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Biltmore Estate Insider's Guide

Our Biltmore Guide: Biltmore Overview | Biltmore House Inside Photos | Downton Abbey Costumes | Gardens | Winery | Antler Hill Village | Christmas at Biltmore | House Christmas Photos | Christmas Tree Raising | Biltmore Blooms | Summer Concerts | Fall at Biltmore | Winter Outings & Specials | Hiking, Biking, Outdoors | Events | Inn on Biltmore | Specialty Guided Tours | Vanderbilts | Garden Photos | Biltmore Romantic Spots | Dream Wedding | Biltmore Snow | Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate | Land Rover Driving School

We know and love Biltmore Estate, so we have lots of insider's advice for things to do during your visit. It is the ideal location for a romantic getaway with a century-old French Renaissance castle. George W. Vanderbilt's 8,000-acre estate includes the 250-room Biltmore House, 75 acres of beautiful gardens, the nation's most visited winery, shopping, dining, four star accommodations, hiking trails and more for a vacation to remember forever.

Current Biltmore Ticket Special Offers, Discounts and Deals

  • Buy tickets on Biltmore's web site at least 7 days in advance and save $12
  • Seniors age 65+ save $12 on regular adult daytime admission at the Reception & Ticketing Sales Center every Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Enjoy a second, consecutive day of all Biltmore for only $10. Upgrade on your day of visit at any of the Guest Services locations on the estate.
  • Kids 16 and younger receive free admission now through Labor Day, Sept. 7
  • Dads receive FREE admission on Father’s Day, June 21, with purchase of an adult or youth ticket.
  • Free cooking demonstrations by Biltmore Chefs: June 12, 19 and 25, 11 AM at Cedric's Tavern; July 16 and 23, 11 AM at Lioncrest; August 6 and 13, 12 Noon at The Dining Room at the Inn. Call 828-225-1320 to reserve.

Tips for Visiting Biltmore
1. Take your time exploring during your vacation at Biltmore. Plan to spend the day, or perhaps two.
2. Wear very comfortable walking shoes.
3. Arrive early (9 AM) to avoid crowds and to make the most of your day.
4. Saturdays are the busiest days. The most crowded days of the year are Saturdays in April, May, October, November, and December.
5. Be sure to have an automobile since the drive to the Biltmore House from the entrance gate is three miles. It's another five miles to the Winery
6. Bring a picnic or stop by the Ice Cream Shop outside the Biltmore House to purchase a picnic to go. There are many great picnic spots on the Estate.

7. If you arrive on the estate after 4 PM, your ticket can be validated for the next day at the Reception & Ticket Center.
And you can usually add a day for $10.
8. The grounds are perfect for walking your pets, but please make sure to keep them securely leashed at all times. Pets are not allowed inside Biltmore mansion or other estate buildings such as the winery, restaurants, and shops.
9. Each guest is assigned a reservation time to tour the Biltmore mansion on busy days.
10. See Updated Event Guides for more details: Dressing Downton Abbey Costumes Feb 5-May 25 and Biltmore Blooms: Tulips & Flower Festival March 20-May 25

11. Find current deals and specials on Biltmore's Web site.

Biltmore Estate Things to Do

Biltmore House Banquet Hall
See photos inside the Biltmore House

BILTMORE HOUSE: Share the wonder of Biltmore House, the largest privately owned mansion in America, with a priceless collection of arts and antiques original to the Vanderbilt home. Since the house is a self-guided tour, pay the little extra for the audio companion tour as soon as you enter the house. Excellent guided tours may be purchased to go "behind the scenes" like the Architect's Tour. After exploring the house, stop at the Stable Courtyard for refreshments or a visit to several quaint shops (and one large souvenir shop). The Stable Café is great for sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Allow at least two hours for the self-guided house tour. Photography/video is not permitted inside. See our exclusive photos from inside: Biltmore House in spring & Biltmore House decorated for Christmas.

Biltmore Gardens

GARDENS: Spectacular gardens and woodlands are perfect for leisurely strolls. From the house, walk hand-in-hand through gardens designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for designing Central Park in New York City. The lush and beautiful reflecting ponds of the Italian Gardens are a fitting entry into a stunning world of garden paths. A short walk takes you to the four-acre Walled Garden and adjacent Conservatory. See our Photo Tour of the Biltmore Gardens and Biltmore Blooms festival of flowers Guide.

Biltmore Bass Pond

For a longer walk, follow signs to the Bass Pond to find a more secluded (and romantic) area, especially in the Boat House (above). In spring and summer, the Meadow Trail features wildflowers and grasses, while the Woodland Trail is ablaze with azaleas in spring. Stop by A Gardener's Place to shop or check into a guided garden walks during special events. For the best photo vista of the front of the house, walk up to the statue of Diana atop the hill facing the house. Get some exercise with your dog in Biltmore’s 8,000-acre backyard.

Biltmore House View

OUR FAVORITE PHOTO SPOT: The most dramatic view of Biltmore House is en route from the house to the winery. Look for the small lake (Lagoon) on your left. There is a narrow unpaved road at the far end that crosses a small bridge and takes you around the lake for a stunning view of back of the Biltmore House. Add a blanket and a bottle of Biltmore Estate wine for an especially romantic outing. Also a great place to take a hike.

