When I traveled to the Southeast USA, I was thrilled for a chance to tour the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC — a stunning 250-room French Renaissance château nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Biltmore Estate is a refreshing taste of European architecture in the middle of the American South. After my husband and I canceled our fall trip to Europe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, visiting the Biltmore felt like a fun and exciting way to relive what would have been our European vacation!
We discovered many helpful tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, during our visit that I am excited to share with you! But first, here’s a little history lesson on the Biltmore!
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History of the Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House on Christmas Eve in 1895 after six years of construction. George lived on the property with his wife, Edith, and daughter, Cornelia. The house was not opened to the public until the 1930s to generate income to preserve the estate.
Today, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the largest private home in America and attracts over one million visitors per year.
The Biltmore offers visitors an impressive history, remarkable architecture, vintage art, and breathtaking gardens. No matter what your interest is, you’ll find something to love about the Biltmore.
Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate—Is it Worth the Cost?
I’ll be honest—I was skeptical about visiting the Biltmore because of the cost. Depending on the time of year you visit, Biltmore Experience tickets can cost anywhere from $94 to $114 per person.
Although the Biltmore is expensive to visit, I can assure you that it is definitely worth the cost. We spent the entire day at the Biltmore House & Gardens and Antler Hill Village and felt that we definitely got our money’s worth. We couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a day in Asheville!
Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate—Where to Stay in Asheville, NC
Unfortunately, you can’t stay in the Biltmore when visiting, but you can stay at several excellent locations close by! There are excellent hotels near the Biltmore that offer a range of prices to accommodate those looking to relax in luxury or find a budget-friendly stay.
Here are a few of my recommendations:
- The Inn on Biltmore Estate ($$$$) – Pamper yourself with a luxury stay on the Biltmore Estate to enjoy the on-site spa, heated pool, and fine-dining restaurants.
- Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate ($$$) – One of the best tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate? Stay as close to the winery as you can! The Village Hotel is located in the heart of Antler Hill Village with close access to phenomenal restaurants, shopping, and the world-famous Biltmore Winery.
- Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville ($$$$) – Enjoy a unique, luxury stay in the Biltmore Village, just three miles from Downtown Asheville.
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Asheville – Biltmore Village Area ($$) – Clean, budget-friendly stay just under a mile away from the Biltmore Estate.
- Courtyard Asheville Biltmore Village ($$) – Modern, comfortable, and clean stay located about a mile from the Biltmore Estate.
9 Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
Before visiting the Biltmore, I had a lot of questions about what the experience would be like. As it turns out, I learned a lot during my visit to the Biltmore that I want to share with you to help your visit go seamlessly!
Here are nine tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, that will make your experience unforgettable!
1. Buy Your Tickets in Advance
As I mentioned earlier, The Biltmore has over one million visitors per year—which, if you do the math, is over 2,500 visitors per day!
Even though there are many spots available to tour the Biltmore house each day, you might be surprised to know that tickets sell out quickly—especially during the weekends, holidays, and Christmas season.
One of the most important tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to buy your tickets ahead of time to ensure that you reserve a ticket for the day that you want to visit.
2. Your Ticket Time is for the Biltmore House Tour
One of the most critical tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is that the time on your ticket is for your self-guided house tour, NOT your entry to the estate.
My husband and I made the mistake of assuming that our ticket time was when we were supposed to arrive at the estate. Because of this mistake, we were nearly an hour late for our tour. Thankfully, the attendant allowed us to tour the Biltmore home; however, I would advise you against making the same mistake we did!
My suggestion would be to book an early afternoon tour and arrive at the estate mid-morning to ensure that you aren’t rushed or late for your tour time.
When you arrive at the estate, you can enjoy the light crowds, take photos, walk around the gardens, and explore the shops before your afternoon tour time.
I wish someone would have told me these tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate before we went. It would have been a lifesaver!
3. Eat a Big Breakfast
The Biltmore is a full-day experience, and if you’re like me, you’ll be so busy exploring that you’ll forget to eat!
One of my best tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to eat a big breakfast before arriving because most of the dining options near the Biltmore House and Gardens are expensive.
