There are many fantastic reasons to visit The Biltmore Estate anytime of the year and while winter might not seem like the best time, we beg to differ. If you enjoy discounted prices, incredible views that only winter can offer, low crowds and time to take in the stories and history, winter is one of the best times to visit The Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC and the Western NC Mountains.
Plan your visit at least 7 days in advance and buy your tickets online, saving $10 off the $45 winter ticket price (Biltmore daytime passes the rest of the year are $60 and up).
Or, for an even better bargain, stay in a nearby partner bed and breakfast or Asheville Vacation Rental and get your winter daytime tickets for $39 each, good for two consecutive days of entry. Additionally, all winter through March 31st, add an Audio Tour to your walk through the House for free (usually $10 each audio tour) and soak up the history and stories of the sights as you see them - and without bustling crowds pushing you through the house. Youth 10 to 16 are also free during the winter season, usually $30 each youth ticket (children 9 and younger free year-round).
The Estate lies on 8,000 acres at the confluence of the Swanannoa and French Broad rivers, with many stunning westerly views of Mount Pisgah (an Asheville, NC landmark) and the Western NC Mountains, just off I-40 at exit 50, bordering historic Biltmore Village of Asheville and just 3 miles south of Asheville's historic downtown.
A best kept secret, in my opinion, are the trails in and around the 8,000 acres. I love to park in the parking area behind the Conservatory, just below the House (*hint* this parking lot can look full when it isn't, as it expands further back into a larger graveled parking area past the paved area).
Step into the warmth of the Conservatory on a cold winter day! The Orchid Room is a favorite spot. The outdoor gardens in front of the conservatory are often grey and empty as they are getting prepared for the Festival of Flowers that begins in early April every year. But walking is so enjoyable even in the dormancy of the gardens. The trails around the Bass Pond are easy to find from the Conservatory. Additionally, one of my favorite trails is the Deer Park Trail. Walk up to the back veranda of the Biltmore House and go out the gate at the far end to find a trail map and hook up to the Deer Park Trail for hours of walking and sights and scenes that most other guests choose not to see. And, you won't find safer trails to hike on in Western NC.
The Winery and Antler Hill Village are always fun, interesting, and yes even relaxing, with low key activities for the whole family, and easy places to stop, rest and relax. All of the Antlert Hill farm, barn and village and the winery are included in your ticket price and a basic wine tasting is free (they have grapejuice for kids, too!). If you wish, you can upgrade your wine tasting for a broader wine tasting experience and souvenir. The Bistro restaurant and a wonderful gift shop are attached to the Winery for your shopping and dining pleasure.
Antler Hill Village, farm and animal barn are a newer addition to the estate. Shops encircle a "square" at Antler Hill Village and most weekends a small band will be playing in the Gazebo on the green. Cedric's Restaurant is on the square. A few steps away is the Barn, often (esp on weekends) with turn of the century demonstrations of farm type activities, such as blacksmithing, butter making, ice-cream making, spinning wool, and so forth. Arts and crafts activities and "old timey" games are also often available, making the grassy area in the middle of the old barn an extremely relaxing place to take the kids. The open animal barn is further afield, but not too far, and worth the visit to see and touch farm animals. The chickens and rabbits are always a favorite of mine. Professional docents are often available to demonstrate and explain various uses of the animals on a farm of the turn of the 20th century.
This winter, take advantage, get your one or two day pass and "explore George Vanderbilt’s extraordinary home, beautiful gardens, and Antler Hill Village & Winery, nestled on 8,000 acres in the mountains of Asheville, NC."
Contact the Biltmore Estate directly for tickets and more information about special events, hours of visitation, dining and lodging needs on the Estate grounds. Or, call Vacation In Asheville for reservations with nearby area lodging that offer discounted and extended day passes, 828 994 2627.
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