of vineyards and is a natural extension of the estate’s ongoing agricultural program including cattle, sheep, and an extensive Kitchen Garden supplying the property’s four restaurants.
The Biltmore Winery is the most visited winery in America. The Winery offers guests the opportunity to view fermentation and bottling rooms, stroll through the cellars, enjoy special food and wine events and, of course, taste the finished product. The winery is located in Antler Village, home to restaurants, shops and a special exhibit.
Stroll acres of formal and informal gardens designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Did you know that Olmsted, and co-designer Calbert Vaux, are responsible for New York’s famous Central Park?
American Landscape Architecture
From the formal beauty of the Italian Garden to America’s first managed forests, Biltmore’s lush landscape is a living tribute to Olmsted’s genius. He is known as the father of American landscape archictecture.
Biltmore experts continually work to preserve the original vision for the gardens and grounds, including our All America Rose Garden featuring more than 250 varieties of roses. Biltmore’s walking trails are a testament to Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s belief that the landscape should be enjoyed and admired by guests.
Nature & Wildlife
Each path provides a new opportunity to discover nature and the estate’s wildlife and bird community. Walk along what was once the main carriage drive on the Glen Road, or explore the estate’s rustic side with the Bass Pond and Creekside Trails.
For those interested in learning about Biltmore’s agricultural heritage, there’s Antler Hill Farm. In addition to displays of historic farm equipment, guests can explore the Kitchen Garden and meet draft horses, calves, lambs and chickens at the Farmyard. On select dates throughout the year, visitors can enjoy mountain music and see artisans including a blacksmith and woodworkers practice their craft.
Building Biltmore was, at the time, one of the largest undertakings in the history of American residential architecture and the results were astounding. Over a six-year period, an entire community of craftsmen worked to build the country’s premier home. The estate boasted its own brick factory, woodworking shop, and a three-mile railway spur for transporting materials to the site.
Architect & Biltmore
The celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the house on three châteaux built in 16th-century France. It would feature 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone would house a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants’ quarters, kitchens, and more.
In spring and summer, the Meadow Trail features wildflowers and grasses, while the Woodland Trail is ablaze with azaleas in spring. Even in winter, the Conservatory offers displays that allow guests to get a taste of summer while staying warm and dry.
Whatever the time of year, Biltmore offers ever-changing ways to enjoy Vanderbilt’s historic property. Each spring, the estate celebrates with a month-long Festival of Flowers and Easter weekend wouldn’t be complete without the massive egg hunt on the Front Lawn of Biltmore House.
Summer is packed with activities including Winery Summerfest Weekends offering great jazz and blues and Summer Evening Concerts bringing nationally known acts to the South Terrace of Biltmore House for fabulous music under the stars. In the fall, Biltmore welcomes cooler weather with Field to Table Celebration.
And then there’s Christmas at Biltmore and Candlelight Christmas Evenings when the 250-room chateau is transformed into a fairytale castle with miles of evergreen garland, hundreds of poinsettias, dozens of Christmas trees and a magnificent 35-foot-tall live Fraser Fir decked with lights, ornaments and gifts.
George W. Vanderbilt enjoyed living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina not only for the area’s natural beauty, but also for the recreational opportunities it afforded.
One hundred years ago, Vanderbilt’s guests spent hours enjoying a variety of outdoor activities on the property during their visits. And now, those original activities, plus a few more modern adventures are available to today’s guest.
Famous guests of Biltmore include writers Henry James (considered to be one of the greatest novelists in the English language), Edith Wharton (the first woman to win the Pulitzer prize in literature), and Paul Leicester Ford (who edited The Writings of Thomas Jefferson). Ambassadors, entertainers, and social figures were also visitors to the estate.
Guided by expert staff versed in outdoor sports as well as the history of Biltmore Estate, guests can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, float trips, carriage rides, fly-fishing, Segway tours, sporting clays, day camps and the Land Rover Experience Driving School.
The Explore Biltmore Outdoor Center is located in an historic estate farmhouse on the property. Required reservations for activities can be made at the outdoor center, at the estate’s Welcome Center or at the Biltmore House Stable complex. An estate admission ticket, Twelve-Month or Vanderbilt Pass or inn reservation is required.
Special Guided Tours
The South Wing Behind-the-Scenes Tour guides guests into attic spaces and onto the rooftop for an hour-long exploration. Enjoy a panoramic look at Biltmore’s grounds, gardens and the Blue Ridge Mountains while examining architectural, structural and technological details.
The 60-minute North Wing Behind-the-Scenes Tour takes guests into a variety of areas of Biltmore House that have not been restored including bachelor’s bedrooms and the butler’s pantry. A highlight of the tour is stepping out onto the Organ Loft in the Banquet Hall where a Skinner pipe organ entertains visitors. Guests can even explore the sub-basement, which houses the technology that made Biltmore House a 19th-century model of creature comfort.
The Legacy of the Land Tour is a 90-minute guided motor coach ride that delves into the land’s rich past and offers information about the people and places that existed before Vanderbilt’s arrival. See remnants of a community church, a railroad trestle and important archeological and historical locations as you tour the estate’s pastoral landscape.
Dining and Shopping
From a simple, fresh-baked pastry or gourmet ice cream snack to our hearty rotisserie fare, wood-fired pizzas, bountiful buffets, and unforgettable specialties—savor every moment of dining on the estate. There are five restaurants to choose from. Plus, there are nearly a dozen shopping venues, including shops in the former stables beside the Biltmore House.
At the end of a long day exploring the Biltmore Estate, head back to your cozy accommodations at our Waynesville bed and breakfast for a late afternoon snack and a glass of wine from our wine cellar selections. Sip and snack on our back patio overlooking the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
GoogleMaps (on the left) shows that from Brookside Mountain Mist Inn Bed and Breakfast, the drive could take just 35 minutes. On the way there, the anticipation will build as you talk about what you want to see as you explore the Biltmore Estate, Gardens, and Winery.
Luxury Mountain Getaway with Gourmet Breakfasts
Return back to our Waynesville Bed and Breakfast to experience our luxurious accommodations. Each morning our guests receive a delicious, gourmet breakfast. Enjoy our magnificent view of the Western North Carolina mountains.