Biltmore Estate

#1 in Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC
Biltmore Estate picture
The Biltmore Company

Key Info

1 Lodge St.

Details

Historic Homes/Mansions Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.9scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

This enormous French Renaissance-style estate of George Vanderbilt has a storied past dating back to 1889. Considered America's largest private home, the 250-room estate – with 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and a whopping 65 fireplaces – took six years to construct. The 8,000 acres of gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (the same landscape architect responsible for Central Park) and feature 2 ½ miles of walking paths.

Amassing 125,000 acres at its peak, 87,000 acres were sold after Vanderbilt's death in 1914 to form what is now Pisgah National Forest. But its history doesn't stop there: During World War II the estate stored pieces from the National Gallery of Art, and in the 1970s a winery was added. In the 2000s, inns and hotels were opened on the property.

Today, visitors can explore the architecture, artwork and history of the estate and gardens via various tours. The property features different events each season, including the Biltmore Blooms in spring, a summer concert series and the grand Christmas displays that include more than 40 opulent trees. The estate recommends at least 1 ½ to 2 hours to tour the house, but you should set aside more time for wandering the expansive gardens, dining or shopping at the Antler Hill Village, or taking a free tour of the winery.

The $60 admission fee is steep for some, but the majority of visitors are astounded by the sheer size and attention to detail of the property (save up to $10 by purchasing your ticket before your visit). You can opt for an audio tour, a guided tour or specialty tours at the winery or estate grounds for additional fees. The estate also offers a variety of seasonal outdoor activities like horseback riding and stand-up paddle boarding. Admission for children younger than 9 is free year-round; entrance for children ages 10 to 16 is free seasonally. Hours vary seasonally, but generally, the house is open to tour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can extend your experience on the grounds by staying at one of the on-site hotels, including the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Note that on certain high volume days, reservations are required to visit. The estate is located about 3 miles from downtown, off of Highway 25, which is accessible from both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Interstate 40. For more information, visit the Biltmore Estate's website

See all Hotels in Asheville, NC »

More Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC

Appalachian Trail1 of 8
Asheville Urban Trail2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Appalachian Trail

Winding its way from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail spans 2,190 miles through 14 states. About 320 of those miles are found in North Carolina (including 224 miles along the Tennessee border).

The North Carolina section offers many of the Appalachian Trail's highest peaks, several above 6,000 feet. Hiking enthusiasts can set out on a multiday or weeklong journey (keep in mind that you'll need permits to camp and hike in some areas, especially inside the Great Smoky Mountains).

Read more
Brett Maurer/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC »

Explore More of Asheville, NC

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019

The 6 Best Maui Helicopter Tours

Combine sightseeing with a breathtaking adventure on one of these flights.

Gwen PratesiJuly 23, 2019