Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our First Visit to the Biltmore Estates

The Biltmore Estates in North Carolina
The Biltmore Estates
Oh Man, today was our last day in the Smoky Mountains.  My daughter and I took one last look at the roaring river from our balcony and then started the dreaded loading of the car.  We really enjoyed our stay here, but we were also looking forward to our new adventure today at the Biltmore Estate.  We were also planning on going horseback riding at the Estate.  My daughter and I both think that would be EXCITING!! The car was finally packed.  I had the navigation system ready, but I needed to get gas before we go.  We were supposed to get on the Foothills Parkway.  This was supposed to be a very scenic drive.  After we got gas, I was a little disoriented as to which way to go (should I make a right or left).  Well, whichever way I chose was wrong.  The GPS recalculated and I never got to see the Foothills Parkway. :(  We ended up on some very small country roads; we are talking one lane here.  I was trying to remain calm as I was driving.   Fortunately we did get to where we needed to be, but we went way out of our way.  It was still a nice drive past country homes.

The Gardens at the Biltmore
The Gardens
Oh My Goodness, we made it.  You have to drive and drive and drive when you get on the Estate.  A security guard checks your tickets (which I purchased on line on the Biltmore Estates website,  If you are approved, you get to drive to a parking lot.  You then board a Shuttle, which takes you to the house. WOW!  This place is beautiful.  It is so huge.  

We walk in and I was trying to save money, so I did not opt for the audio tour with headphones.  I just used the booklet they hand out.  The tour is self-guided.  Next time I will spend the money and rent the audio guide.  I missed a lot of things, because my child wanted to speed through the house.  For example:  When I got home, I was reading the self guide book and noticed that they had Napoleon’s chess set in the Library, I missed that, among some other things.


I really enjoyed viewing the House.  Of course, after viewing the house, we went into the gift shops.  They have some really nice wine and Christmas ornaments.  They also offer some different food items for sale.

Next, we headed back on the shuttle to the car.  When we got to our car, we drove back towards the House and into the Gardens.  The Gardens were absolutely huge.  As I have gotten older, I have realized that I really enjoy looking at gardens.  They also had a gift shop. Need I say more?

A Sheep on the Farm at the Biltmore Estates
A Farm
We then headed to the Farm, as we searched for the Riding Stables.  They were not here, but they had a petting zoo and my daughter was able to hold a baby duck.  She really enjoyed that and seeing the animals.  We then ate some lunch.  Next we went a looking for that Riding Stable.  Hey, we found it!  Guess what?  You had to make reservations a head of time and they were all booked.  So make sure you make your reservations a head of time.  My daughter was very disappointed that she does not want to go back to visit, but I know she would still enjoy going back to the Biltmore Estate.

The Farm at the Biltmore Estates
Nadia Petting a Horse at the Farm
Even though the Biltmore Estates was quite expensive, it was a very neat place to visit.  The Biltmore Estate also has a Winery.  I bought some wine to bring home to our family.  

They also have an Inn and Cottage on the property; lot of stores; and many, many  outdoor activities.  Just  remember to make reservations first :)