WINTER AT BILTMORE

Now that we’ve got a little more free time, we’re starting to get a chance to enjoy the area ourselves a little more. After all, our idea to move here was as much for a lifestyle change as a business venture. We think Biltmore Estate (where we were married!) is a pretty wonderful place, fortunately to be enjoyed any time of the year. (Check our packages page for information on our winter ticket prices, which are pretty amazing right now.)

Think there’s not a lot to do at Biltmore in the wintertime? Think again:

Enjoy a quieter house. Take advantage of the fact that the crowds are much smaller in the winter and walk through the House at your own pace.

Sample a delicious menu. Deerpark Restaurant, located three miles from the Biltmore House, has a great prime rib and seafood buffet on Friday evenings from 5pm to 8pm. This is not your typical buffet. The generous array of southern-style and Appalachian dishes are served fresh and all food comes from the Estate, keeping with George Vanderbilt’s legacy of a self-sustaining estate. Guests tell us the presentation is excellent and the atmosphere is quite nice.

Wine, wine, wine. Biltmore Winery offers several daily activities, including Behind-the-Scenes Tour at 2pm, Cooking Demonstrations at 3pm, Red Wine and Chocolate Seminar at 5pm, plus live music at the Wine Bar (Friday-Sunday, 1:30pm-5pm).

Make Valentine’s Day sparkle at the Winery. Attend the sparkling wine seminar on February 14, at 3:00pm (sign up at the Winery Welcome Center). Ease some of that gardening withdrawal brought on by winter. Free daily gardening seminars at the Gardener’s Place start March 1 (and continuing into Spring): Creating an Indoor Garden at 1pm and Identifying Wildflowers at 2pm. The Gardener’s Place is on the Conservatory’s lower level. By the way, walking the gardens isn’t a bad option on a sunny winter day, even if it’s just making your way from the House to the Conservatory through the Walled Garden. The landscaping is really four-season-friendly. We took this photo of the striking red twig dogwoods just past the house gate:

The Conservatory is packed with gorgeous plants, many of them huge to say the least.

More to do:

Take the Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the House. Check out rooms that aren’t open to the general public. While the tour guides take you beyond the roped-off stairs and through such areas as Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bath and Dressing Area, they talk about the preservation and restoration process of the 175,000-square-foot (yes, you read that correctly) house.

Embark on a motorcoach tour of the Estate. Learn about the history of the land, structures, and former residents. Plus, you’ll get to visit areas not usually open to guests.

For a wealth of information about Biltmore (where Brigette plans to be working as a tour guide in 2040), visit their website at www.biltmore.com.

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