Amazing, just as expected. Biltmore Estate has been on my bucket list for the longest time. My boys and I recently spent a day there, and let me tell you, it was a wonderful experience. We arrived in the morning and toured the house. The tour through America’s largest home was very educational. You could do the self-guided tour that’s part of the admission or get the very much recommended audio tour to learn more about the Vanderbilts, their guests, their servants, and the exquisite architecture, design, and artwork. After touring the 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplace home, we decided to explore the gardens.
Although the house itself was impressive, I found the gardens and grounds even more so. There are six gardens and a conservatory. My two favorites were the Italian Garden and the Rose Garden. The Italian Garden features three water gardens with giant water lilies, lotus, and papyru. Koi and goldfish swim in the pools among the water flowers. The Rose Garden features up to 40 varieties of roses; simply breathtaking, if you ask me.
After taking in so much beauty, we were starving and it was time for our lunch reservation at Deerpark Restaurant. A tour bus took us from the house to the restaurant and, on our way, we saw beautiful vegetation, Biltmore’s Waterfall, Bass Pond, and bridges, including the Bass Pond Bridge made out of beautiful red bricks and featured in the film Last of the Mohicans, one of so many films shot at Biltmore.
The food at Deerpark Restaurant was a buffet of southern style dishes, very kid-friendly (oh, did I mention that kids enter free and dine free during summertime at Biltmore?). The restaurant had a rustic charm with a wall of windows overlooking an interior courtyard. We all fell in love with the coconut pecan pie. Who knew that pecan pie could get any better? Adding coconut was surely a brilliant idea.
To our deepest regret, we ran out of time and had to leave beautiful Biltmore without stopping by the nation’s most visited winery for our complimentary wine tastings (part of the one day admission), but that’s OK because now I have one more excuse to go back…they have quite a reputation for their Candlelight Christmas Evenings.