An amazingly Bilt house.

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Residence Inn Spartanburg
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today's itinerary is reviewed and it is agreed that we shall not continue to the end of the Parkway (90 more miles or so) and we will take an alternate route to our planned night's accommodation.
After checking out of our Asheville hotel we head to a district of Asheville known as Biltmore Village. Built in the late 1890's as a classic planned community at the entrance to George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, it is basically the entrance to the Biltmore Estate that brings most visitors to this part of Asheville.

We enter the gates to the estate and drive the mile or so to the ticket office where you need to pay the $59 per person (minimum) to enter further onto the estate. We enquire as to what this seemingly large sum (for an attraction) buys and it is explained that it gives full access to the property, including house, garden, farm, winery, etc. etc. It was also explained to us that it is usually an all-day affair, however the house could be done in 3 - 4 hours if we did not linger. The decision is made that that is too long to spend in one location and that many more attractions are ahead on the new itinerary. We start back along the approach driveway rationalising to ourselves that the right decision has been made. The approaching traffic on this narrow, winding driveway has remarkably increased since we came in and in a moment of clarity, the realisation that so many people wanting to part with an inordinate amount of money just to see a house and garden must mean this attraction is a "must see". A quick U-turn and another re-organisation of our day's activities has us enjoying a most pleasant 1/2 day in what could be described as "the most amazing home of it's time". The detail and foresight by it's planners & builders are to be marvelled at. One essential extra when seeing the home is to hire the audio headphones ($10 pp.)
A few facts of interest are:
  • The house has an internal area of 4 acres
  • This country home of George Washington Vanderbilt is the largest private home in America with 255 rooms and 2.4 million cubic feet of space
  • The property is around 8,000 acres and is equivalent to 140 Central Parks (NYC)
  • The indoor swimming pool holds 70,000 gallons of water (265,000 litres) and had underwater lights installed when it was built (1895) and when most people had no electric lights
The rest of our day was devoted to driving to our altered accommodation before nightfall.

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Liz C on

What a magnificent place! Also enhanced by what looked like perfect weather conditions to showcase the gardens - glad you didn't miss out on that visit after all! .... a bit like perfect Melbourne weather we are experiencing at this time - no wind and magnificent sunshine!! Continue to enjoy your trip. Thanks for the updates.

Michele on

Gorgeous! Cant wait for us to visit there it looks amazing!

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