Here are some of the most popular local breakfast spots in Asheville to stop at before you arrive at the Biltmore:
- Vortex Doughnuts—Homemade, unique flavored doughnuts with gourmet coffee (they make their caramel sauce in-house, and it’s fantastic!)
- Double D’s Coffee & Desserts—Double-decker bus serving coffee & sweet treats (cash only!)
- Biscuit Head—Massive biscuits with a variety of toppings and pairings (this is a local favorite)
4. Pay for the Audio Guide
I wish I would have purchased the audio guide during our tour of the Biltmore—I had no clue that the tour would take us through three stories and nearly 30 rooms in the Biltmore home!
Although the Biltmore home’s architecture and design are gorgeous on their own, the home’s history is remarkable, too. For just $12, your audio guide can become your tour guide, telling you all about George Vanderbilt’s family, the lifestyle of the people who lived there, interesting facts about the home, and so much more.
I tend to skip audio guides to save money—but unfortunately, that was the wrong choice for the Biltmore. The tour is much more extensive than you would expect, and it is an excellent value for what you pay.
5. Plan to Spend the Whole Day Exploring
As I mentioned earlier, the Biltmore is a full-day experience, so one of the most critical tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to plan to spend your entire day there!
Here’s how much time you can expect to spend at each location at the Biltmore Estate:
- The Biltmore Estate—1-2 hours
- The Gardens—2 hours
- Shopping—1 hour
- Winery—1 hour
- Antler Hill Village—1-2 hours
It’s very likely you’ll spend 6-8 hours exploring the Biltmore Estate. You won’t want to miss anything!
6. Don’t Skip the Biltmore Gardens
I had no idea how stunning and extensive the Biltmore Gardens were! The Biltmore House is impressive, but in my opinion, the gardens are the real showstopper.
The Biltmore Gardens and Trails are divided into nine sections:
- Library and South Terraces—Spectacular views of the surrounding trees and mountains with a relaxing place to sit. This garden is one of the best spots to take photos! One of my personal favorite tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to grab a drink or snack and munch on while admiring the view in the South Terraces!
- Italian Garden—Watch koi and goldfish swim in the three formal Italian water gardens.
- Shrub Garden—Walking path that features golden rain trees, river birch trees, and maple trees.
- Spring Garden—Walking path that features white pines, hemlocks, and blooming shrubs.
- Conservatory—The Conservatory is a HUGE glass-roofed building home to hundreds of unique warm-weather plants, including orchids, ferns, and palm trees.
- Azalea Garden—Walkway that leads from the Conservatory to the Bass Pond and contains gorgeous azaleas and evergreen trees.
- Walled Garden—Two lovely arbors that feature seasonal plants, like tulips in the spring and mums in the fall. There were also squash plants growing here when we visited!
- Rose Garden—The name says it all! Gorgeous roses that bloom year-round.
- Bass Pond & Boat House—The most peaceful retreat at the Biltmore, this bass pond is the perfect spot to rest your feet from walking and relax. One of the most secretive tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to carve out 30 minutes to an hour simply relaxing by the bass pond.
I loved the Biltmore Gardens! My favorite places to explore were the Conservatory, Azalea Gardens, and Bass Pond, but I would suggest visiting them all to determine your own favorites!
7. Wear Comfortable Shoes
I clocked in over 12,000 steps during our visit to the Biltmore. By the end of the day, my feet were killing me, even though I was wearing supportive shoes. That being said, one of my best tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to wear comfortable shoes, like these Clarks Women’s Ankle Boots, especially if you plan to tour the house and visit the gardens. Your feet will thank you later!
8. Visit Antler Hill Village
After spending a day at the Biltmore House and Gardens, one of the best tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate is to visit Antler Hill Village! Antler Hill Village is where the Biltmore Winery is located and is also home to restaurants like Bistro, Cedric’s Tavern, and Village Social.
If you are planning to enjoy dinner at Antler Hill Village, I would suggest making a reservation ahead of time—the waitlist can get long, especially in the evenings.
9. Enjoy Your Free Wine Tasting
Your Biltmore ticket includes a complimentary wine tasting at the Winery in Antler Village if you are over the age of 21. The Biltmore Winery was opened by George Vanderbilt’s grandson in 1985, and since then, has been serving wines made from the estate’s vineyards.
