September 18, 2012
Tips for Visiting Biltmore Estate – Part 2
Posted by: TOM WATSON
Part 2 of our Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate covers touring the Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village and Winery.
Touring the House
Leave plenty of time to tour the house. A self-guided tour can 2-3 hours, depending on your interest level.
- To the right of the main entrance to the house is the building that originally housed the stables. There you will find an outdoor courtyard with food vendors, the Stable Shops and the Stable Cafe, a full service restaurant. You will also find the only public restrooms there.
- Be prepared to consume all food and beverages before entering the Biltmore House. These items cannot be taken inside.
- There are countless photo opportunities outside of the house, but photography is not allowed inside.
- We recommend purchasing the optional self-guided audio tour. The history of each room and “back stories” are fascinating and well done. The equipment can be rented at the Guest Services desk immediately to the right as you enter the foyer.
- There are additional guided tours available. The Behind the Scenes Tour is a favorite because it gives you a closer look at the design and construction of Biltmore House by going into areas not on the regular house visit. You will also enjoy the stunning views and photo opportunities from the rooftop and balconies.
Touring Antler Hill Village and Winery
Antler Hill Village and Winery is located five miles from the Biltmore House. To visit, you will have to drive your car there. The shuttle busses do not provide transportation from the Biltmore House to Antler Hill Village.
As you drive to Antler Hill Village you might want to stop to enjoy the most dramatic view of Biltmore House. When you pass Bass Pond, look for the Lagoon on your left. There is a narrow unpaved road at the far end that crosses a small bridge and takes you around the lagoon for a stunning view of the back of the Biltmore House.
- History buffs will not want to miss The Biltmore Legacy building located in Antler Hill Village. The exhibits change periodically. Currently, the exhibit is The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad. This exhibit gives you a fascinating look at the lives of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. See rare objects from the Vanderbilts’ personal collection. Entry to the exhibition is included in estate admission.
- Your admission ticket includes a guided tour and tasting at the Biltmore Winery. This is a must for anyone interested in the art and science of winemaking, or just tasting wine.
- Also on display is the Vanderbilts’ car, a rare 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C-Six seven-passenger touring car. This car is the only car in the Biltmore Company’s collection that was purchased by George Vanderbilt. It is believed to be one of only 10 models existing today.
Dining on Biltmore Estate
There are five restaurants on the estate: The Stables Cafe, The Bistro, Cedric’s Tavern, The Smokehouse and The Dining Room (in The Inn on Biltmore Estate). Biltmore embraces the “farm-to-table” concept. Much of the food served in the restaurants is grown or produced right on the estate. Our favorites are: Stables Café (located next to the house), The Bistro, and Cedric’s Tavern (both located in Antler Hill Village). The Bistro is the most upscale of the three. The Stables Cafe is bustling with families during the day. Cedric’s Tavern is casual and has outdoor seating in the warm months. For a quick snack while touring the house, the courtyard outside the Stables building has “quick serve” food and beverages, including gourmet pizza, a coffee shop and bakery, and ice cream. There is plenty of seating in the courtyard.
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