Touring the Biltmore, America’s Largest Private Home
It’s 178,926 square feet with more than 250 rooms. Those stats alone are impressive, but don’t visit the Biltmore House just to gawk at its size. True, Biltmore House is the largest privately owned home in the U.S., but what’s more impressive is its preservation. Walking through the house feels like stepping into a time machine.
Downton Abbey fans will be in heaven.
Can’t make a trip to England? You don’t need to. George Vanderbilt’s 1895 home will satisfy your Masterpiece nostalgia. The estate is still owned by Vanderbilt’s grandson.
Constructed during what Mark Twain sarcastically donned, The Gilded Age, Biltmore is decadent without being gaudy. The mansion is huge, but still intimate. Guests are allowed access to most of the house, including the owners’ bedrooms and sitting rooms. My favorite part was the servants quarters.
I half expected to see Mr. Carson straightening the silverware.
The basement contains the kitchen, laundry room, servants’ dining room, and even a heated pool and fitness center. It’s a peek at how real people lived from millionaires down to what must have been a myriad of people to wait on them.
Built in the Chateau style, the son and heir of one of America’s largest fortunes, spent six-plus years constructing the Asheville home. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Biltmore House became a restful retreat for the New York native. Every detail was of concern, from the orientation of the house to the artwork hanging on its walls.
Located on 13 square miles of farmland and gardens, there is plenty to see and do at Biltmore Estate. Take a self-guided tour for the day or make a weekend of it and book a room at one of two hotels on the property.
We ended our tour with a wine tasting that was included with our admission. A dinner outdoors at the fabulous Bistro under the night sky and the white lights was utterly romantic (order the cioppino and a glass of Biltmore Estate pinot grigio).
Visit Biltmore.com to learn more.
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This is Nicole Kidman’s dress from “The Portrait of a Lady,” one of my favorite films.
Stay tuned for a post about gorgeous Asheville, North Carolina.
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