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A Road Trip to the Biltmore House with Kate and Bob Coleman

Shelly and I, along with great friends Kate and Bob Coleman, visited Asheville, NC in late May, 2019 to see the grand Biltmore House.  We talked about doing a road trip to Asheville for a couple years, and finally pulled the trigger.  We loaded up Kate and Bob's SUV with snacks and drinks, and drove the 8 hours through western Virginia and North Carolina.  We arrived safely at our Airbnb in Black Mountain, NC, about 15 minutes from the estate and downtown Asheville.  We unpacked and jumped back in the car to explore Black Mountain.  

Black Mountain is a small but quaint town with shops, bars, restaurants, and a cool general store that had lots of novelty products, toys from yesteryear, and just things that you might need.  We then had a couple drinks at the Town Pump Tavern, a members-only tavern (it costs $2 to join for a year). Very inexpensive; 3 beers and a coke cost only $8. We then had dinner at the Foothills Local Meats, a butcher shop and restaurant.  We retired to our Airbnb for an early nights sleep.  

We woke up early and prepared for our visit to Biltmore.  We drove the 15 minutes to the estate, parked, and took a shuttle bus to the house.  Rounding the last corner of the road, we caught our first glimpse of the house.  It is certainly big, and is in the style of a French Renaissance chateau.  Below is a picture courtesy of Bob Coleman (see more of Bob's fine art photography at Bob Coleman Fine Art Photography).


Biltmore is an enormous house with over 178,000 sq ft. of space, 250 rooms, and located on 8,000 acres of land located in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains.  Construction began on Biltmore in 1889 and it opened in 1895.  It was built as a retreat from New York City by George Vanderbilt, the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the wealthy industrialist and philanthropist.  

We toured 4 floors of the house.  The Winter Garden, Loggia, Music Room, and Library were my favorites.  While the house was huge, it had a comfortable feel to it.  I did not find it ostentatious at all.  

We then toured the beautiful estate gardens and conservatory.  

There's an village on the estate called Antler Hill which has a restaurant, winery, creamery, and hotels.  We had lunch at a tavern named Cedric's, which is named after the Vanderbilt's St. Bernard.  We then toured the Biltmore Winery and partook in wine and grape juice tasting.  We finished off our visit with some ice cream from the creamery.  

We left the estate and headed to the New Belgian Brewery for a tour.  It was a very good 90-minute tour of the research lab and brewery and told the story of how their beer is made.  After the tour, we made our way to downtown Asheville and had a light dinner.  We headed home the next morning.  So we all had a wonderful time and highly recommend a trip to Asheville and Biltmore.  

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