Biltmore House & Gardens

Making plans to vacation in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina this summer? Why not spend some of your time at the spectacular Biltmore House and Gardens?  The estate includes the main house, beautiful gardens, an award-winning winery and more. I’d recommend about 4 hours to really take it all in.

Built between 1889-1895, the home of the late George Washington Vanderbilt contains a grand tower entrance, windowed arcade, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, and 65 fireplaces. The 178,926 square foot (no, that number is not a typo!) historical house museum is believed to be the largest privately owned home in the United States.

Take a moment toImagine yourself as one of the Vanderbilt’s guest. Your being entertained in the largest of the 250 rooms of the house. The banquet room measures 42×75 feet, with a 70-foot ceiling. Enjoy the lovely music being played on the Skinner pipe organ while you feast at a table that seats 64 guests.

There were no cheap shots or shortcuts taken when it came to constructing Vanderbilt’s grand estate. During  the 1880’s, George Vanderbilt and his mother made a visit to Ashville, North Carolina. The man fell in love with the land, and right away decided he wanted to build his summer home get away there. Buying up 700 parcels of land, including several farms and 5 cemeteries, Vanderbilt watched his dream take life. And so began the estate that now includes breathtaking gardens, expansive hiking trails, stables, and a winery.

It took 1000 workmen and 60 stonemasons to complete construction. The project included the building a woodworking factory and brick kiln that put out 32,000 bricks in a one day period. The painstaking effort was completed on Christmas Eve 1895, and the elaborate mansion was exquisitely decorated as family and friends of the Vanderbilt’s celebrated the opening of Biltmore House and Garden.

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