10 Ways To Make The Most of Your Visit
Are you ready for some hot, sizzling tips on how to enjoy Biltmore Estates this summer? You are? Great! Let’s go!
Biltmore Estates is an ever-changing environment, especially from season to season. Even if you’ve been to Biltmore one or a hundred times, there’s always something new. Each season ushers in new discoveries, activities, exhibits and food! Lets look at the summer fun that you can expect this year! There are some activities that you can expect to find at Biltmore every summer, but pay attention because some are here only for the 2021 summer season!
1. Secure Your House Time Online, in Advance.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to reserve your house ticket in advance! Only a specific number of people are allowed in the house at a time and with Covid, the numbers may even been smaller. Not to mention, summer is a popular time at Biltmore Estates and space fills up quick. If you wait until your arrive at Biltmore to buy your house admission ticket, you may be out of luck. If viewing the inside of the Biltmore House is important to you, reserve your time slot online ASAP! The good news is, if you secure a time and end up missing it, it’s easier to switch your house time when you already have a ticket, than it is to get a ticket once space has filled up. If you missed your house time or need a new one for any reason, just ask the nice greeters at the house waiting line. They’ll let you know when you’ll be able to enter.
2. Horse Around!
For extra fun at Biltmore in the summer, be sure to horse around! I mean, like litterally, horses can take you around the estate in a carriage or on a guided trail ride. Carriage rides are a special Biltmore treat that is NOT offered year round. Weather permitting, summer is a fabulous time to explore the estate on 30 or 60 minutes carriage rides for up to 6 people or you can opt for a 90 minute private ride for up to 4 guests. To participate in a carriage ride, you will need to have either a daytime ticket to Biltmore Estates, an annual pass, or be a guest at one of Biltmore’s onsite, overnight properties.
3. See the Unique/Temporary Exhibits
You’ll want to take time to see the unique, temporary exhibits that can only be found at Biltmore this summer. Included with your admission price to Biltmore Estates, you can enjoy unique, temporary works of art such as Stickwork, an interactive, outdoor sculpture, entitled Free as a Bird, crafted and displayed in Antler Hill Village. Internationally acclaimed artist, Patrick Dougherty has built over 300 of these works, such as this one-of-a-kind stick sculpture that can only be seen at Biltmore Estates. But hurry! This exhibit is only sticking around until September 30th, 2021 ! (Did you see what I did there? Stickwork is sticking around 😀 (*insert laughter here)
You Can view a time lapse of the building process here.
The Biltmore Railway is another temporary exhibit that you can view this summer. It can be found in the conservatory until September 26th. The winding train displays feature replicas of structures connected with Biltmore and its founder George Vanderbilt. Each beautifully executed piece was handcrafted from such natural elements as leaves, bark, and twigs and runs in and out of the conservatory meandering from room to room and even outside spaces.
4. Eat at one of the Biltmore Restaurants
Weather you eat at one of the house restaurants or at Biltmore Village, dining is a unique and delicious part of the Biltmore experience. Their menus feature fresh, estate-raised produce and meats and local, seasonal ingredients.
Some restaurants offer online reservations such as the Dining Room, some don’t. Make sure to check on Biltmore’s web-site to check to see if you need a reservation and hours of operation. Biltmore is busy in the summer, so if you don’t have a reservation there’s very likely going to be a long wait for seating as a walk in, so you’ll want to get your name on the wait list before you get too hungry. We don’t want any hangry people at Biltmore, now do we?
To done on the estate, you need to have a daytime ticket to Biltmore, an Annual pass, or stay at one of the estate’s overnight properties. Or, if someone in your party is a annual pass holder, everyone in the same car can dine at Biltmore Village without paying an entrance fee after 5PM.
5. Hit the Trails
Wander through historic gardens and woodland trails. Meander through the meadows along the French Broad River. Enjoy Biltmore at your own pace with nearly 22 miles of hiking trails on the estate or take a guided hike. Maps are available at the Bike Barn and Outdoor Adventure Center.
Access to more than 20 miles of biking trails are free for all guests*! Choose from well-marked, single-track woodland dirt trails for a challenging ride, or flat, paved trail along the French Broad River for a more leisurely ride. Bring your own bike or rent one.
Rental bikes, trail-a-bikes, and trailers are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the Bike Barn, located on the second floor of Antler Hill Barn. No advance reservations are offered or required. It’s recommended that all guests check in for a trail map and current trail conditions.
Bike Barn hours vary seasonally; please see Estate Hours for current hours.
“*Only Biltmore Annual Passholders, lodging guests, and ticketed guests may ride bicycles on estate roads and designated bike trails. Bicycles are considered vehicles in North Carolina and must be operated in full compliance with state vehicle laws and all traffic and directional signage on estate property. Bicycles are prohibited in all non-guest areas and in the shuttle zone in front of Biltmore House. Riders must disembark and “walk” bicycles on garden paths.”
6. Go on an Adventure
There’s so much more to do at Biltmore than you can imagine! From animal encounters, such as falconry and time a the animal farm, off-road Land Rover Rentals, kayaking, clay shooting, boating and more, there are all kinds of adventures to be had beyond the house and Gardens! Check out the web-site for info, pricing and hours.
7. Prepare for Rain
It can get rainy in Asheville. It’s a good idea to bring a water resistant jacket or maybe even an umbrella just in case. It can’t hurt to bring water proof protection for your electronics as well. A rainy day can be salvaged if you’re prepared. It’s better to be safe than soaked!
8. Stay at One of the Biltmore Properties
There’s simply a different feel to staying onsite at the Estate. You can stay at the Inn on Biltmore, Village hotel, or one of their cottages. To stay at Biltmore is to immerse yourself in the Biltmore Culture by staying at a property where you’re surrounded by acres and acres of Biltmores farms, trails waters and shades of times past. It takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city and gives the feel of an out-of-the-way country estate where you can leave the cares of the real world behind for a while.
Check out the special offer packages that you can book along with your room for discounts and custom experiences.
9. Catch a Sunset
If you’ve watched some of my other Biltmore video’s you’ve probably seen me mention the sunset on the terrace at the Biltmore house. Unfortunately, in the summer months the Estate house and grounds have closed long before the sunsets. But don’t worry. There are other great places on the estate to catch a beautiful sunset.
- The Lagoon is a lovely spot to sit, or take a walk while you watch the sunset. There’s also a cool view of the house from the Lagoon as well.
- The terraces at Biltmore Village and their overnight properties.
10. Take a Specialty Tour
If it’s your first trip to Biltmore Estate, the audio tour is sufficient. It will give you a lot of history and fun facts about the Esate and each specific room as you pass through. However, if you’ve already done the audio tour, or if you are a history buff and want to see and hear beyond what is included in the audio tour, then an additional specialty tour is right for you. I’ve personally taken the Roof Top tour and Loved it! It’s also a cool tour to take in different seasons to get a bird’s eye view of what the gardens and grounds look like in each season. I took my tour around Christmas time and I’m itching to get back to see what it looks like when the gardens are more vibrant. Summer would be the perfect time to see the grounds in their full glory!
Other tours that you can choose from are the Backstairs tour, the Behind the Scenes Winery and tasting tour and they even have tours for kids.
If you’d like to learn more about the Roof Top Tour and also hear some tips on how to get discounts on some tours, you can watch the video I made on that very topic here.
Most Summers, But Not This One
Usually Biltmore offers live concerts on the lawn, unfortunately due to the current pandemic, the concerts are cancelled this summer. Fingers crossed that they’ll be back in 2022!
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