We decided that we’d do something different for Thanksgiving this year and head to the magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina! We’ve heard nothing but great things about this place, and it did not disappoint! I recommend this place to anyone, especially couples who would like a romantic getaway. We went with our three year old, which worked out well because he’s pretty chill, but it would be perfect for couples.
The Biltmore is more than just a really enormous Victorian house; it is an entire estate with stables, a winery, two hotels, and a shopping area. It truly is an all-inclusive escape, and with the adorable town of Asheville closeby, it makes for a wonderful vacation. At Thanksgiving the house is completely decked out in Victorian Christmas decor. From Victorian-dressed dancers to carolers to enormous Christmas trees, it is just one of those special places you must experience, and at Christmas, it is the absolute best!
A Little History
The Biltmore Estate was established by the Vanderbilts in 1889. The entire estate is 8,000 acres and includes the iconic Biltmore House, gardens, shopping village, winery, stables, two hotels, a cottage and a few private accommodations. The house itself has 250 rooms and is the largest privately-owned home in the United States. It is truly one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen in all of my years of traveling.
You don’t have to stay on the grounds. Asheville offers many hotels, but for this trip we only stayed within the estate; we decided to come back and explore Asheville at a later date. There are three options when staying on the estate: The Inn, The Village Hotel, or The Cottage. We stayed at the The Inn, which was fantastic. The service was impeccable and the room was spacious and beautiful.
There are shuttles that will take you from the Inn to the various areas of the estate. We went to the house the evening we arrived to get the grand tour. Unfortunately, they did not allow photographs inside when we were there (but I believe they do now). You can view a gallery of the inside here. Tours can be self-guided, guided or even exclusive for your group. There are multiple tours to choose from. The inside of the Biltmore House is absolutely gorgeous. From the huge pool to the kitchens to the individual rooms…my jaw stayed dropped pretty much the entire time. They had even created a huge replica of the house in gingerbread just for the holidays.
That night the hubs and I had a date night at the Inn’s lovely restaurant. The Biltmore Inn provided childcare, so we took advantage! A sweet girl came to our room and watched our boy for us while we ate downstairs. We ordered room service for him and he and his babysitter had a good time playing together.
The next day we got up early and ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant before heading out to explore the rest of the estate. We took a carriage tour of the grounds which provided great views of the back side of the house and a nice history lesson. Apparently some of The Last of the Mohicans was filmed there!
We took a tour of The Biltmore Estate Wine Company. They gave us the history of it and even had a wine tasting afterward (the kid even got some grape juice!).
We then ventured over to Antler Hill Village, which is the shopping area of the estate. They have more souvenir stores and some restaurant.
Thanksgiving evening we reserved a table at the Inn’s restaurant. They also had a dining option at the restaurant near the house, but we stuck with the restaurant in our hotel. The food was divine and the courses spaced out nicely. Little man did EXCEPTIONALLY well for such a long meal.
That lady behind him at the other table was smitten with him. She came over and had to talk to him because she thought he was so cute. He does clean up well, doesn’t he??
We had the best time visiting the Biltmore. I’m SO glad we went for Thanksgiving. It was such a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to go back someday!