ASHEVILLE NC – Fall road trips through the western North Carolina mountains offer what very few areas in the country can: a chance to drive on roads canopied in golden autumn leaf colors. Stopping at Biltmore along the way is a great fall travel idea since the estate’s 8,000 acres give the chance to stretch the legs and explore that color close up.
Park the car and wander through Biltmore’s formal gardens, filled with colorful mums and other seasonal blooms; hike through forests; or even climb to the rooftop of America’s Largest Home, the 250-room Biltmore House. Whatever you choose, Biltmore’s sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes the estate a sweet spot for taking in vivid fall color.
Fun for families
Families will enjoy Antler Hill Village where children can run off energy in the Village Green, or play in Pisgah Playground. The playground is a new addition this year and features a ferry that children can navigate across a small lagoon. A Children’s Maze offers a pathway through a forest of 500 trees. The Village also features a kid-sized Land Rover Course complete with small Land Rover carts and a track populated with small hills and other obstacles to drive over. The course is part of the estate’s Land Rover Driving School.
NEW inside Biltmore House
Two rooms inside Biltmore House – the Second Floor Living Hall and the Salon – will re-open this fall after the estate’s Museum Services team restores them to their appearances as they were when George Vanderbilt opened the home in 1895. To bring the rooms back to their original states, the team has spent the summer conserving all the furnishings, recreating elaborate window treatments and making structural changes.
As appropriate for such a grand space, several notable paintings are being returned to their original locations in the Hall. John Singer Sargent’s portraits of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted and Anders Zorn’s painting “The Waltz,” which have been hanging temporarily in the Salon, will once again hang where George Vanderbilt intended. The restored room will re-open Sept. 1.
Relocating the paintings from the Salon has led to its reinterpretation. Curators decided to tell the story of how the room has changed through the years. Removal of a wall revealed an original firebox and brick walls. A section of the fabric ceiling treatment is being removed to show the terra cotta tiled ceiling above. Information panels will explain the new interpretation of the room when it re-opens Oct. 1.
Extend your stay – experience more of the estate
You may linger on the estate by staying a night or more at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate. Several specials are available through the season, including a Labor Day Celebration Package which includes two nights, access to Biltmore House and estate, a Celebration Dinner with Fireworks and more.
Guided outdoor experiences include horseback riding, Segway tours, sporting clays, fly fishing, archery, river float trips and bike riding. Guided indoor activities take you behind the scenes of Biltmore House to explore more about how the home operated when the Vanderbilt family lived in it more than a century ago. A special exhibition, “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” provides an intimate look at the time the Vanderbilts spent as a family and features objects they collected during their world travels. Many of these items have never been displayed until this exhibition.
Biltmore’s Winery feature self-guided tours and a tasting room offering free samples of the estate’s many award-winning varieties. Special guided tours and seminars include the new weekend Vine to Wine Tour; Red Wine & Chocolate seminar; and Biltmore Bubbles, a look at how Biltmore produces its sparkling wines.
Biltmore’s Field to Table Program focuses on growing – and finding – the best, freshest foods in season for the estate’s restaurants, which range from barbecue to fine dining. Fresh produce is supplied to the restaurants by the estate’s agricultural services, and the award-winning culinary teams incorporate this bounty into recipes featuring estate-raised products and locally-sourced foods.
Fall travel deals at Biltmore
Save $15 on daytime admission if you purchase tickets seven days or more prior to your visit on www.biltmore.com. Booking within six days of your visit, save $10. Youth ages 10-16 are half off the adult admission price.
More information about Fall Color at Biltmore is available at www.biltmore.com.