Since there is so much to do at Biltmore Estate, trying to encompass everything in one article is almost impossible. We’ve already talked about the sweet winery experience that comes with entrance onto this Asheville attraction but the greatest draw has to be the enormous house sitting pretty in the North Carolina hills. This gilded age monument is a gorgeous representation of its time and its meticulous preservation isn’t anything to scoff at either. Whether you choose the self-guided tour that comes with your ticket purchase or spring for a few of the extra tours or perks, you really won’t be disappointed in your view.
With construction beginning in 1889 and ending around 1895, the Biltmores single-handedly managed to create and maintain a thriving job industry in south Asheville for North Carolina natives and that legacy has continued into the estate’s current function as local attraction and tourist destination. The house itself, a French Chateau inspired masterpiece, can only be described as gorgeous. You really feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you stand in front of America’s biggest private home. Here is where you’re going to want to snap your pictures because they have a strict no-camera policy inside the house itself. Don’t worry too much though. The outside estate has enough beautiful scenery to make any snapshot scrapbook worthy.
When it comes time to wander into the main house, you’ve got a plethora of options available to you. Just touring the house takes roughly 2 hours and you have several choices for the main tour. The first, and most popular, is the self-guided tour that comes with the ticket price. This is where you wander from room to room and enjoy the scenery and read the little placards scattered throughout the house.
This is a tour I’ve enjoyed more than once by myself but if you want to get the full experience, spring for something a little pricier and enjoy a richer lesson in the history of the house. For roughly 10 dollars full can upgrade to the audio tour or go big and spend 150 dollars and get a premium private tour guide for you and your group. The latter requires 2 days notice but if you don’t mind going with other people, they do offer a 20 dollar daily group tour that doesn’t include all the extra rooms and the rooftop.
If you’re on a budget and need to narrow down the extra activities list, I would suggest starting with the behind-the-scenes tour because you get to explore all the closed off areas that a lot of other guests don’t get to experience. It was particularly neat to see all the old Louis Vuitton trunks left in storage that had traveled the world in the late 1800s accompanying the Biltmore family and hear about some of the estate’s famous guests.
Overall, the Biltmore house is one of those classic Asheville attractions that warrants several visits to cover all the great things it offers. There is much more to cover, so I’ll see you in the next article. Do you have any favorite Biltmore experiences? Be sure to let us know!