Biltmore Estate

The largest privately owned house in the United States

The Biltmore House is the largest privately owned house in the United States with four acres of floor space and 252 rooms. Wander the 2.5 acres of manicured gardens. Or hike the nearly 22 miles of well-maintained trails on the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate Grounds.

Visit the Biltmore House. Take as much time as you would like exploring three floors of vintage clothing, accessories, art and furniture on a self-paced, self-guided tour. See original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent the way it was lived with by George and Edith Vanderbilt. The basement includes an exhibit on the history and innovative construction methods of the Biltmore House.

The Biltmore House

Biltmore House

Explore this beautiful home. The tour is self-guided, so you can wander at your own pace and imagine yourself living amidst the luxury of the Gilded Age. This is the largest privately owned house in the United States and all three floors and the basement are open and furnished as if the occupants have just walked out of the room.

You will marvel at the sumptuous Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling with 16th century tapestries and original art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent. George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original art is throughout the house. The Library has 10,000 volumes.

Biltmore has four acres of floor space with 252 rooms. Thirty three are bedrooms, forty three bathrooms, sixty five fireplaces and three kitchens, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley.

Construction began in 1889. It was completed in 1895, three years before our Inn. Your admission includes a self-guided visit to Biltmore House on a marked route, assisted by knowledgeable guides along the way. Touring the home takes 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace.

Biltmore Gardens & Grounds

Frederick Law OlmstedGeorge Vanderbilt hired Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds for his home. He is best known for his design of Central Park, Prospect Park and other public parks. Look for his portrait by John Singer as you tour the estate. Olmsted recommended planting much of the grounds in timber.

Vanderbilt hired Gifford Pinchot to manage the forests. When he was named Chief of the United States Forest Service, Carl A. Schenck was engaged. Schenck establishing the first forestry education program in the U.S., the Biltmore Forest School, now called the Cradle of Forestry in America, on the estate grounds in 1898.

More about Cradle of Forestry in America

Take a look at the Lodge Gate as you enter the Estate grounds. It is brick quoined with pebbledash stucco. The bricks and roof tiles were made on the Estate. Then drive up the rustic three-mile Approach Road through deep natural forest with pools, springs and streams. It still reflects Olmstead’s design, natural and uncultivated looking.

Olmstead designed 75 acres of formal gardens surrounding the house, with an Italian formal garden, walled garden, shrub and rose garden, fountains and a conservatory with rooms for palms and orchids.

The yard also has a bowling green, outdoor tea room, pools and a tree-lined esplanade with European statuary. Look for the marble statue of Diana inside a small temple at the top of the hill. Behind it is a brick-lined reservoir to help provide water for the estate.

Olmstead incorporated two water features in his landscaping, look for the Bass Pond and the Lagoon.

Horticultural experts continue to preserve Olmstead’s vision for the formal and informal gardens and the estate grounds. Look for the Italian Garden and the Rose Garden that features more than 250 varieties. The managed forests are just beautiful, with trails to hike ranging from very easy walks to more strenuous hikes. Your admission allows you to spend the day exploring. Wander the 2.5 miles of paths in the manicured gardens.

Tours

Your admission includes a self-guided visit to Biltmore House and the Antler Hill Village and Winery, with free Winery tour and tasting. Other tours are at an additional charge.

Audio Guide to Biltmore House This 90-minute audio tour gives information about the architecture, design, and artwork as you are guided through the house. Learn more about Vanderbilts, their guests, and their staff as you are conducted through Biltmore’s grand rooms by our curators and hosts. Neckloop telecoil couplers are available for those hearing impaired.

Kids’ Audio Guide to Biltmore House This 90-minute audio tour is fun and entertaining for kids. It is narrated by Cedric, the Vanderbilts’ Saint Bernard. Cedric guides young guests through amazing rooms in Biltmore House, sharing stories about the Vanderbilts and living in America’s largest home.

