The Siberian American: The Ultimate Biltmore Estate Guide: What to Know Before You Go

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Ultimate Biltmore Estate Guide: What to Know Before You Go

I have wanted to go to the Biltmore Estate since I was a kid, so when we were planning our Smoky Mountains road trip, a stop in Asheville was on the top of my list. I’ve always loved history, beautiful architecture, and extravagant homes, so I knew I would love the largest privately owned house in the United States! I’ve been wanting to write a guide to the Biltmore Estate since we visited, so I’m super excited to share this stunning home with y’all today.

Before You Go

Buy Your Tickets
Tickets to the Biltmore Estate can be purchased here ( Not only do you save $10 per ticket by buying it online more than a week in advance, but you also skip the usually long line once you get to the reception & ticketing sales center. Keep in mind that if you are going to the property during a busy time (holidays, school breaks, and most weekends), you will be required to make a reservation. With your reservation, you will receive a specific time to enter the Biltmore House.

Purchase Your Tour Tickets
Unfortunately, the price of admission to the Biltmore Estate does not include a tour. You are welcome to take a self-guided tour, but in this case, I would strongly encourage taking a guided tour. I’m usually a big fan of audio tours, but due to the size of the house and the amount of people visiting at the same time, I think a guided tour is the way to go.

Tour Options
We did two tours while visiting the mansion, so I wanted to share what I liked about each one.

Guided Biltmore House Tour
This was the standard 90-minute tour of the house, which provides a very detailed overview over many rooms. I loved learning interesting facts such as the most guests that were at the house at one time was 38. If you only have time for one tour, you will receive a fantastic overview of the house with this one.

Rooftop Tour
I absolutely loved this tour. If you are interested in stunning views and amazing architecture, this tour is a must. The rooftop tour explains all the little details about the intricate architecture. For example, the two gargoyles are different because the tail broke off on one of them (so they added a butt). Plus, the views from the balcony were absolutely stunning! I personally preferred the rooftop tour to the house tour, but I would still do the house tour to see more of the rooms.

Plan to Get to the House Early
Plan to get to the Biltmore Estate as early as you can, even if you have a reservation. The drive to the entrance can get really backed up. The Biltmore Estate recommends getting there at least 45 minutes before your reservation time, so you have enough time to park and take the shuttle to the house. We got to the house around 8:30 a.m., and I noticed that it was already getting crowded by 10 a.m.

Once You Get There

Go on a Tour
I’ve already shared about the two tours we did, but I think a guided tour is the best way to experience Biltmore. We learned so much about the Vanderbilts and everything that went into building the estate.

Visit the Gardens
The gardens are a must! I really enjoyed the beautiful mixture of flowers and plants, and I could have walked around the area for hours. I especially loved the Rose Garden and Conservatory.

Visit the Antler Hill Village and Winery
A wine tasting is included with your ticket to the Biltmore Estate, and it’s worth checking out! The Antler Hill Village also includes temporary exhibits, a farm with a historic barn, trails and outdoor adventures, and several places to shop and dine.

Eat Lunch at Stable Café
The food at the Biltmore Estate was surprisingly good! I really enjoyed my burger, and I’m still dreaming about that peanut butter cake with raspberry jam.

When Should You Visit?

The Biltmore Estate is beautiful throughout the year. We went to the Biltmore during the fall, and the fall color was spectacular (though it would have been even better if we had gone a few weeks later). They had already started to set up for Christmas while we were there in October because it takes them that long to decorate the whole house, and I would love to visit during Christmas someday to see all of the gorgeous decorations. The gardens are also stunning to see in the spring, but if you go during the spring, try to avoid Spring Break weeks to minimize the crowds.

Where to Stay

I honestly wouldn’t stay at any of the hotels on property. The prices are really high, and they don’t add anything to the experience. If you are looking for a luxury stay in Asheville, I would pick the Omni Park Grove Inn, which has a fantastic spa and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Other Smoky Mountains Road Trip Posts:
Have you ever been to the Biltmore Estate? Tell me about your visit!


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