Friday, November 29, 2013

The Candlelight Tour and Christmas at The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

It's that time of year again... Christmas at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  During the rest of the year the main house closes between 3:30pm and 5pm daily, but from early November through New Years, tickets may be upgraded to include an evening "candlelight" tour with your regular ticket.  The Candlelight Tour is, perhaps, just the thing to get you in the Christmas mood.



Candlelight tours begin at 5 pm and go through 9pm, daily (excepting Christmas Eve)  They are self-guided and the timed entries depart every 15 minutes.  Your upgrade ticket will indicate the time for you to get to your self-guided tour.  And be aware, during the Christmas Season, and any time of the year for that matter, it can take you up to 45 minutes to drive from one place to another on the vast property, park and get the shuttle to the main house, so be aware of where you are and the time till your tour.

Candlelight tour upgrades must be purchased in advance, but if you are on property with your regular admission ticket, guests may have that ticket upgraded at any one of the Guest Service Centers.  The Guest Service Centers are located at the Main Ticket and Welcome Center (although this is likely to be the most crowded place to acquire your upgrade), to the right of the main entrance to the House, between the Stables Restaurant and the Gift shop, also to the right of the house, and near the Winery entrance.  The staff on property are extremely helpful, so just be sure and ask for directions.  The spaces for the candlelight tour are limited, and spaces on weekend nights are particularly likely to fill up, but if you're at the Estate on a weekday, there will likely be a spot available on the same day.


Besides twinkling candles and warm fires, sparkling decorations and trees galore, additional entertainment is out in abundance during the Candlelight tour and Christmas Season.  Enjoy local  musicians, carolers and perhaps story-tellers, who might be out and about in the various rooms.

Most Candlelight tour tickets include a same day visit to the property.  Some seasonal activities during the day to look forward to at Antler Hill Village and the Winery (and part of your daytime pass) are winery tours, which leave every twenty or thrity minutes.  Carolers will be singing in various locations at Antler Hill Village and Winery area between 3pm and 7:30 pm daily.  Looking for Santa?  Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) look for Santa himself between the hours of 1pm and 5pm through December 22nd, also in the Antler Hill Village and Winery area... a treat for all ages!  Cedric's Tavern, a great spot to eat on property, and will be hosting live music every evening at 6pm.

If you need a place to stay, Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast is just 1 mile from the entrance of the Estate.  Nightly rates range from $95 to $149 double occupancy and include a wonderful full breakfast each morning.  BiltmoreTickets and Candlelight tour upgrades may be purchased with advance notice.  Tickets at Oakland Cottage B&B are just $55 each adult ticket, $15 for the Candlelight upgrade ($70 per ticket).  The $55 tickets are good for any TWO consecutive days of entry for unlimited daytime entry and access to the house, and full access, day and night to the 8,000 acres of grounds, gardens, conservatory. lagoon and trails, Antler Hill Village, Winery, tour and wine tasting.  Tickets through Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast are fully refundable (althought the candlelight upgrades, once confirmed, are non-refundable).  For reservations at Oakland Cottage B&B and ticket information call 828 994 2627.  Inquire about children ticket pricing if you are bringing your family.