Guided Biltmore House Tour A 90-minute personal tour of the Biltmore House. The guide will tell you interesting stories about parties in the house, information on artifacts, personalities of friends who visited, and ways the family spent time on the estate. 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily with exceptions. Advance reservations are required. Rooftop Tour A 60-minute personal tour of areas not on the regular house visit. Enjoy amazing views from rooftops and balconies and get a closer look at the design and construction of Biltmore House. 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. daily Advance reservations are required.

Behind-the-Scenes Guided Upstairs Downstairs Tour A 60-minute guided tour that focuses on servant life at Biltmore. Visit the domains of the butler, head housekeeper, and lady’s maid. Visit a suite of guestrooms and learn about grand house parties hosted by the Vanderbilts. Learn more about the cutting-edge technology that kept America’s largest home humming. 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. daily

Premium Biltmore House Tour A two-hour guided tour with your own personal guide. This exclusive tour includes areas seen in the Upstairs - Downstairs Tour, Rooftop Tour, and House Tours. 10:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. daily Two-day advance reservations are required. Legacy of the Land Tour of Estate Grounds A motor coach tour of the estate - learn about the history of the land, structures, and former residents. You’ll visit areas not usually open to guests. 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. daily Advance reservations are recommended.

Vine to Wine Winery Tour A tour of areas on the estate not normally seen by guests, including a trip to the vineyards and a walking production tour for guests over 21 years. See how Biltmore grapes become award-winning wines. Sample wine tastings throughout the tour and conclude with a grand tasting. Tickets must be purchased by 11:00 a.m. on the day of the tour. Saturdays and Sundays at 1:45 p.m.

Winery Production Tour Go behind the scenes at the Winery to learn about how Biltmore wines are made. From the fermentation and barrel rooms to the bottling line, you’ll get a view into the art and science of winemaking. Guests must be 21 and older to be served alcohol. 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. daily Reservation required.

Red Wine & Chocolate Seminar For guests over 21 years. Register at the Winery entrance in Antler Hill Village.2:00 p.m. and 4:00 daily

Biltmore Bubbles Tour A 45-minute program focusing on Biltmore sparkling wines. Guests tour the champagne bottling room, learn Biltmore’s sparkling wine making process, and taste all six of Biltmore’s sparkling wines. Guests must be 21 years of age to attend. 5:45 p.m. daily.

What else is there to do on the Biltmore Estate?

Included with estate admission

Hiking There are nearly 22 miles of well-maintained hiking trails. Or wander the 2.5 acres of manicured gardens. Stop by the Antler Hill Bike Barn or Outdoor Adventure Center for a detailed trail map and orientation.

Bicycling Bring your bike to explore miles of paved and wooded bike trails. Stop by the Antler Hill Bike Barn or Outdoor Adventure Center for a detailed trail map and orientation. Or rent a bike on the estate. The have a variety of bikes and options to choose from.

Antler Hill Village & Winery Access A casual and relaxing way to extend the Biltmore experience, Antler Hill Village & Winery connects the estate’s past and present with dining, shopping, exhibits, world-class food and wine, and more.

Winery Tour Your hosts will walk you through Biltmore’s winemaking process in the historic Winery building, originally the Biltmore Dairy Barn. No reservation required. Sign up at the Winery. *Guests must be 21 and older to be served alcohol.

Live Piano Music in the Library Lounge Enjoy classical and contemporary favorites on the grand piano in the Library Lounge.

Live Jazz in the Library Lounge Enjoy live jazz from some of the area's finest musicians with your favorite cocktail in the Library Lounge.

The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad Exhibition An intimate look at the family that created Biltmore. This exhibition sheds light on the time the Vanderbilts spent as a family at Biltmore and beyond. Located in Antler Hill Village.

Pisgah Playground Antler Hill Village has a playground featuring activities that connect the estate’s past.

At an additional charge

Private Guided Horseback Trail Ride Western-style guided ride on beautiful trails through the woodlands and meadows of the Biltmore Estate. Private Lunch Trail Ride is also available, including a picnic lunch. Suitable for beginner to intermediate-level riders. Minimum age is 8 years. Two-day advance reservations are required.

