I have been thinking a lot lately about an after Christmas trip a few years ago. I went to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina to see the mansion decorated for Christmas.
In case you don’t know, the Biltmore is known as America’s Largest Home with 175,000 square feet of living space. The 250 room home has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. Built by George Vanderbilt (grandson of industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt), construction required over a thousand men and about ten million pounds of limestone.
The home was opened to family and friends for the first time on Christmas Eve 1895 despite the fact it wasn’t complete even after six years of construction. So it seems fitting that they celebrate Christmas in a big way each year.
This is an amazing place to visit any day – I was once there in the summer and it was fabulous. However, it is truly special during the holidays.
You can’t take pictures inside the house and I regret that I have no photos of my own to show you. The house is decorated to the nines with dozens of gorgeous trees, wreaths, displays of poinsettias, garlands and other amazing pieces of holiday decor.
It is breathtaking.
Here are a few images from the outside.
If you go, keep in mind that the day after Christmas is typically their busiest day of the year. My advice is to either not go that day or get an early start in the morning. They have a gorgeous hotel on the estate but staying there will cost you. Consider choosing from one of the many hotels in nearby Asheville. That town also has a nice downtown with some neat shops and there’s a good bit to do in the area.
If you’re from Ohio, it is an easy trip straight down U.S. Rt. 23. Just watch your speed through Virginia. They’re pretty serious about their speed limits down there.
I wish I could remember the name of the sidewalk cafe where I had the most amazing blueberry pancakes ever. The ingredients were locally sourced and the atmosphere was a lot of fun.
Click here to look at other things to do in the Asheville area.
Have you been to the Biltmore? Comment and tell me your favorite part. I’m a bit obsessed with the lion statues out front and have several pictures (including the one above) to prove it!