Touring the Biltmore, America’s Largest Private Home

Jessica Peterson

Biltmore House Mansion Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

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.

>> READ NEXT:  Weekly Inspiration: Sufjan, Nomadism, Creative Types & Jealousy

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.

Watch my live stream on Facebook.

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This is Nicole Kidman’s dress from “The Portrait of a Lady,” one of my favorite films.

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If you want to shop my look, I’m wearing this sweater, these jeans, and similar booties.

Stay tuned for a post about gorgeous Asheville, North Carolina.

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Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • Mohit Agarwal

    such an amazing grandeur of the estate…..it gives a feel of royalty just by a look on those beautifully taken shots..

  • Lynne Sarao

    Whoa, this is one stunning residence! It’s like the equivalent of touring an old European castle. Nice touch that they include a wine tasting at the end of the tour!

  • Shem Hooda

    These photos are absolutely stunning! Ever since I heard of the Biltmore (a couple years ago) I fell in love! So much so that I wanted to have my wedding there (although, it was WAY out of our budget so unfortunately that wasn’t really on the table haha!). I’d definitely love to tour the property someday and stay at one of the hotels on the property for a weekend!

    • I’ve seen wedding photos from Biltmore and yes, they are stunning. I can’t imagine the cost!

  • Raghav

    Completely in awe of the place. I am a sucker for all things vintage and architecture and the Baltimore House scores big on both accounts. Loved the photos first of all, but it’s wonderful to know that people are keeping their heritage alive and preserving it. Glad they allow people to visit and wine tasting is like cherry on top of a very big and beautiful cake. Cheers

  • Your pictures are so stunning! I would go that far and say – the most beautiful I have seen in a very long time! Love the small details and the colors as well!!!! I am just really blown away right now! :O

  • Jaclynna Nicole Bilon

    Wow! What an amazing opportunity. We have something similar to this where I live. It’s amazing to see how people lived back then to now. Thanks for the lovely post and amazing pictures.

  • What great photography! I have always wondered how it must have been living in places like this when I see them now. Looks very lavish indeed!

  • Neha Verma

    Such luxurious, beautiful home. And hats off to your photography skills for capturing the essence of it so well

  • Rashmi & Chalukya

    Loved the pictures! Biltmore House has some of the gorgeous architecture and the sumptuously decorated interior.

  • I just quite literally let out a long “woooowww” looking at these photos! Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for this piece of history. Stunning architecture and great photography. And I LOVE your sweater!

  • Spectacular photos!! It’s definitely a gem in North Carolina! Glad to see you got to enjoy it

  • Amazing photos! We toured the Biltmore a couple of years ago. It is breathtaking, and you can’t help but get caught up in the past imagining what life was like back then. Asheville should definitely be on every traveler’s list. Such a cool town, overall!

  • Wow this place looks like straight out of a fairy tale! I love how you captured the light here. If in North Carolina, I will definitely visit!

  • MelBTravel

    Wow what a stunning place, these are the types of places I love exploring and learning about their history. I completely understand why it took over 6 years to build. If I ever make it to North Carolina I will be here with bells on!!!

  • travelwithbird

    Wow, this is truly a very impressive and great overall presentation of such a unique location!
    To be honest, I have never heard about and I did not even think about this.
    This is truly great! And it is even in North Carolina, a shame that I did not read your post earlier since we just made a roadtrip also in this area.
    Your photos are stunning. I love how they give this very special artistic and calm atmosphere to the whole scenery, very well done!

  • What an incredible home! Would love to visit here, you have got some great pics from your trip! Looks very royal too!

  • Always love your photos! I love the way you captured them :)! You look beautiful in the pics as well.

  • Arzo Travels

    That house is so impressive. How can a private house have so many rooms? That is a place for a whole village. I will definitely put it on my list when in Baltimore.

  • Reshma

    Wow! The place is so artistic exuding the rustic charm. 6 years is a long time indeed, but that resulted in this perfect piece!

  • Diana C

    Wow I had no idea this existed and I’ve been to Baltimore many times! I love your photos. The ones of the colorful flowers are especially beautiful. Will have to check out Biltmore next time I’m in Baltimore!