It was my birthday and I was going to pick where I wanted to go. I chose to visit Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. “Joy,” my husband thought out loud. It turns out, he enjoyed the trip and said he was glad he went. EVERYONE should visit this place at least once. Here are some Biltmore tips to make the best of your visit!
- Book your tickets EARLY!
Book early, especially if you are going during a busy time like the weekend, during the summer, or at Christmas. Unfortunately, we did not book until a few days before. I wanted to go on a private tour but it was booked. I suggest booking a tour time early in the day before it gets too crowded.
If you book at least 7 days in advance, you get a discount! It is also cheaper to go in the winter (January through March). You can purchase your tickets online at www.Biltmore.com.
2. Spend at least 2 days!
I suggest spending the first day checking out the Biltmore house and eating at the onsite restaurant (SO yummy!). The second day, enjoy the winery and the grounds. Biltmore itself is HUGE, and I’m not just talking about the house. There are 8,000 acres to explore.
3. Spend the night on property.
There are 2 hotels (plus a cottage option) to decide between: The Inn and the Village Hotel. When you stay on property, you get to take advantage of the shuttle bus which we found VERY helpful! If you wave your tickets in the air, the bus drivers will pick you up wherever you are (that’s what they told us!).
We stayed onsite at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. It is very elegant and luxurious. There is a bellman to open the door for you, which is a nice touch. The breakfast was great, too! The Village Hotel is more economical. If you have to choose between the two, just go with what you can afford.
4. If you decide you want to spend an extra day, visit guest services.
Make sure you do this BEFORE you leave the premises. I think it was around $10 to go back the next day.
5. Dress appropriately.
You will do a LOT of walking as the estate is so big. In fact, some of the locations are several miles apart if you were to walk. You want to wear shoes that do not hurt your feet.
There are fans set up in the house, but it can still get hot in the summer. I recommend dressing in layers.
6. Get there early.
Make sure you have time to park your car (if driving) and catch a shuttle to the Biltmore house. I recommend at least 45 minutes. Maybe more on a busy day.
7. Make reservations if you plan to eat at one of the onsite restaurants.
We missed out on eating at one of the restaurants (Cedric’s Tavern) in the Antler Hill Village because we didn’t have a reservation. The wait time (on a Friday night) was almost 2 hours! We ended up at The Creamery where I watched my husband inhale an ice cream sundae AND a root beer float! 🙂 You MUST get an ice cream while visiting the Biltmore.
8. Get the self guided audio tour.
For $10.98 you can use the audio guide. You just press the number into the guide when you get to it. This is great because you can kind of go at your own pace.
9. Try the free samples.
Biltmore is a self-sufficient property. Try some of their foods and wines while onsite. You will find samples of their products in the winery and gift shops.
10. Book a specialty tour.
We did the rooftop tour and absolutely LOVED it! You get to see parts of the house that others can’t see and hear details not on the audio guide. The rooftop tour is a MUST! I would have enjoyed the private tour, but we didn’t book early enough.