One of the most visited attractions on the North Carolina side of the Smokies is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The largest private residence in the United States is located right in the heart of the Smokies and it is a wonder to view. From room upon room decorated as they would have been back in the day, to the gardens that cover the grounds and world class restaurants, the Biltmore Estate is an all day excursion.
George Vanderbilt’s dream, the Biltmore Estate was completed in 1895. This 250 room home was the center of a small city that included barns, gardens and was a working farming community. From the library, still containing volumes classic literature to the kitchens that were designed to serve a small family to a huge gathering, seeing this wonder of architecture, roaming through the halls and imagining living in a 178,000 square foot home. You get to visit almost every part of the home, from the swimming pool to the beautiful grand dining room. And, if it is a gorgeous day outside, you are going to spend part of your day in the gardens.
The grounds around the Biltmore Estate are a testament to the English Landcape garden style of landscaping. Pathways and trails run through outdoor paradises that are decorated with flowering plants that change dramatically throughout the year. The main garden area, called the Italian Garden changes from season to season and it draws in fans of landscaping and photographers alike from srping to summer. The Tulip Festival each spring is one of the highlights of the Biltmore Estate season as tulips in every color spring forth, lending thir beauty to the landscape designs of Frederick Law Olmsted. And, while you are strolling around outside, you will probably get a bit peckish – let’s go eat.
The food scene at Biltmore is out of this world. From small bistro style restaurants to fine dining buffets at the Deerpark Restaurant, there is no end to your choices. The Stables Cafe is the closet restaurant to the house itself be located with the shops to the right of the home if you are looking at the front of the Biltmore House. Eclectic choices abound on the menu and there is a little something for everyone. But maybe you are looking for a that place for a special Sunday brunch. In this case you should head to the Deerpark Restaurant. Located in what used to be stables on the grounds of the estate, the Deerpark is a buffet like you have never seen before. The food is as good as the scenery and you will have choices that you won’t see at most of your local buffets.
All in all, a visit to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, is one of the most fun experiences you will have outside of the GSMNP. The beautiful home, the immaculate grounds and the dining options will keep you captivated throughout the entirety of your stay. Get there early and catch the early morning air from one of the balconies or maybe you want to spend time with a camera to your eye exploring the gardens, whatever you interest, Biltmore has something for everyone.
One Lodge Street