ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – Whether it’s a family trip, friends outing or a solo getaway, Biltmore in Asheville is considered to be a great option that offers indoor and outdoor activities while also practicing health safety measures.
The 125-year-old estate is stunningly iconic and was originally more than 125,000 acres of land owned by Mr. Vanderbilt. But, Biltmore’s Senior Public Relations Manager, LeeAnn Donnelly said that the current estate, at 8,000 acres, still offers quite a bit of space for activities.
“There’s hiking and biking available. We have a bike rental barn that you can visit and rent bikes if you don’t want to bring your own,” Donnelly. “We do have some dining options available, some take out, some open-air dining at restaurants outside. The winery is open for wine tastings as well and our hotels are open.”
Safety measures, such as numerous sanitation stations, marked line ques, scheduled tour times, and mandated mask areas, are in place.
“We are asking our guests to wear face coverings inside Biltmore house and all of our interiors of all of our buildings. And outside if you’re not able to socially distance, we are asking folks to wear a mask at that point as well,” Donnelly said.
There are three house tour options: self-guided, audio-guide and a hosted tour. Visitors are able to schedule their tour beforehand by clicking here.
Donnelly said having a hosted tour will give you more behind the scenes details for some of the rooms. For instance, the Biltmore house has one of the oldest functioning elevators in the South, the Otis Elevator engineered in 1895.
“One of the most amazing aspects inside the house is the four-story chandler that hangs in the well of the grand staircase. It’s 1,800 pounds and it is held in place by one bolt,” Donnelly explained.
Other fun facts, the banquet hall is seven stories tall, making it the largest room in the house.
“The tapestry gallery is 90 feet long, which is roughly the amount of space between first base and home base [on a baseball field],” Donnelly noted.
The historical beauty seems to be practically endless. But, if just taking a stroll outdoors is more of your interest there are trails, gardens with greenhouses and coy ponds, and a waterfall to enjoy.
Biltmore also offers several sporting activities, such as hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, biking, falconry, skeet shooting and river floats.
“We also have an area called Antler Hill Village and that is where our newest exhibit is happening right now. Biltmore Gardens Railway, it is a model train village and it’s really charming and whimsical,” Donnelly said.
The Antler Hill Village also offers Downton Abby: The Exhibition, which will run through Sept. 7.