Trip to Biltmore

<p>I have an unexpected opportunity to go the Biltmore estate in Ashville,NC this weekend. Staying at the inn there and am really looking forward to seeing the gardens and doing the tour. Have two full days to fill and would welcome any suggestions on specialized tours or just tips on what not to miss. Also, any suggestions on sights in Ashville. I've never been there before; traveling with friend who has.</p>

<p>We did the segway tour in Ashville, not on the estate, and it was very cool. Touring the Biltmore itself is always a highlight. You could spend another day just checking out the grounds.</p>

<p>We did this tour in Ashville and it was a blast. Very funny. Not sure if it is your thing or not.</p>

<p>[Get</a> on the Bus! | Asheville NC Attractions | Asheville Events | LaZoom Bus Tours | Rent A Bus | LaZoom Tours](<a href=“http://www.lazoomtours.com/]Get”>http://www.lazoomtours.com/)</p>

<p>If you are into arts and crafts, a visit to the [River</a> Arts District Artists - Asheville, North Carolina :: River Arts District :: Open Studios](<a href=“http://www.riverartsdistrict.com/]River”>http://www.riverartsdistrict.com/) might be worth your while. </p>

<p>There has been a ton of rain in NC this year, so bring your rain gear so it doesn’t dampen your weekend.</p>

<p>If you like good beer sign up for the Brews Cruise. I don’t have a link but you can google it.</p>

<p>make sure to rent the recorded tour guide.it was so interesting and added much info to the self guided tour.being an ardent “upstairs,downstairs” type, I spent as much or more time in the lower part of the house. I’ve heard people rave about the rooftop tour if thats available when you are there.roaming the grounds can take an entire day. the arts district by the river is interesting and the BBQ place in that area (witht he word Bones in the name?) was tasty.if you’re a foody type you can eat very very well in Asheville.We stayed in the Inn as well, its quite elegant, but we left the grounds for dining.</p>

<p>Second the suggestion for the recorded tour. Essential! </p>

<p>If you can get it, read Lady on the Hill <a href=“http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Hill-Biltmore-Estate-American/dp/0471758183/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376049174&sr=1-3&keywords=biltmore[/url]”>http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Hill-Biltmore-Estate-American/dp/0471758183/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376049174&sr=1-3&keywords=biltmore</a>. It will give you an overview of the estate. </p>

<p>I had also read this book [A</a> Clearing In The Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century: Witold Rybczynski: 9780684865751: Amazon.com: Books](<a href=“http://www.amazon.com/Clearing-Distance-Frederick-Olmsted-America/dp/0684865750/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376049309&sr=1-3&keywords=olmsted+frederick+law]A”>http://www.amazon.com/Clearing-Distance-Frederick-Olmsted-America/dp/0684865750/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376049309&sr=1-3&keywords=olmsted+frederick+law). I know that you are going soon and don’t have the time or maybe inclination to read but reading about Olmsted made me look and appreciate the driveway to the parking lot and the approach to the house in a different light. </p>

<p>Lucky you to get to stay in the inn. So jealous! </p>

<p>It’s been awhile but I seem to remember that we did a kitchen tour, it looks like it’s called a butler’s tour and it was fascinating. If I went back I would do the architect tour but I love that kind of thing. I know we went wine tasting on the estate also, that was nice. </p>

<p>We ate at the Stable Cafe, I remember it being surprisingly good.</p>

<p>Can you tell I loved Biltmore lol! Even my H who is not really into that kind of thing was very impressed with the house.</p>

<p>Been there twice and would love to go again!</p>

<p>The second time around we took both the regular tour (as others have suggested, get the recorded guide) and also an additional “back stairs” tour which focused on the employees and how they worked and lived. Fascinating and we got to see some additional areas of the house that way.</p>

<p>The wine tour/tasting is worth it if you like wine (I do). Also the gourmet food store at the winery is fabulous!</p>

<p>Asheville itself is lovely. There is a little village built by Vanderbilt that is right outside the Biltmore entrance and also a very nice downtown area. We enjoyed walking around both.</p>

<p>Have fun!</p>

<p>AAA travel sells Biltmore tickets for a decent savings–they are not available at the house.
I love Biltmore–get the audio as others say.</p>

<p>Have fun! Make sure you go for some live music in the evenings. Asheville has a very active “music scene”</p>

<p>Please, please, please report back! I so want to go to Biltmore and stay at the Inn.</p>

<p>I second the suggestions to get the audio tour for Biltimore. It definitely added to the experience.</p>

<p>If you go online to the Biltimore website, you can get tickets up from 1-6 days in advance for $10 off/ticket.</p>

<p>The BBQ place in the River Arts District is 12 Bones. That location is only open M-F from 11am to 4pm. There is another location south of Ashevile that has more extensive hours.</p>

<p>The food scene in Asheville is really good. We had our favorite meal at a Spanish tapas restaurant called Curate in downtown. Didn’t really have a bad meal anywhere.</p>

<p>If the weather’s good, you may want to drive some of the Blue Ridge Parkway.</p>

<p>The recorded tour is indeed essential, but I would not worry about the extra tours until your second day or visit - there is so much to see that you can spend eight hours easily just on the “basic” tour of the house and grounds!</p>

<p>We didn’t stay at the estate, but we did have afternoon high tea there… EXCELLENT.</p>

<p>Great timing for me as we are headed there this fall. Particularly interested in suggestions besides the tour of the Biltmore, including restaurants. Thanks for the AAA tip for ticket discounts.</p>

<p>The house itself at Biltmore is fascinating. I actually enjoyed the “below-stairs” parts (kitchens, laundry, indoor pool) more than the formal areas; lots of steampunky old technology that is very ingenious. But dress coolly because there is no air conditioning, and with the crowds trooping through, it can get pretty hot. That’s one thing that all the money in the world couldn’t buy in 1895.</p>

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I was actually told by one of the staff that the lack of AC was a big part of the reason why the family was not in residence. In the UK, such a house would still be at least partly occupied, but the way the Biltmore was built they cannot retrofit without seriously messing up the aesthetic.</p>