Biltmore Estate My Secret Walk Part 3

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If you’re just joining me on this walk, I’ll take a moment and step back. We are currently visiting one of my favorite places: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The estate sits on 8000 acres of the most beautiful countryside in America. Most people take the bus from the Historic Inn over to the Estate (which I what I did the first time). Don’t get me wrong. The bus is great. I actually met a lot of very nice people huddled into our seats, which I later saw that day. It’s as if you’re in a small town when you stay at the Historic Inn. You meet people on the bus and then there they are at the creamery in Antler Village. Then you’ll see them wine tasting later that evening…Yet I digress, back to the walk. After asking around, I discovered that I could walk over to the Estate. There were no clear directions but the overall consensus was that it was possible. And that was all that it took. I was a woman ready to set out on an adventure.

Not quite sure how to proceed, I turned my back on the bus and headed out the back door of the hotel – toward the vineyards. Passing Antler Village (and the winery) I found myself in a huge open field. It had rained the night before so I dodged puddles and breathed in the clean spring air. Tiny flowers shyly popped their heads up and seemed to be looking around. I imagine they must be thinking “we survived!” pleased to come into the land of the living. After I followed the path through the large field I found myself walking by a river, tree branches bending gracefully along the water’s edge. It was a bit overcast on the day I shot this photo but still beautiful. I was in heaven. Every turn seemed to bring a new discovery… To the right you’ll see the official Photo Girl FOLLOW button. If you click on it, you’ll receive an email link to my next discovery as we get closer to one of the most impressive castles in America.

Would you like to purchase 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…Solitude

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By the lake, such beauty, grace and solitude…

Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC “My Secret Walk” Part 2

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The walk from the Historic Inn to the Biltmore Estate is one of my favorites. In the previous blog we had grabbed our coffee at the Inn and set off toward the Estate on a 7 mile hike. In the above photo, you can see the winding path located at the back of the hotel. The path takes you by Adirondack chairs where guests lounge and read during the day, and then settle back in with a glass of wine in the evening. As you follow the path away from the hotel, you’ll see that it bends and curves over to the vineyards. The two photos below show the same path early in the morning and then at mid day. I love walking this path at anytime, but the mornings are spectacular when the countryside is shrouded in fog.

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Follow the path until you arrive at the Biltmore Winery which is at the entrance of Antler Village. I was there in spring and the photo below is looking back toward the path. In the spring, you can see the most spectacular cherry blossoms. When there is a breeze, not only will you smell the blooming flowers, you’ll see tiny peddles fall which I call “spring snow”.

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As you walk past Antler Village (more on the village later) and through the parking lot, you’ll see the path again. It winds through a huge open field, by a river and then over to a charming pond surrounded by ducks. I wish I could take you there now, but alas, I need to return to work. Click “Follow” and you’ll recieve the next part of this hike via email. Thanks again for following along!

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If you’d like to purchase a print to remind you of this beautiful area, 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, Asheville NC “My Secret Walk Part 1”

photogirltravels_biltmore walk7When you visit the Biltmore Estate I hope you do this walk from the Historic Hotel to the Estate. You can take a bus but if you have the time, don your sneakers and set off on this adventure!  The walk is about 7 miles and takes you past vineyards, through a wooded forest, rivers, open fields, and by a pond, where you’ll see plump ducks carving V-like shapes into the glassy water.  This walk starts in the early morning – it was foggy that day. I first stopped in the hotel lobby where they have an elegant coffee station with complimentary drinks. I got my “road joe” and headed out the door.  In this photo, which I took just as I exited out the back door, gives you a nice overview of the paths that take you down to Antler Village.  We’ll take the path on the left so you have a reference when you see the next photos…more images to follow!

Biltmore Estate Asheville, NC – A View from Walter’s Back


While I’m working on the blog that will show you the secret path from the Historical Inn to the Biltmore Estate I’ll send some information on the horseback ride I did. The first photo shows the back of Walter’s head – the best horse ever. Slow and steady, he did tail-gate a bit and ate along the way. But most important he got me there and back safe and sound. Where is there? We road along the back trails, over to a hilltop which had an incredible view of the estate. When you visit the Biltmore Estate I’d highly recommend the trail ride. Ask for Walter and tell him I said “hi”!

Quick tips: You can make reservations in Antler Village for the trail ride. PS – They won’t allow you to bring a purse so leave it back at your hotel.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC/Historical Inn

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There are a number of places to stay if you visit the Biltmore, however, if you can stay at the Biltmore Historic Inn, I would highly recommend it. I went mid-March and it was still off-season. I am a true believer in off-season traveling. Hotel costs are lower and there are fewer people (I’m not a crowd person). I went the weekend before the Festival of Flowers last year which was considered “off-season” and it was perfect! (The Festival of Flowers dates in 2013 are March 21-May 19.)

The Biltmore Historical Inn sits on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards. The rooms are beautiful and the entire hotel is very elegant. But even with the elegance, they are very down to earth. Since I do a lot of walking I wore sneakers most of the time and never felt out of place. Everyone on the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Below you’ll see the view from some of the rooms and a photo of my room. (Home sweet home!)

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The package I had included breakfast. I know it’s the “most important meal” but I’m never much of a breakfast eater. However, when I stayed there, I changed my ways. My day would start by getting up around 6am. I’d wonder down to the library area and pour a complimentary coffee. Road joe in hand, I’d head off on a walk, down a winding path to what is called Antler Village. After my morning walk I’d head over to the restaurant and have breakfast. Below is the photo I took of my breakfast along with some of my morning walk. (If you look closely you’ll see cheddar cheese grits (YUM!), smoked salmon, chopped tomatoes, onions, a sauce and capers; fresh squeezed orange juice and steaming coffee.)

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In my next blog I’ll show you photos of the path down to Antler Village. You’ll first see the winery, then there is a small “village” with shops and restaurants. There is also a barn at the far end where you can see animals and a kitchen cutting garden so I’ll include those too. Also, if you continue along the path you can actually walk over to the Biltmore Estate. This is an incredible walk and if you’re up for ~6 miles of absolute beauty, I highly recommend it. Click to Follow for more adventures!

For more information on this beautiful inn: