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America's Most Beloved Home - The Biltmore House

By Daniel Falls
On July 17, 2009

  • Pictured from left is Erica Edgington and Amelia Hinds.

Anyone who has grown up in this area knows of the Biltmore House. It has long overlooked the mountains of North Carolina. Even so, the estate seems to offer a perpetual wonder to all those who perceive it. Visitors are first left in awe when they step onto the front lawn and view the house from afar. Constructed in the late 1800's, it is the largest privately owned house in the United States.

Those who choose to visit the Biltmore House this summer will not be disappointed. Their summer concert series is now underway. Performers this year include Mercy Me, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, The Oak Ridge Boys and Doc Watson & David Holt.
Visitors can also expect to see new guest rooms, now open for the first time in nearly 100 years. There is also a new audio tour, which walks visitors through the amazing estate. Information given on the audio tour stems from extensive research on the Vanderbilt family.

One thing that keeps people coming back is the Biltmore House's extravagant gardens. And with 8000 acres surrounding the estate, there is room for extravagance. Most remarkable is the gardens 250 variety of roses. This year, the garden is in full swing. Despite the current economic condition, tourists and locals alike are flocking to take in the breathtaking scenery.

In addition to the summer concerts, visitors enjoy seeing the River Bend Farm, countless outdoor activities, fine dining, shopping, and hotel packages. But the visit cannot be complete without a trip to the Biltmore House's own renowned winery.

The winery, located on the estate, supplements the evening with a free wine tasting. Staff of the Biltmore House also demonstrates how the wine is made for curious onlookers. The wine is complemented with great food and an extraordinary view of estate. Before leaving, visitors can stop by the Wine Shop, which sells wine accessories, gourmet food, and, of course, a full selection of their fine wine.

Although the Biltmore House is timeless in one sense, the staff is always working hard to accommodate first time visitors, as well as returning visitors who still have much to explore. The legacy of the home has seemingly entrenched the surrounding area, creating an interesting infusion of the past with the present.

Tickets may be purchased online at Biltmore.com. There are special ticket prices available when purchased online. The ticket prices vary by day, and depend on when more guests are expected. There are also packages that include hotel accommodations, concerts, special tours, group rates, and yearly passes.

There is also a new valet service in which visitors can be dropped off at the front of the estate for a charge of $15 per vehicle.

Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Biltmore's Welcome Center or over the phone at 800-411-3812.

To get to the Biltmore House from Western Carolina, take a right out on to Hwy. 107 North and continue to Hwy. 23/74 East – Biltmore House exit.
 


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