Our favorite photo spot at the Lagoon. A great spot for winter stroll by the river.
How could you spend a winter day at Biltmore?
When the holidays have come to a close and summer is still out of reach, it’s the perfect time to consider a quiet and romantic getaway to Biltmore in Asheville. In the early months of the year, the historic property offers a peaceful retreat following the hectic pace of the holidays.
During the late 1800s, George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate was designed to be a place of rejuvenation and calm, far away from the busy streets of larger cities. That same feeling comes through today, especially during this season, when Biltmore offers a sense of escape and serenity.
Biltmore – America’s version of “Downton Abbey”
With the highly anticipated U.S. premiere of “Downton Abbey” on PBS in January, fans of the show will be interested to know that its story lines overlap the time when George and Edith Vanderbilt lived in Biltmore House with their only child, Cornelia. For an additional fee, the Biltmore House Butler’s Tour and the Vanderbilt Family and Friends Tour expose guests to the striking resemblances between the structure and protocols of Biltmore House and Downton Abbey, and also the relationships between the Crawley family and their service staff; and that of the Vanderbilt family’s with their staff. While not an apples-to-apples comparison, these tours merely reflect those times. Read more about these "Downton Abbey" Biltmore Specialty Guided Tours.
See beautiful orchids in the warm Conservatory
Sample some wines
Morning: Arrive at the Welcome Center to pick up your tickets. See the orientation video for a great introduction to Biltmore. Drive the two mile drive to the house. The Welcome Center opens at 9 AM every day.
Arrive at the Biltmore House. Enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour of the largest home in America - without the big crowds. 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. Allow two hours - sit down occassionally to soak it in. Take advantage of the clear winter days for photo ops and beautiful views from the South Terrace.
Lunch: Rejuvenate with a hearty lunch for two at the Stable Cafe, located beside the house in the restored Stables. The café features slow-cooked rotisserie chicken, fresh salads, and irresistible desserts.
Afternoon: Stroll acres of peaceful winter gardens designed by America's foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. The gardens and walking trails provide guests with unexpected places-perfect for two-for sitting to enjoy the peaceful scenery. Head to the Conservatory (1/2 mile walk from House) and warm up in the tropical paradise! Enjoy its beauty and find a cozy spot to read a book. Its central room is a Palm House where a large collection of palms, ferns, and other foliage plants thrive year round. Annexes include a cool house, hot house and orchid house. If you want to take a longer walk, continue another 1/2 mile to the Bass Pond. Steal a kiss at the secluded Boat House.
Return to your car and head toward Antler Hill Village and the Winery. On the way, stop for our favorite photo spot at the Lagoon. Look for the small lake 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.
Antler Hill Village is a great place to unwind and take in the less formal side of the estate. The Legacy building features Vanderbilts At Home and Abroad exhibition highlighting archival letters, documents, personal items and exotic treasures the Vanderbilt family collected around the world for their home. Read more about Antler Village.
A stop at the Winery offers guided tours about the history of Biltmore’s vineyards and the art and science of winemaking. Warm up with a free tasting of robust reds, crisp whites and sparkling wines. Read more about the Biltmore Winery.
Here are more ideas if you have the time - and all included in the ticket price:
Farm: Tour the Antler Hill Farm near the Winery to discover what it was like to live and work on the estate in the 1890's. See craft demonstrations, farmyard animals, antique farm equipment, a kitchen garden, and more.
Shops: It doesn't cost anything to look! There are a variety of shops in the Stables next to the house, the winery shop and the Gate House.
Hike: There are many well-maintained trails to explore for all fitness levels. Bundle up and explore several trails. Our favorite is the new Deer Park Trail. Read more about hiking at Biltmore.
Romantic Proposal: See the best spots at Biltmore to propose marriage to your Valentine.
More Winter Romantic Moments at Biltmore
Here are more ideas to create your fairytale getaway to this 8,000 acre estate.
1. Request a private carriage ride and cuddle under the lap blankets.
2. Enjoy chocolate tea at Inn on Biltmore Estate.
3. Have a fun adventure with the Land Rover Driving Experience School.
4. Stay for dinner. The estate's restaurants celebrate this romantic time of year with delicious menu offerings and an array of savory and sweet chocolate dishes.
5. Indulge in four-star luxury and romance with an Inn on Biltmore Estate romance package.
6. Saddle up for a guided horseback ride across Biltmore's ridges and pastures.
7. Combine your Biltmore visit with other great things to do... see our Top 12 Asheville Winter Outings.
Read more about Biltmore's current deals and specials!