During your wine tasting, you’ll have the opportunity to sample five wines. After your time in the Tasting Room, you can browse the Wine Shop to find a bottle to bring home or walk across to the Wine Bar to savor a glass of your favorite wine.
Your complimentary wine tasting is by reservation only, so I suggest visiting the Biltmore Winery to secure your reservation when you arrive at The Antler Hill Village.
Use These Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to Have an Unforgettable Visit
Overall, the Biltmore Estate is a can’t-miss attraction when visiting Asheville. The Biltmore is also an excellent location for a weekend trip, romantic getaway, bachelorette party, and so much more! These tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate will help your visit go smoothly and ensure that you have an incredible time.
Personally, my husband and I visited The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, during a 10-day road trip through Charleston, Savannah, and Asheville. We had a phenomenal time exploring these three Southeastern U.S. cities. I would highly recommend pairing these three cities together for an epic road trip!
Have you ever been to the Biltmore? If so, what are your best tips for visiting the Biltmore Estate? If not, are you interested in visiting? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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[…] 9 Helpful Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate […]
The Biltmore looks like such a beautiful place to spend the day! These are super handy tips, I’m going to keep them safe in the hopes that I get an opportunity to visit. Thanks for the great guide!
It’s such an amazing place! Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have the chance to visit one day!
Thanks for the great tips! Even though my family has a place outside Asheville, I’ve never been!
No way! It’s amazing… the next time you are visiting Asheville, you’ll have to check it out!
This place looks absolutely stunning! I have just realised it is used as a set in One Tree Hill too! Now, officially on my bucket list!
Wait, no way! That’s so cool. My friends keep trying to convince me to watch One Tree Hill, so I guess I’ll have to now 😉 Thank you so much for reading!
That swimming pool is amazing! I’ve visited a lot manors / palaces etc, but have not come across one with a swimming pool yet.
Isn’t it so cool? That was definitely one of my favorite parts!
I really enjoyed reading your post about the Biltmore and where to stay in Asheville, NC. We hope to visit this part of the US this upcoming year. Always up to see beautiful gardens, neat architecture, and have coffee!
Thank you, Ashlee! It’s a beautiful area, I hope you enjoy your trip! I would recommend visiting Charleston, Nashville, and Savannah while you are in the area, too! 🙂
I love the Biltmore and have visited it about 4-5 times. You are correct in that there is so much to see. I never did the audio tour, but wish I had. Hard to imagine a house that large for 3 people.
I wish I had done the audio tour as well! And yes, it’s crazy that only 3 people lived there. It’s huge!
wowww so pretty! I’ve always wanted to visit the Biltmore 🙂
It’s very beautiful! It’s definitely worth visiting 🙂
I didn’t even know this place existed, but you’ve successfully convinced me I need to go! It looks beautiful.
It’s absolutely gorgeous! I hope you get to visit, soon. Thanks for reading, Sarah! 🙂
The Biltmore Estate looks absolutely beautiful! I am looking to go to Asheville at some point this year, so definitely keeping this blog post handy. I didn’t realize they had extensive gardens too. I heard all the foodie places there are amazing as well. 🙂
Hi, Taylor! Thanks for reading! I hope you have so much fun during your visit to Asheville. Yes, there are tons of awesome foodie places! And the Biltmore is seriously gorgeous and so much fun.
Great read! Any recommendations on foodie places?
Thank you, Jen! I’d recommend Buxton Hall BBQ in Downtown Asheville, it’s really tasty! 🙂
I want to visit so bad! I’ve never been to the Carolinas before but hoping to visit soon. saved this article for later! 🙂 thanks for sharing
The Carolinas were high on my bucketlist before we visited this year! They totally exceeded my expectations. I hope you have a ton of fun on your trip, Sydney! Thank you for reading 🙂
I was in Asheville earlier this year and was skeptical about the cost and if the audio guide was worth it or not. I’m glad to know that it really is worth the price tag. Thanks for these great tips I will have to visit my next time in Asheville.
