Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Visit to the Biltmore Estates
View from the Lawn
We visited the Biltmore Estates, located in Ashville, NC, during our stay at the Pisgah Inn, on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The drive to the Biltmore Estates took about a half hour from the Parkway.
The Courtyard where you can eat
The Biltmore Estates property is huge!  When you finally arrive to the entrance, you drive and drive and drive just to get to the gate to pay to get in.  I like to purchase my tickets in advance.  I was able to purchase them through AAA and Nadia was free.  So, make sure you check out AAA or the Biltmore Estates for specials before to go.

This was my second visit to the Estate, but my sister's first.  The last time we went we did not opt to pay the additional fee for the audio tour and Nadia did not have much fun viewing the house.  This time we paid for the audio tour and we ALL enjoyed ourselves. (There was no "Mom! Mom! Can we go now???)
Sunflowers on the way to the Village
After you show or purchase admission tickets, you drive to the parking area and wait for a bus to take you to the Estate.  Then you enter the house and purchase your audio tour and begin.  You are not allowed to take pictures inside the house.  Afterwards, you can shop in the little stores or grab a bite to eat.

Next, you get back on the bus to go back to the parking lot to get in your car to view the rest of the Estate.

There are gardens to tour, which also has a little gift shop with samples of treats that are offered for sale.

The Antler Hill Village & Winery has some restaurants and stores.  Of course this is where the winery is located too.  We ventured in.  They had crackers and grape juice for Nadia.  My sister and I decided to treat ourselves and try the premium tasting (you had to pay $9 for 3 samples).  I purchased two bottles of the sparkling wine.

(warning:  I drove home with these bottles back to Florida and it was the middle of summer.  I had driven from South Carolina all the way back to Florida in one day and was very tired after we got home and unpacked and did the laundry.  I was going to treat myself to some special wine.  Well, when I went to open the bottle, the cork blew off into my ceiling and broke through the plastic, the cork flew down behind me under the kitchen table and half of the wine was all over my shirt.  I was able to get one glass out of that bottle.  I decided to call it a night after that.  So probably a better idea to have the sparkling wine shipped to your house)
Nadia Playing in the Kids Area
The Village also has a little play area for kids.  If you keep walking, you will come across the Farm.
A Goat at the Farm
Which also has a petting zoo.
Petting Zoo
You could definitely spend the day here.  There is also horseback riding, rafting, fishing and segway tours, but you need to make reservations for these in advance.

The Biltmore Estates has different events scheduled throughout the year and I imagine it does look very beautiful at Christmas Time.