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One Day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

The Biltmore is one of Asheville’s top attractions. Spending a day visiting the gorgeous Biltmore House and seeing everything the sprawling estate has to offer is a must when in Asheville, North Carolina. Follow this Biltmore itinerary for a perfect day exploring the estate.

The Biltmore is the iconic home of the Vanderbilt family who made their fortune in the railroad industry.

Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

The sprawling 8,000 acre estate is home to the 250-room Biltmore House, 75 acres of gardens, the most visited winery in the U.S., and plenty of shopping, dining, and hiking options.

A ticket to visit the Biltmore Estate isn’t cheap, so you’ll want to make the most of it.

I’ve put together this guide to help you plan your day trip to the Biltmore Estate, including history about the estate, an itinerary, helpful tips for visiting, and where to stay in Asheville.

About the Biltmore

Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Built as a vacation home for George Washington Vanderbilt II, the Biltmore is a Châteauesque Gilded Age mansion. At 178,926 square feet and 250 rooms, it is the largest privately owned home in the U.S.

It took 6 years to construct, but the home finally opened to friends and family on Christmas Eve 1895. Throughout the years, the home hosted famous guests from U.S. presidents to novelists to ambassadors.

Throughout the years, the financial strain of managing the estate called for major changes, most notably the sale of 87,000 acres to become part of the Pisgah National Forest, the sale of Biltmore Village, and the opening of Biltmore House to the public. Despite all this, the estate is still family-owned and managed via a trust set up by the family.

One Day at the Biltmore Estate Itinerary

Take a journey back in time and experience a dreamy day at the Biltmore Estate. Follow this itinerary for an unforgettable experience of this massive 8,000 acre estate.

Biltmore House

Banquet Hall, Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

I like starting out the day with a house tour, that way you get all the background and history you need for exploring the rest of the Biltmore Estate.

The Biltmore’s standard house tour option is a self-guided audio tour. They also offer expert-guided small group tours, a Backstairs Tour, and a Rooftop Tour where you’ll get a more in-depth look at the home.

A house tour allows you a look at the ornate rooms and furnishings made for entertaining as well as a look behind the scenes of running the household in the servants’ quarters.

My favorite rooms in the house are the Library with its collection of 10,000 books, secret door, and giant fireplace; and the Banquet Hall with its 70-foot ceiling and long dining table set for an elegant dinner.

Biltmore Library, Asheville, North Carolina

The opulent Family Rooms give you a glimpse into the Vanderbilts’ private lives. In Mr. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom, you can see an example of a fashionable wardrobe that he might have worn. Across the Oak Sitting Room is Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom, a feminine retreat of purples and golds.

Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom, Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Indoor bathrooms were a rarity in the U.S. in 1895, yet the Biltmore House has 43. The home was quite innovative, with electricity from the time it was built, one of the oldest operating elevators in the country, forced-air heating, a call-bell system, and fire alarms.

Pool, Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

In the Basement, you’ll find more uncommon additions like a Bowling Alley (one of the nation’s first in a private residence), a 70,000-gallon indoor heated swimming pool (and many guests didn’t even know how to swim), and a Gymnasium with all the latest equipment.

Complimentary Wine Tasting at the Biltmore Winery

Biltmore Winery Wine Tasting, Asheville, North Carolina

The Biltmore Winery offers complimentary tastings (for those 21+, of course) at their tasting room in Antler Hill Village. Make sure you plan enough time between your house tour and your wine tasting to make the long drive across the estate!

As you enter, you’ll walk down a long, cool hallway lit with string lights. Take you time to read the information presented about the wine-making process and peek in the nooks at some of the wines in the aging process.

Biltmore Winery Hallway, Asheville, North Carolina

During your tasting, an expert will guide you through a list of the Biltmore’s own award-winning reds, whites, and rosés. You get to pick 6 different wines to taste. The bottle price is listed on the menu, so it’s always fun to try the most expensive wines!

Biltmore Winery Wine Tasting, Asheville, North Carolina

Even though we aren’t usually big fans of red wine, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the Biltmore’s reds.

Day-of reservations are required for the complimentary wine tasting. Spots fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve when you arrive. You can do so at one of the information booths or by scanning a bar code on the back of pamphlets you can find at the info booths.

Lunch at The Kitchen Café

The Kitchen Café, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

The Kitchen Café is located in the lobby of the Village Hotel at Antler Hill Village. It’s right near one of the gift shop exits from the winery.

This quick-serve option is perfect if you’re short on time or if you just want a budget option. They offer paninis and other sandwiches, salads, and baked goods for lunch. They also have handcrafted espresso, organic coffee, and specialty tea.

Explore Antler Hill Village

While you’re already at Antler Hill Village, take some time to explore. There are different shops for home décor, apparel, accessories, and wine. The village also has plenty of dining options, so you can scope out somewhere to stop for dinner or for a snack later.

The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad Exhibit

The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad Exhibit, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Located at The Biltmore Legacy building, The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad is an exhibition displaying rarely-seen treasures from the Biltmore collection. You’ll learn more about the Vanderbilts’ lifestyle and personalities, and much of the exhibit is dedicated to their extensive world travels.

Biltmore Gardens Railway – Wonders of the World

Biltmore Gardens Railway - Wonders of the World Exhibit, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

A botanical model train display, Biltmore Gardens Railway – Wonders of the World at Antler Hill Village lets you experience the Vanderbilts’ love of travel and culture in an artistic way.

The display features replicas of iconic landmarks from around the world, many of which the Vanderbilts visited on their world travels. Each replica is handcrafted from leaves, bark, and twigs. Model trains traverse the display above and around the miniature landmarks.

