My hubby and I celebrate our wedding anniversary in December….so, for the past few years, we have started booking long weekend trips to celebrate!
This past December we celebrated 31 years of marriage!!
So, for this anniversary, we planned a long weekend in Asheville.
We had actually tried to plan a trip here for our last anniversary but Asheville was hit with a “once in a hundred year” snow storm so we had to cancel our trip!
I’ve been wanting to visit the Biltmore during Christmas for a long time as I’ve read all the lights and decorations are amazing!
I’ve seen it during different times of the year and it’s a sight to behold! So, I was especially excited to see it all decorated and light up!
The drive to Asheville is a beautiful one which made driving the interstate a little more enjoyable!
We arrived at the Biltmore around 1 pm. We had to park and take the shuttle to the house…it took around 5 mins so you could actually park and walk to the house if you wanted.
Click here for a map of the grounds
When visiting the Biltmore, be on the lookout for black bears as there are many that reside on and around the property!
Once we arrived to the house, we took a few….hundred pictures…of course!😉
The house was completed in 1895. It took 6 years to complete.
It’s a staggering 175,000 square feet (four acres) with 33 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and 43 bathrooms. Almost 10 million pounds of limestone was used to build it. The entire estate originally covered 125,000 acres but now it’s a modest 8,000 acres.
If you have never visited the Biltmore, I would highly recommend you do so as it’s truly an unbelievable place!!
As usual, I took way too many pics!
The detail in the architecture is incredible!
No telling how old these trees were!
The views from the house were beautiful!
I loved all the old statues scattered around the grounds!
You can walk to the gardens from the house but unfortunately, we didn’t have time.
After taking our pictures, we headed to find something to eat before our entrance time.
To the right of the house was a few shops and a couple of places to eat.
We decided on something quick since our entrance time was getting close.
We opted for the Courtyard Market….they serve salads, soups and sandwiches.
Click here for a list of restaurants on the property
I ordered the mixed green salad & added chicken for $11 and my hubby ordered the classic all beef hot dog w/ chips for $6.95. The food was ok, nothing special for sure.
Sitting inside the covered eating area
After lunch, we walked through some of the nearby shops…
One of them being the Biltmore Confectionery. I loved all the Christmas decorations!
Of course, we had to buy some chocolate….and it was delicious!
Shortly after we left the shops, we entered the house.
It’s hard for me to describe the beauty of this place but when you throw in some Christmas decorations, it’s jaw dropping!
I never get tired of visiting this house! It’s just amazing!
The decorations were endless….a tree in every room!
The first room you will come to as you enter the house, is the conservatory.
The beautiful Conservatory was completed in 1895 and highlights a wide variety of exotic plants. Its tall arched windows look out onto the terraced butterfly garden and the Walled Garden beyond, and the pointed glass roof lets in an abundance of natural light.
We took the self guided tour but if you are visiting for the first time, I would recommend taking the audio tour so you can learn about the house and each room you will be visiting.
On the tour, you will get to visit 3 floors of the house and the basement.
However, for an additional cost, you can add in different tours where you can see other parts of the house.
I can’t remember the names of each room we visited but the next room was a dining area…and it was breathtaking!
Look at this fireplace!
Next was another dining area and it was just as amazing! So ornate!
Next was the tapestry and seating area
There are tons of paintings hanging all over the house…
The next room was the incredible library!
At the age of 12, George Vanderbilt began keeping meticulous records in a series of journals called “Books I Have Read,” a habit he continued throughout his life. By his death in 1914, George had logged 3,159 books, which means that between 1875 and 1914, he read an average of 81 books a year.
A testament to his passions for books and collecting, the walls of the Library are lined with walnut shelves housing George’s personal collection of 22,000 volumes.
Look at the ceiling!
Next we headed upstairs…
A picture of the family that now owns the Biltmore…still owned by the Vanderbilt family.
One of the many bedrooms
Not sure what this room was
This is Mrs. Vanderbilt’s bedroom
Views of the grounds from inside the house
Looking down the staircase
A drawing of the house
More bedrooms & baths
Going down into the basement
The Bowling Alley!!
Rooms for the servants
The swimming pool….so unbelievable!
One of the many refrigerators
A ginger bread house in the shape of the Biltmore house in the kitchen
The dessert kitchen
The Rotisserie Kitchen
The Servant’s dining room
The laundry room
The ironing room
As we were nearing the end of our tour, they started to light all of the candles and fireplaces for the candlelight tours.
The game room
The gun room
After about 2 hrs, we were done with our tour..so, we exited the house and took some more pictures of the outside since it was now dark.
We then decided to leave the house and go find something to eat before we checked into our Airbnb.
I put the address of our Airbnb into our GPS and decided we would just stop somewhere on the way.
We came up on the Copper River Grill and decided we would eat there.
The restaurant served a variety of foods from salads, steak, chicken, ribs, seafood, sandwiches & burgers.
We both decided on a steak and sweet potato…..it was delicious!
After dinner, we headed to our Airbnb which was about 30 mins outside of Ashevile.
I’ll incude all the details for that in my Day 2 post!
Thanks for reading!