The Biltmore Estate - Asheville, NC
The Biltmore Estate located three miles south of Downtown Asheville, in the Biltmore Village, is an 8,000-acre estate, and is home to the 250-room Biltmore House, the Biltmore Winery and over 75 acres of professionally manicured gardens. As the best known and most popular tourist destination in Asheville and greater Western North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate attracts over 1 million visitors each year.
At 175,000 square feet and with 250 rooms, the Biltmore House is the largest private residence in the United States. The house was originally owned by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the youngest son of William Henry Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt commissioned preeminent American architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the lavish structure. Hunt’s design for the Biltmore House was based on Vanderbilt’s favorite French Renaissance chateaus of Loire Valley, France. Completed in 1895, the Biltmore House remained a private residence until, after Vanderbilt’s death and subsequent remarriage of his wife; it was opened to the public by his widow, Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil. In 1956, the House was permanently converted into a museum, which continues to this day to be run by the descendents of George W. Vanderbilt II.
Today the Biltmore House is open year round to tourists. Visitors from around the globe enjoy both unguided and guided tours of the house to marvel at the amenities. Visitor favorites include the 70,000 gallon indoor pool, the bowling alley, art filled guest suites, and the hidden treasures made visible in the behind the scenes guided tour.
Biltmore Winery, Restaurant and Inn
The Winery at the Biltmore Estate, the most visited winery in the country, is a must see for visitors to the Estate. Enjoy a behind the scenes tour, or sample the Biltmore Wines in the Tasting Room. For a come complete culinary experience check out the Bistro Restaurant. Regular restaurant activities include cooking classes, demonstrations, and seminars. The Biltmore Estate also operates an Inn, offering guests the opportunity to stay on the grounds for an up close and personal Biltmore experience.
The Gardens at Biltmore Estate and Other Outdoor Activities
The gardens at the Biltmore Estate are truly spectacular. Designed by world renowned landscape architect, Fredrick Law Olmsted, the 75-acre gardens are a tourist favorite especially during the spring and early summer months. Beyond the gardens and the winery, the Biltmore Estate offers a full schedule of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly fishing, canoe trips, and the newly added Segway Human Transporter tours and sporting clays outing. For those not familiar with shooting clays, the day will begin with lesions on how to safely operate a shotgun. This will be followed by the exciting experience of shooting authentic clays.
Hours and Admission
Biltmore Estate admission prices range from $38-$55 per person and include a self-guided tour of the house, gardens and winery. Check for discounted tickets at the Visitor Center and with AAA membership. Many Asheville inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts also sell tickets.
The Biltmore Estate is open every day of the year.
8:30 am – 5:00 pm March 14th – Dec. 31st.
9:00 am – 4:00 pm Jan. 1st – March 13th
Tips for Visiting Biltmore
- Wear comfortable clothes and take your time.
- Start early and visit on low traffic days. Avoid Saturdays, especially during the months of April, May and during the fall travel season which runs from October through Christmas.
- Pack a lunch, there are many wonderful places to have a picnic at the Biltmore Estate.
- The Estate is very large. Don’t expect to be able to get around on foot between the major attractions.
- By our tickets early and shop around for discounted rates, especially during the slower months in late winter.