Antler Hill Barn and Farmyard

Antler Hill Barn, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

The Antler Hill Barn and Farmyard allow you to step into the everyday lives of the families who lived on the estate in the 1890s while raising livestock, tending crops, and working at Biltmore Dairy. There are live demonstrations by craftspeople like blacksmiths and woodworkers, shopping for home décor, and turn-of-the-century games for kids.

At the Farmyard, you can meet the friendly farm animals and participate in seasonal activities like farm talks, goat milking, and goat brushing.

The Creamery

The Creamery, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Back in the day, Biltmore Dairy was the most successful of Biltmore’s enterprises, and Biltmore Ice Cream was all the rage.

At the front of Antler Hill Village is an ice cream shop called The Creamery where you can get massive scoops of vanilla ice cream based on an original Biltmore Dairy recipe as well as other flavors, Winky Bar sundaes, pastries, cupcake, and desserts with coffee.

Amherst at Deerpark

Monet and Friends Immersive Experience at Amherst at Deerpark, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Amherst at Deerpark is the Biltmore’s exhibition space where they host different events.

When we visited, the Biltmore was hosting a series of immersive experiences, called Legends of Art & Innovation, that highlighted the lives and works of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci.

Monet and Friends Immersive Experience at Amherst at Deerpark, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

We went to see the Monet & Friends – Life, Light & Color immersive experience, an homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century brings their works to life with paintings dancing across the walls and floors of the space.

You do have to schedule a time for events at Amherst at Deerpark when you book your ticket, so make sure to leave enough time between the house tour and wine tasting for things like lunch and travel time between each destination.

Biltmore Gardens

Biltmore Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina

We saved our visit to the gardens for later in the day, just so we would have plenty of time to get to all our scheduled tours before leisurely strolling through the flowers.

The Biltmore Gardens and the estate’s landscape were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, known for also designing New York City’s Central Park and Washington DC’s Capitol Grounds.

Biltmore Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina

To the left of the house, you can access the gardens. You’ll pass by the Italian Garden and through the Shrub Garden to get to the Walled Garden and Conservatory. The Walled Garden is filled with beautiful seasonal flowers, while the Conservatory houses tropical plants like orchids and ferns.

Conservatory, Biltmore Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina

If you’re up for a longer walk, you can head out to the Spring Garden and the Azalea Garden.

For an even longer walk, take the path to the Bass Pond and explore the walking trails like the Woodland Trail and Rhododendron Loop.

Essential Tips for Your One-Day Visit to the Biltmore

Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Make the most of your day at the Biltmore by following these top tips:

  • Buy your Biltmore tickets online in advance to ensure you beat the crowds and to get a discount.
  • Pick an off-peak day for fewer crowds and cheaper tickets. Weekdays are cheaper, and they’re often less crowded.
  • Arrive at the estate entrance at least 45 minutes before your house tour time. It takes a while to drive through the estate grounds, and traffic can get pretty backed up. You don’t want to feel rushed or miss your tour!
  • Park in lots A and B to visit the house. It’s an 8-10 minute walk from these parking lots to the Biltmore House.
  • Use the restroom before your tour; there are no public restrooms inside the house!
  • The audio guide is included with your self-guided tour. It should take about 50 minutes to go through the Biltmore House with the audio guide.
  • No flash photography is allowed in the house, but regular non-flash photography is fine. Make sure to turn off your flash and snap away!
  • You’ll need to make a reservation for your complimentary wine tasting the day of your Biltmore visit. Stop by an info booth to make a reservation in person or grab a pamphlet where you’ll find a QR code.
  • Budget for about 45 minutes to get between the house and other areas of the estate. Everything is very spread out, and traffic can back up. Keep this in mind when reserving your time slot for the complimentary wine tasting!
  • Want to spend a second day at the Biltmore? They offer a discounted second-day visit for $25. This admission gives you access to the gardens, grounds, and Antler Hill Village so you can explore the estate even further.
Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Where to Stay When Visiting the Biltmore Estate

If you want to stay close to the Biltmore during your trip, you have plenty of options.

For those wanting to splurge, The Inn on Biltmore Estate is a great option. You’ll really get that Vanderbilt experience being able to stay on the property. The estate also has Cottages (even more luxury) or the Village Hotel (more moderately priced) as options.

The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Biltmore Village Area is the perfect off-property location; it’s just 0.6 miles from the estate. At this hotel, you’re within walking distance to the great restaurants within Biltmore Village.

And if you don’t mind staying further out, check out the list of top stays around Asheville below.

Where to Stay in Asheville

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Asheville, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

More Things to Do in Asheville

Make the most out of your Asheville vacation! Check out these other Asheville travel guides to plan your perfect trip:

Ready to visit Asheville, North Carolina? Plan your trip with these tips.



One Day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Have you spent a day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina? Let me know about your visit in the comments!

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  1. I visited in February, most Christmas lights were still up on the exterior. Beautiful. I plan to go back. It’s a bucket-list must do.

  2. The Biltmore is absolutely beautiful anytime of year but I do recommend Christmas with all the decorations and trees throughout the home simply gorgeous

  3. Visited the Biltmore estate this past Easter weekend. Started with lunch and shopping in the old stable then toured the estate.. was an amazing opportunity to see how the other half lived. Finished our day touring the grounds and wine tasting and shopping at Antler village. Spent the remainder of the evening at a local pub enjoying the area with the locals. A must see for all! Was an amazing trip!

  4. I love the Biltmore Estate! I haven’t been since I was a kid so it is on my list to get to soon! This guide is really helpful. I’m saving it for later.

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