Thanks for reading, Elizabeth! Yes, I definitely felt the same way. The tickets are costly, but considering all that’s included, it really is worth the $$$! I hope you have so much fun visiting the next time you are in Asheville!
Oh, I loved this post so much and so hope to visit the Biltmore Estate!
Thank you, Tracy! I hope you enjoy visiting the Biltmore when you get the chance to visit!
That does seem a bit pricey for a ticket, but then again if you’re only going to visit it once it may be worth it!
Thanks so much for reading, Krista! I was definitely skeptical about the cost, too. The tickets are expensive, but it really is worth the cost, considering you spend the entire day there!
So cool! I’ve heard about the Biltmore but haven’t seen too many pictures of it. Would be interesting to tour!
It’s a really fun place to visit, Ashley! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
Wow. The architecture is so incredible. I would have thought this was somewhere in Europe! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading, Devin! We actually had to cancel our trip to Scotland this fall due to Covid, so we traveled to the Carolinas instead. This felt like our small taste of Europe within the US, so it worked out perfectly! 🙂
[…] 9 Helpful Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate […]
[…] 9 Helpful Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC […]
[…] 9 Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC […]
Wow I didn’t realize it was that expensive! It looks so amazing that I would totally pay that though 🙂
It’s pricey, but yes, it’s definitely worth it! Thanks for reading, Megan 🙂
[…] admission to the Biltmore Estate includes a complimentary wine tasting in their Tasting Room—with a generous pour of five […]
Your comments persuaded my to add the Biltmore as a must to our Asheville trip. Any finning recommendations?
Yay, I’m so glad to hear that! You’ll love the Biltmore. And yes! Although we didn’t eat at The Biltmore Estate while we were there, I’ve heard great things about the Stable Cafe on the property, and there are also great places to eat in Antler Hill Village, where the winery is located. We loved eating at Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack and Buxton Hall BBQ in Asheville, so I’d recommend both places for dinner after a day at the Biltmore. I hope this helps! Have fun 🙂
Ooops I meant dinning recommendations
Great article and helpful hints. We are going May 21-24th. I am glad you let us know about the arrival time. Looking forward to visiting the Biltmore Estate!
Yay, I hope you have a wonderful time, Loretta!
Is it wheelchair accessible? ! And How about the tour of the house?
Hello, Linda! Those are great questions. Since accessibility across the property, I thought you might find this link on the Biltmore Estate’s website helpful. It explains what spots are wheelchair accessible, and which ones are not. https://www.biltmore.com/help-center/accessibility/
Thanks for the tips! I, too, had to cancel my Europe trip (3 days before departure due to new restrictions) so I’m going to the Biltmore next week.
I’m so sorry you had to cancel your Europe trip, Jen! I’m so glad to hear you’ll get to enjoy the Biltmore, instead – it’s not a shabby second option! 🙂
[…] found this article very helpful for first time […]
This is Franci from Explore and Thrive. Your tips helped take a lot of the frustration out of the experience! Thanks for sharing.
Yay, I’m so glad to hear that, Franci!
[…] were very interested in touring this home because we had just visited The Biltmore in Asheville, NC, another historic home built by the Vanderbilt family, so we wanted to compare the […]
Very helpful! Nicely done! Thanks!
I’m so glad it was helpful!
Hello, thank you for the tips. I plan on visiting in June. Do you have to visit the gardens before the tour or can you see them after the tour ? I noticed you said to get there early before the tour.
Hello, Sabine! You can visit the gardens before the tour, if you’d like! We had an early timeslot to tour the house, so we explored them after, but if you have a later timeslot, I’d definitely recommend walking through the gardens in the morning before your tour. I hope this helps! 🙂
So happy I read this before going to the Biltmore today! I thought our time slot was an entry time!
Yay, me too! I hope you have such a fun time, Sarah!
We just bought tickets and would have made the same mistake you did if not for your informative and entertaining tips. Thanks!
I’m so glad I was able to help! I hope you have a wonderful time! 🙂
Is the Biltmore handicap assessable
Hi, Lois. Here is the Accessibility FAQ on Biltmore’s website. They should be able to provide you with all the information you need! https://www.biltmore.com/help-center/accessibility/