Winery at Biltmore

BILTMORE ESTATE WINERY: At the winery, enjoy a guided tour and sample Biltmore Estate wines in the Tasting Room. Browse the Wine Shop. The Bistro Restaurant is an excellent choice for dinner, with its welcoming European atmosphere. Other culinary activities include cooking demonstrations, seminars, guest chef programs, introductory wine classes and daylong cooking classes featuring the estate's own chefs. Read more about the Biltmore Winery.

Antler Village

ANTLER HILL VILLAGE: Antler Hill Village connects the estate's present and past, providing a relaxing place for dining, shopping, historical exhibit and people watching. Antler Hill Village includes the entrance to the Winery and adjacent Antler Hill Farm. You can also enjoy live entertainment on the Village Green and get ready to explore our 8,000-acre backyard at the Outdoor Adventure Center. Read and see more about Antler Hill Village. Don't miss the Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad exhibit. Adjacent is the Inn at Biltmore Estate four diamond hotel.

Antler Hill Farm

THE FARM: For those interested in learning about Biltmore's agricultural heritage, there's Antler Hill Farm (formerly River Bend Farm), adjacent to Antler Hill Village. The village includes the Historic Horse Barn, built in 1902 and restored to communicate the rich farm life that the estate has supported for more than a century. In addition to displays of historic farm equipment, explore the Kitchen Garden and meet draft horses, calves, lambs and chickens at the Farmyard. On select dates throughout the year, enjoy mountain music and artisans including a blacksmith and woodworkers practicing their craft. You'll also old-fashioned Mercantile shop offering Appalachian crafts, dry good, and old-fashioned candy; a Smokehouse offering Carolina barbeque, quick sandwiches, and Southern favorites in addition cold drinks, snacks and sweets.

Biltmore House Christmas
See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: There is much to explore outdoors, including several great hiking trails (free) and a host of paid activities. Read more about hiking and Biltmore outdoors. In Antler Hill Village, you will find Biltmore "Outdoor Adventure Center" where you sign up for an array of outdoor fun including:

• Biking
• Carriage Rides
• Fly-fishing School
• Guided Segway Tours
• Guided Horseback Trail Rides
• Land Rover Experience Driving School
• Land Rover Ride-Along Expedition
• Kids' Land Rover Adventure Course
• River Float Trips
• Sporting Clays School

Go to the Biltmore Estate website for more details on outdoor adventures.

Click once to see our video of scenes from Biltmore.

ACCESSIBILITY: Biltmore offers reduced-price admission to guests with disabilities. Parking assistance is available for those with state-issued parking permits. From the parking area, take a shuttle bus to the front door of the Biltmore House. They have some wheelchairs inside the house for guests at no charge if one is available. You can tour the first two floors (friendly house guides will take you up in the elevator to the second floor). You are welcome to sit and take a break on any chair or seat with a green cushion inside Biltmore House. Guests unable to visit the third floor and basement are invited to the second floor rest area and watch a video of the rooms they are unable to access. You can park by the Conservatory for wheelchair access to the Walled Garden. There is plenty of parking at the winery and Antler Village, and it's very easy to get around in a wheelchair. All shops and restaurants are wheelchair accessible. Guests with hearing difficulties can request a Neckloop Telecoil Coupler or a printed transcript of the audio guide. You can also request a Sign Language Interpreter by calling 800-411-3812 at least seven days prior to visiting. Guests who are blind or have low vision can receive a complimentary audio guide.

FOR THE KIDS: There's plenty of fun at Antler Village. Get lost in a maze of trees and run and climb in the new Pisgah Playground. At the barn, children love exploring farm life at the turn of the century and antique farm equipment. Ask inquisitive questions to their staff and play with chickens, roosters, goats, horses and sheep in the farmyard. Demos, crafts and period games available select days.

- From Interstate 40: Biltmore Estate is located just north of exit 50 on U.S. Highway 25.
- From Interstate 26: take Interstate 40 East, then take exit 50.
- From the Blue Ridge Parkway: take the U.S. Highway 25-North exit; Biltmore Estate is approximately 4 miles from the parkway.

- Your daytime admission includes a self-guided tour of Biltmore House, gardens, Antler Hill and winery. If you are a AAA member, check with them for discounted tickets. The lowest ticket prices of the year are January-March, with many special offers throughout the year (see top of this page for current specials).
- You may purchase tickets at many of the inns and hotels in town. Tickets purchased at most B&Bs and vacation rentals are good for two days - for the price of one day.
- Save up to $10 per ticket by purchasing online a week in advance. Read about current deals and specials on Biltmore's Web site.
- Save by purchasing a Twelve-Month Annual Pass.
- The Estate is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Biltmore Estate Map
Download the Biltmore Guide & Map before you go!

Travel Distances inside the Estate
Main Entrance/Ticket Center to Biltmore House: 3 miles
Biltmore House to Antler Hill Village/Winery: 5 miles
Antler Hill Village/Winery to Main Entrance: 2 miles



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Enjoy your vacation to Biltmore House, Estate, Winery & Gardens in Asheville! Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2015 File Investments, Inc