A few weeks ago on a whim, if you follow me on Instagram you probably saw (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), my bestie Alanna and I decided to spend an afternoon at The Biltmore! We were on a long weekend trip to Asheville, North Carolina for our best friend Kearra’s Birthday Weekend and *JUST* happened to find that we had an afternoon free while the rest of our crew went horseback riding. SO, above all else, when in doubt, GO to The Biltmore!!!
So, The Biltmore Estate is the largest mansion built by the Vanderbilt’s on at least the East Coast. It feels as if you are at a Chateau in France yet without the majorly long plane ride to France. It’s literally a mini palace set within the mountains located in Asheville, North Carolina. There’s a winery on the estate AND the wine is *surprise like literally* cheaper than your standard Virginia Winery. Currently, thousands and thousands of people visit The Biltmore Estate every year AND for good reason, too!
Alanna and I ended up booking our tickets to The Biltmore the night before going. Upon booking a ticket there, we had a few options of what ticket(s) to get: including a ticket just to the Gardens & Grounds, a House tour, and a guided House tour. There are also additional ticketing add-on’s, including special exhibits and carriage rides. All tickets include a complimentary wine tasting, too! Alanna and I just went with the Gardens & Grounds ticket, as we only had an afternoon to spend there and it was the cheapest option. It’s important to note that prices to visit vary per day of the week, month, and season (Christmas is definitely more expensive than all of the other times of the year). See all of the ticket options here: https://www.biltmore.com/landing/ticket-options/
Since between the 6 of us for the weekend we had only 2 cars and carpooled everywhere, our friends dropped us off at The Biltmore Visitor Center. Upon dropping us off, Alanna and I learned with the help of SUPER sweet customer service representatives there that we would have to purchase tickets for the Biltmore Express – a $15 flat fee/day shuttle service that comes on the hour to varying parts of The Biltmore Estate. I will say, though, if/when I go back to The Biltmore, I definitely want to take a car with me, as its much easier and more convenient to get around. Taking a car with me to The Biltmore is definitely the way to go, especially as a first-timer!
Well, we took the Biltmore Express to the Biltmore Mansion where my jaw had absolutely literally DROPPED TO THE FLOOR! Our driver to the mansion was super friendly and made it all that more special upon arrival there. The mansion is STUNNING and even more so than in ALLL the pictures that I have seen of it. Alanna and I took photos at the front of the mansion and along the gardens and on the sides of the mansion. You can take in SOOO many views of the North Carolina mountains, too. Every part of it was jaw-droppingly beautiful. Alanna and I enjoyed strolling through the gift shops (where the Spartina 449 custom Biltmore totes were VERRRYYY tempting!), sipping the wine via our complimentary tasting (you get to choose four of their wines to taste!) which was also extremely tempting to take home some bottles of wine, and lunch at one of their cafes whose name I forget – haha! Through it all, I was in awe every second!
After about 90 minutes at the Biltmore mansion, Alanna and I headed for the Antler Hill Village and Winery where we ended our lovely afternoon there. Antler Hill Village and Winery plays homage to the Biltmore Winery, several gorgeous high-end gift shops (including some that sold Kendra Scott jewelry!!), and restaurants/cafes. The Biltmore Estate’s very own hotel is there, too. There was a gorgeous garden as well representing the Seven Wonders of the World. Not to mention, musicians were playing such relaxing, upbeat music making that the cherry on top of the ice cream cone filled to the rim with ice cream and whipped cream!! While there, Alanna and I went to the Biltmore Winery – which by the way had the most whimsical lit up entrance!!! – and enjoyed some glasses of wine while sitting at their GORGEOUS BAR! Afterwards, we browsed through some of the sweet little shops at Antler Hill Village and Winery, enjoyed some music, called our families to tell them where we were, and then head back to our AirBnB with our Kearra’s Birthday Weekend crew.
Personally, getting there between 1-2pm, I was very worried that we were going to arrive too late. I know that The Biltmore Estate gets crowded and crowded pretty fast, too. BUT, to my surprise, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I had expected. In the future, I hope to go tour the inside of the mansion with an audio guide or via a Candlelight tour at Christmas time and bring my car with me to get around better. I know that you need to book a specific time to tour the mansion, so it definitely would’ve been more challenging to do this time around. BUT, overall, I am really happy and blessed that I was able to even see The Biltmore Estate with my very own eyes, since it had been HIGH on my bucket list for some time.
XOXO – Katie <3