Biltmore Estate – Asheville, NC “About”

The Biltmore Estate is noted as one of the “Castles of America” and is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina on over 8000 acres of land. Washington Vanderbilt II moved into the estate in around 1895. I’m sure people worldwide hoped for an invitation to his first ball. The rooms and views were, and still are, amazing. In the photo above you can see the apple blossoms are in full bloom. I was there the third week of March and the grounds were spectacular!

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A couple of quick facts:

  • At 178,926 square feet and 250 rooms, the Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned home in the United States.
  • In 2007, it was ranked eighth in America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
  • The grounds were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed Central Park in New York City. I have a fabulous walk I’ll show you in an upcoming blog that takes you through the grounds, from the Historical Inn to the Estate. The photo above shows the path where you’ll get a glimpse of the estate high on a hill.
  • Some of the formal gardens that surround the home include the All American Rose Garden with over 250 varieties, and the formal Italian Garden.
  • The estate also has a fabulous winery where they provide complimentary tastings. You can also tour their historic cellars.

I’ll cover these in more detail in a following blog. Below is a map of the Biltmore Estate that also shows you the gardens – The Biltmore House Entrance is where you arrive on the bus. The star that highlights “you are here” is by the entrance when you walk over from the historical inn which I’ll tell you more about in another blog.

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The next blog will cover the Historic Inn and the secluded walk over to the Estate which most people don’t know about. PS: Many of the photos I use on my site are actually from the Biltmore Estate.  The one on the left is on the balcony at the back of the estate. And of course my favorite is with one of the beautiful lions at the front entrance.

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Fun thought – When I visit historical estates, I always love to learn about the people who lived there when they were built. Let’s take clothes for example. The year was approximately 1895 and what a splash Mr. Vanderbilt must have made when he threw the first ball. During that time, women donned what were called leg o’mutton sleeves which grew in size until they disappeared in 1906. (Those were the sleeves that puffed out around the bicep area.) My romantic side would love to live back then until I remember that deodorant was an urban legend until 1941. That simple fact may be why the leg o-mutton sleeves were invented…perfect to shield, or I guess contain “the odor” (and probably the reason for the increase in size over the years.) Yet I digress. Back to the estate… Click to follow and you’ll receive more information on the Biltmore Estate via email!

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC Morning Walk

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While I’m working on the next blog for the Biltmore Estate I thought I’d share a photo I took on my morning coffee walk from the Biltmore Historic Inn to Antler Village.

Would you like a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC – Getting There


Getting there is actually quite easy. I flew from SFO and and took the red-eye. I’m a huge fan of these flights because you have the entire day when you land. You may be a bit tired but suck it up, get a XXL coffee and head over to the rent-a-car agency.

The next piece of advice I’ll give is take your time. The countryside is gorgeous so my recommendation is to get off the main roads as quickly as possible. Once you get your rent-a-car I would recommend the following route (note map below). Take I-85 south to I-74 West; then I-64 north/west. There will be a smaller road you’ll want to look for called the I 64/74 north/west (toward Lake Lure and Fairview). This will get you off the main highway and will take you through some beautiful countryside. Lake Lure is gorgeous and if you have time you should stop for lunch. You may want to try the Historic Lake Lure Inn and Spa or get a picnic lunch and relax down by the water. (It was actually pouring down rain when I got to the hotel so I shot a photo of the hotel through my car window.)


After lunch, follow the road up to Asheville and you’ll see signs for the Biltmore. Along the way you’ll see cattle grazing in the hills. It was raining the day I arrived which gave the countryside a beautiful, ghosted beauty.

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A few travel tips:

GPS location for the Inn on Biltmore Estate: 1 Antler Hill Road, Asheville, NC 28803

Closest large airport to Asheville is the Charlotte / Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, NC (Asheville has a smaller one too)

Here’s a map showing the scenic route: The next post will include information on the Biltmore Estate! Have you made your flight reservations yet? 🙂

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