Segway Tours A variety of Segway Tours are available. The guided tour begins with thorough training conducted by expert guides. The basic tour begins down a paved path to the Lagoon and cover 3.5 miles on a paved trail. The Off-Road Segway Tour consists of paved and off-road surfaces. After very thorough instruction and training exercises, your expert guide will lead you on 5.5 miles of trails. Or take a more challenging ride on the Deerpark Trail, all the way to the South Terrace of Biltmore House. The West Side Segway Tour crosses the French Broad River to the west side of the estate along 7 miles on gravel roads. Enjoy beautiful views and learn about the agricultural facilities. April-December. Advance reservations recommended.

Carriage Ride A relaxing journey with breathtaking views of Biltmore’s scenery on a 12-passenger wagonette drawn by Belgian draft horses. One child 5 years and younger free per paying adult.

Private Carriage Ride A Private Carriage Ride for up to 4 guests is available. Three-to-four-day advance reservations are required. Also available for weddings.

Self-Guided Kayak Trip Float down the gentle French Broad River as it winds through the estate. Single or tandem kayaks are available. April-October, dependent upon weather and river conditions.

Guided Raft Trip Float down the gentle French Broad River as it winds through the estate. Sit back and relax as a knowledgeable guide paddles your raft. April-October, dependent upon weather and river conditions.

Fly-Fishing Lessons & Fishing Activities A variety of fishing lessons and activities are available. Learn the essentials of casting taught by world-class Biltmore instructors. Available lessons include casting, presentation, landing the fish, water safety, and knots. All Orvis equipment provided. Minimum age is 12 years. Other fishing activities are available.

Guided Fly Fishing Adventures A guided river float trip or an exciting wade trip on a private trout stream (intermediate to advanced skill only). Includes lunch. Minimum age is 12 years. Two-day advance reservations are required. NC fishing license required.

Two-Hour Kids’ Fishing Kids can fish in the Lagoon with a fishing instructor using conventional spinning or baitcasting rods and tackle. All fishing equipment is provided. Minimum age is 7 years.

Land Rover Lessons The basics of expedition-style driving customized to your skill and comfort level. Obstacles such as steep ascents, descents, and more offer an exciting adventure. Up to three participants in each vehicle.

Land Rover Trail Increase your skill level and introduce more advanced driving techniques. Courses can be customized to cover specific techniques like winching, expedition planning, and navigation. Up to three participants in each vehicle.

Full Day Land Rover Experience A truly customizable experience. Whether it’s your first time out or you’re looking to hone your off-road skills, the Full-Day Experience provides the most flexible and individualized adventure. Up to three participants in each vehicle.

Land Rover Ride-Along Expedition Not ready to drive, but want to see what it’s like? Let an expert driver take you over broken bridges, climb large boulders and rocks, and go on a sideways adventure tackling hills at new angles. Book on the day of your visit.

Land Rover Kids Adventure Children can climb behind the wheel of an electric mini Land Rover. All vehicles have limited speeds, are accompanied by a qualified instructor, and include instant remote cutoff switches. Advance reservations are recommended.

Clay Shooting In the Sporting Clays Lesson you learn the techniques of shooting clay targets with a high-quality Beretta shotgun from an expert instructor on our estate. The Advanced Sporting Clays Lesson allows experienced clay shooters to take their skills to the next level with an advanced sporting clays lesson. Learn skills and techniques that will increase your scores and consistency. A high-quality Beretta shotgun will be provided. Ready to test your skills? The Clay Shooting (Trapper Program) 5-Stand or Sporting Clays course is for experienced shooters. Test your skills on targets thrown from traps in various combinations. Includes 50 shells, a high-quality Beretta shotgun, and more. Instruction not included.

Full-Day Shotgun Sports Clinic Spend the day with an expert shotgun instructors honing your skills. Students will receive Basic-Advanced instruction in techniques of shotgun shooting. Includes lunch, 100 shells, a high-quality Beretta shotgun, and more.

Directions from 1898 Waverly Inn

1898 Waverly Inn is a little more than 30 minutes from the Biltmore House.

Turn left from the Inn, toward Asheville. Stay on US-25 for about half an hour. You will see the Biltmore Estate Entrance on your left.