Visiting Biltmore

 

Biltmore Estate main entrance: 1 Lodge St., Asheville, 800-411-3812 or 828-225-1333, www.biltmore.com

 

Biltmore House and the Biltmore Estate, to coin a phrase, will blow your mind. Asheville would still be Asheville without Biltmore, and the mountains certainly would be just as beautiful and appealing without Biltmore, but Biltmore adds another layer of “amazingness” that is difficult to overestimate.

 

Yes, admission to Biltmore is expensive, and while there are many opportunities at the estate to spend extra money, the basic admission ticket allows you to see the house, gardens, winery, Antler Hill village and much of the 8,000-acre estate grounds. You can also enjoy an included wine tasting.

 

The admission price structure is a little complicated, with prices varying depending on the time of year, day of the week and whether or not you buy your ticket in advance. When buying tickets, you now need to request a specific time of day for your self-guided tour of Biltmore House. Currently, prices for adults for daytime visits range from around $60 to $99. Lowest rates are advance purchase for visits in January, February and March. Admission rates during the Christmas season, with an extra fee for candlelight Christmas tours, are the highest of the year, and this is the most crowded time of the year. A recorded audio tour is an extra $12 to $15 (usually free January-February). Group tours of the house led by a guide is an extra $25, as are several behind-the-scenes tours. A premium tour with a personal guide is $175 per adult, plus admission. Parking on the estate is free. Free shuttles are available from the parking lots to the main house.

 

How much time should you plan for seeing the estate? Of course it varies depending on your interests and ability to get around (there’s a good deal of walking required), but figure on these times:

 

Self-guided tour of the house: 2 hours

Self-guided tour of formal gardens and conservatory:  1 to 2 hours

Winery tour and wine tasting: 1½ hours to 2 hours

Antler Village:  1 hour+

Driving and sightseeing on estate grounds:  1-2 hours +

 

These times are minimums and will be increased significantly if you spend time shopping, dining, exploring the grounds or taking part in extra-cost activities and tours.

 

Tips on Seeing Biltmore

• Buy your tickets online at www.biltmore.com or by phone at 800-411-3812 in advance and you’ll usually save $10 on ticket costs.

 

• Print your ticket at home in advance, which will save you time on getting the ticket at day of arrival.

 

• Active-duty military and seniors 65 and over get a $10 discount.

 

• Kids 16 and under get free admission late May to early September.

 

• To avoid big crowds, skip visits on summer and fall weekends, the Christmas period and Easter weekend. Christmas weekends are especially busy.  Consider attending on a weekday, especially Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

• Consider attending from January to mid-March, when crowds are smallest and admission prices are cheapest, plus for most of the period you get a free recorded audio guide.

 

• On most weekends and other busy days, you will need to make a reservation in advance for a specific time for the self-guided house tour – at Christmas the wait to get into the house may be several hours, although you can use the time to tour other parts of the estate.

 

• Plan on a minimum of a full day on the estate to see the highlights and two days to see everything in more depth (you can purchase admission for the second day for $25, as long as you do so before leaving the grounds).

 

Bargain alert! If you plan to visit on several occasions during the year, or if you live in the area and would like to visit the grounds frequently, get the Twelve-Month Pass, which allows unlimited daytime admissions to the estate (doesn’t include nighttime visits during the Christmas season), plus discounts on restaurants, shopping, hotel stays and tickets for guests. Regular price for the pass is $219, but discounts are available at times. You can usually upgrade your regular admission to a Twelve-Month Pass for an extra fee.

 

• Due to the historic architecture of the house, only the first and second floors are accessible by wheelchair. All shops and restaurants on the estate are handicap-accessible. Parking assistance is available for guests with state-issued handicap parking permits. Guests with hearing difficulties can visit the front desk of Biltmore House (near the main house entrance) to request a neckloop telecoil coupler or a printed transcript of the audio guide. Guests with vision difficulties can receive the use of a free audio guide at the front desk.

 

• Free shuttles are available from parking lots to Biltmore House. However, a car is needed to get around on most of the estate.

 

• Wear comfortable shoes, as the tours involve a good deal of walking and standing.

 

• If you decide a one-day visit isn’t enough, you can come back the next day for only $25 (you must pay in advance at one of the guest services loca-tion before leaving the grounds).

 

Biltmore by the Numbers

$1 billion+      Estimated cost to duplicate Biltmore today

$145 million   Estimated annual revenues of The Biltmore     Company

11 million       Bricks used in building Biltmore House

1.8 million      Bottles of wine produced annually by Biltmore

1.4 million      Visitors to Biltmore in 2018

125,000          Acres of land of original Biltmore Estate

8,000              Acres of land of Biltmore Estate today

2,000+            Employees of The Biltmore Company

1,000             Jersey milk cows on Biltmore Farms in 1950s

500                 Number of Angus cattle on estate today; also,     number of sheep on estate

419                 Rooms and suites at the Inn on Biltmore Estate and Village Hotel

252                 Rooms in Biltmore House

94                   Acres of vineyards at Biltmore

68                   Number of Christmas trees in Biltmore House     during the holidays

65                   Fireplaces in Biltmore House

43                   Bathrooms in Biltmore House

34                   Bedrooms in Biltmore House

15                   Restaurants, snack shops, wine bars and eating/    drinking spots on the grounds

6                     Years required to build Biltmore House

3                     Length in miles of main Biltmore House driveway

0                     Number of family members who currently live in Biltmore House

 

Movies Filmed on Location at Biltmore

Here are some of the movies filmed at least in part at Biltmore House and/or Biltmore Estate:

 

The Swan (1956) starring Grace Kelly

Being There (1979) starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine

The Private Eyes (1980) starring Don Knots and Tim Conway

Mr. Destiny (1990) starring James Belushi

The Last of the Mohicans (1992) starring Daniel Day-Lewis

Forrest Gump (1994) starring Tom Hanks

Richie Rich (1994) starring Macaulay Culkin

My Fellow Americans (1996) starring James Garner and Jack Lemmon

Patch Adams (1998) starring Robin Williams

Hannibal (2001) starring Anthony Hopkins

The Clearing (2004) starring Robert Redford and Helen Mirren

 

All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.

We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.