September 14, 2012
Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate – Part 1
Posted by: TOM WATSON
The Biltmore Estate is a popular destination for visitors coming to Asheville. The Biltmore house is the main attraction, but there are many other things to do on the estate. Biltmore’s lodging partners sell two-day passes to the estate, almost always at or below the gate prices. If you stay at Honey Hill Inn and Cabins, we suggest that you purchase tickets through us rather than purchasing them on the Biltmore website or at the gate. Our tickets allow you to explore the estate without feeling rushed to see and do everything in one day.
Planning Your Visit
These tips are written for visitors who have purchased tickets through one of Biltmore’s lodging partners with two-day passes.
- During peak tourist season (Memorial Day through New Year’s Day), you might have to reserve a time to enter the house. If you have purchased tickets through us, you will avoid the lines at the Welcome Center Ticket Office. We recommend that you arrive early and get your reservation at either Guest Services desks located in Antler Hill Village and in front of the Biltmore House. If there is a long wait, you should consider touring the gardens first.
- During summer months, visit the estate early in the day while temperatures are cooler. The house is not air conditioned. In cold weather, spend the warmest part of the day outside, perhaps at Antler Hill Village. Save the coldest part of the day for touring the house.
- During peak tourist season (Memorial Day through New Year’s Day), you might have to reserve a time to enter the house. We recommend that you arrive early and get your reservation at either of the Guest Services desks located in Antler Hill Village and in front of the Biltmore House. If there is a long wait, you should consider touring the gardens or conservatory first.
Entering the Estate
- Just outside the main entrance to the estate is Biltmore Village. George Vanderbilt designed this it to provide housing for employees who were married. He also wanted to create a quaint village for his guests to see as they traveled from the train depot onto the estate. The original cottages are now shops and restaurants.
- You will enter the main gate on Approach Road. As you drive, imagine you are traveling in a horse-drawn carriage as guests did over 100 years ago. The 15 minute drive to the house took two hours by carriage! This road was designed specifically to build anticipation. Visitors approaching the house cannot see it from any vantage point along the road.
- When you approach the Welcome Center, the guard will scan your ticket and direct you to the parking areas at the Biltmore house.
- There are five parking lots that are a short distance from the house, all with shuttle service. There are also walking paths that will give you the experience of approaching the house from a scenic vantage point.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Touring the Biltmore Estate.
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