120 In Travel

The Biltmore House

In case you haven’t noticed, everything Biltmore is crazy beautiful. For those of you that aren’t familiar, let me give ya a little history lesson. The Biltmore was built in 1895 and is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It was the home of George Vanderbilt and his family. It’s currently still owned privately by the family and is run by the fourth and fifth generation.

The Biltmore has 34 bedrooms and over 100 rooms in total. As you may be shocked to know (hopefully not…) there is no ac. Keep that in mind when picking the time of year you choose to visit. They had fans set up when we were there and it was in the low 70’s so it felt really nice indoors but I’ve been told it can be quite uncomfortable if you tour it in the summer.

To call it grand would be an understatement.

As soon as you walk through the front doors you’ll be in a large entrance hall, but just to the right of that is the stunning, Winter Garden. This was the first room I saw and one of my favorites. All of the plants were real and are maintained (along with the rest of the plants in the building) by a staff of florists.

There were paper lanterns, a statue, and little areas to sit. It was the definition of whimsical.

The next room we walked into was the Banquet Hall which would host an array of dining events. This is where the Vanderbilt’s would have holiday parties such as 7-10 course meals, with each guest getting five crystal wine glasses each. I’m sending in my RSVP just in case they ever choose to reenact such an affair.

In the same room you’ll find the Organ Loft which you can see above. It’s a 1916 Skinner Organ and that’s about all I have to say about that! Just look at that thing!

Mr. Vanderbilt was a huge fan of classic literature, and his library houses over 22,000 books, many of which are first editions! It was quite dark in the library so I don’t have many photos, but they also had huge wooden ladders to get to the second floor books, which is the level you can see behind the railing above.

Next came the music room. I would like to rename it to “room with the coolest ceilings ever.” It has a ring of sophistication to it, don’t you think?…

There were also multiple living areas which had displays of some of the outfits of the characters in Mr. Vanderbilt’s favorite books turned into films. I can’t recall what book/movie this was from but it was too stunning not to photographic. I’ve got my halloween costume inspo for next year!

This is one of the many staircases in the home. All I can think of is what a pain it must be to be the person in charge of stringing that with lights during Christmas. I feel dizzy thinking about it.

Because there was no air conditioning, you could find many tiny windows around every turn. This helped the air circulate through the house, and not too mention, let some light in. Some rooms were so dark.

The one and only, Mr. Vanderbilt’s bedroom! Can we take a moment to appreciate how tiny that bed is? It was pretty much a full size, which for that time period I’d imagine was quite big. It was certainly the largest bed we saw on the tour.

Most of the rooms had fireplaces and each one was more beautiful than the next. I loved the contrast of the green and white flowers against the ivory and wood.

Again with the ceilings. Why have we stopped giving them any details??

Next comes the recreational areas. This was an indoor pool, which I found hard to imagine. There were no windows in this room so it felt a little spooky-but it was neat to see none the less!

This is the bowling alley and it was one of the first to ever be installed in a private home. There were no mechanical components involved so someone had to manually line the pins back up and bring the ball back. Not it!

This was one corner of their gym. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how tiny/light those wooden weights are. I would love to see a side-by-side comparison of what a man viewed as “strong” looked like in the early 1900’s versus today.

Next up was the kitchen. This had to be my second favorite room. It had so much natural light and so much counter space! I get that the staff was often cooking for dozens and needed the space, but I’m still envious. Also, note the copper pots hanging up-those were the originals!

This was their Pinterest supply room where they’d make their mason jar salads. GOTCHA! This was their canning room as well as where they stored their lamps. The organizing obsessed part of me loved this room.

I believe this was in the billiards room but I just took it because I loved the contrast. The detailed cream ceiling looked so nice against the classic wooden walls (insert heart-eyed emoji here).

I’m not sure if this room was always the home to their pottery collection or if it belongs to the present day florists, but I loved it none-the-less. I’m a sucker for some blue pottery!

All in all, the entire day touring the Biltmore and it’s grounds couldn’t have been any better. Aside from the house and the gardens, they also offer a complimentary wine tasting, have many cafe’s and restaurants, along with some of the best ice cream you’ve ever had. The ice cream is made from the cows they have on sight and it is so fresh. I recommend the moose tracks flavor if anyone’s asking!

They also have a petting zoo with chickens and goats and they actually had two, two day old goats when we were there. They were sooo cute! They looked like small, weird puppies and I wanted one so badly!

If you have an questions I’d be happy to provide the details. If you have the chance to visit the Biltmore-go!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

-V

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