Your goosebumps may begin the minute you drive through the historic entry gate and continue on the drive up the winding, wooded driveway to the magnificent Biltmore House. Every year, teams of local elves spread their holiday magic across the 8,000 acres of the sweeping Biltmore Estate grounds. Visitors come from far and wide to see America’s largest private home transformed with miles of glittering grandeur.
Christmas at Biltmore — surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina — is their most popular time of year. Timed-entry tickets sell out quickly. Your team at Inspired Getaway ensures you get tickets and an entry time for this event when you stay at a participating vacation property. Christmas at Biltmore runs from early through the first week in January.
What Is Christmas at the Biltmore Estate All About?
The landmark Biltmore House is the centerpiece of any visit. Built for famed magnate George Vanderbilt and his family, the estate comes alive at Christmastime. During your visit, you’ll experience:
- 250 rooms that offer a step back in time
- Dozens of hand-decorated trees
- A hundred kissing balls
- Thousands of poinsettias
- Strolling musicians
- Choirs and Christmas concerts
The Vanderbilt family Christmas, a tradition that began in 1895, lives on today. You may amble at your own pace through the expansive house, with a complementary audio guide explaining the history of each room. Decorating at Biltmore is different every year. It takes an entire year to plan and execute.
What Can I Expect When I Visit Americas Largest Private Home?
A hallmark of any holiday visit is the immense Christmas tree installed in the grand Banquet Hall. The raising of the tree is the most anticipated event of the season — in 2022, the team purchased a 35-foot Fraser fir, brought from a mountaintop in nearby Avery County.
Dedicated crews pull out all the stops to give you an unforgettable experience. Biltmore House offers two different experiences:
- The Daytime Tour provides stunning mountain views from every window in the house and an optional stroll through the nearby Conservatory and gardens.
- The Candlelight Tour boasts glowing fireplaces and live music.
What Else Can I Do at the Biltmore Estate?
In addition to the grand Biltmore House, your entry ticket to the grounds entitles you to participate in other activities around the Estate, such as:
- Antler Hill Village, to explore the shops and eateries
- Cedric’s Tavern, named after the beloved family St. Bernard
- The award-winning winery culminates in complimentary wine tasting
- A scenic drive through the expansive grounds, which treats you to views of a bass pond, a turtle-filled lagoon, and charming stone bridges
If you’re looking for more to do at Biltmore, packages include lodging, specialty tours, events and spa services. Traveling exhibits occasionally come to the Biltmore House too, such as the Downton Abbey collection in 2020 and the Leonardo da Vinci immersive, multi-sensory exhibit in 2022.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Biltmore at Christmas?
All tickets to Christmas at Biltmore include complimentary parking, the audio guide, access to the grounds and wine tasting. The prices vary, depending on the date you book and what’s included in the package. Ticket prices begin at $99.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, consider a day or a weekend that includes Christmas at Biltmore. Contact Inspired Getaway to recommend the best times to visit and secure tickets to one of America’s time-honored traditions.
The Blue Ridge Mountains draw tourists every year because they’re glorious all year round. Asheville, the population hub of Western North Carolina (WNC), is nestled in the heart of these mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway rolls through blue-grey peaks and green valleys. Wondrous views greet you around each bend in the road. But the region also offers an opportunity to explore local vineyards and delve into your favorite finds.
The mountains of WNC provide an idyllic climate for growing grapes. The rich, cool night air, coupled with the humidity needed for a vineyard to thrive, provides the perfect storm for great wine. While the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the most toured winery in North and South America, you can discover other local vineyards throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are 60 wineries within a short driving distance of Asheville, so you’re sure to find one — or more — to make your personal favorites. Whether you live in one of the glorious mountain homes around Asheville or just like to visit the area wine country, you can end almost every day sipping wine at a different vineyard.
What Are the Exceptional Vineyards and Wineries Near Asheville?
You can find many vineyards in and near Asheville that produce excellent vintages, as Western North Carolina produces many award-winning wines. A few of the vineyards and wineries worth mentioning include:
Burntshirt Vineyards. Their Tasting Room and Bistro near Chimney Rock Village boasts magnificent views of Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls. The actual vineyards and winery are in Hendersonville, where they have another tasting room. Burntshirt offers tours and tastings within an hour’s drive from Asheville.
Marked Tree Vineyard. This vineyard is in Flat Rock, which is also less than an hour’s drive from Asheville. They have a satellite sipping space in Asheville called The Grape.
St. Paul Mountain Vineyards. Located in Hendersonville, this farm is a working vineyard and orchard. They offer award-winning wines and hard cider for your pleasure.
Grandfather Vineyard & Winery. A family-operated winery near Boone, it sits at the base of the unforgettable Grandfather Mountain in Banner Elk, NC. A visit may require a day trip, as Banner Elk is about a two-hour drive from Asheville.
Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery. Huddled among the mountains, this Morganton winery is an event destination, so it offers a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the full flavor of its wines. Morganton is a bit over an hour’s drive from Asheville.
Mountain Brooks Vineyards. This award-winning winery is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tryon. It’s not even an hour’s drive away and it’s well worth the trip.
Parker-Binns Vineyard. Also in Tryon, NC near the Tryon Equestrian Center Resort, Parker-Binns is a lovely vineyard that is now over 30 years old and is a family-run winery. You’ll be impressed with the green rolling hills, rocking chairs and delicious wine produced right there on the property.
Biltmore Estate Winery. This famous winery is located in the heart of Asheville on the park-like grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Against the backdrop of the mountains, it’s one place you don’t want to miss.
Why Is Asheville and Its Vicinity a Great Vacation Spot?
The Blue Ridge Mountains attract every kind of traveler to its nooks and crannies. From whitewater rafting and extreme hiking enthusiasts to art and wine lovers, there’s something for everyone. Exceptional vineyards and wineries are abundant throughout WNC. So if you’re a local wine lover or you’ve traveled a far distance, welcome to your heaven.
Explore and discover it all if you’re so inclined. Sip and taste the fermented grapes as you enjoy a sunset from your front porch. Enjoy that bottle of wine you bought at your favorite winery after a long day of shopping. Plan a picnic at one of the many waterfalls that grace these mountains. Or sip some wine while basking in the hot tub at your vacation condo. Anyway, if you enjoy the vineyards near Asheville, you’ll be glad you came.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable mountain escape in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visit the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Sitting atop Sunset Mountain, it faces the city and neighboring peaks and pinnacles. It’s a historic inn built into the side of the mountain that’s designed for relaxing in the fresh mountain air.
Asheville’s mild climate makes it a great travel destination year-round. When you visit the Omni Grove Park Inn, you can count on first-class service, natural beauty and a location that’s been enjoyed over the years by many famous and historical figures.
What Makes the Grove Park Inn Memorable?
The Omni Grove Park Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for good reason. It’s a massive hotel with luxurious rooms and breathtaking views. Other amenities that make the Grove Park Inn memorable include:
- Delicious meals. There’s no reason to leave the property if you’re looking for a great dining experience. Whether you have a taste for a luxurious four-course meal, fine dining on a terrace with a spectacular view or a more casual, comfy café, you can find it at the Inn.
- Cocktail lounges. There are many choices for an evening spent enjoying hand-crafted cocktails or an assortment of fine wines. Relax with friends or have fun dancing at the piano bar.
- World-class spa. You won’t forget the spa at the Grove Park Inn, which includes therapeutic waterfall pools, saunas, inhalation rooms and private men’s and women’s contrast pools. The coed room includes both warm and hot pools. Experienced masseurs await your visit.
- Sports center. Guests at the Grove Park Inn enjoy access to the Sports Center, which includes instructor-led fitness classes, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a weight room and an indoor swimming pool.
At the Grove Park Inn, you can enjoy a truly magical experience with quiet meditation by a roaring fire or activities such as a ride on a horse-drawn carriage or a rousing game on the legendary 18-hole Donald Ross championship golf course. And don’t forget to spend some time visiting the many unique gift shops at The Marketplace and Grovewood Village.
Which Historical Figures Have Stayed at the Grove Park Inn?
Walk the halls in the footsteps of an array of trailblazers and historical figures. From movie stars and country singers to first ladies and grand dames, the Grove Park Inn has been a constant in the celebrity world for decades. The hotel’s history includes visits by presidents, authors and other luminaries such as:
- Helen Keller
- Henry Ford
- Thomas Edison
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Barack Obama
- Billy Graham
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there for about a year while struggling with alcoholism and tuberculosis. His wife Zelda was hospitalized nearby for schizophrenia.
Can I Visit the Grove Park Inn if I’m Not a Guest?
As an Inspired Getaway guest, your visit to the Grove Park Inn can be arranged to suit your schedule with dining reservations at one of the hotel’s exclusive restaurants, or ELDR in the nearby Grovewood Village, golf dates and shopping excursions to fill your free time. Some of the things you can enjoy when you’re not an overnight guest include:
- Free parking for up to three hours
- Cocktails and dinner
- Browsing in shops
- Walking Trails
- Watching the gorgeous sunset from the terrace
Whether you’re looking for stunning views, history, comfort or convenience, you’ll find it at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Contact Inspired Getaway to book your upcoming stay in one of our modern, green-home rentals today, complete with special days and evenings at the Grove Park Inn.
Feature Image photo credit via Facebook: @omnigroveparkinn, The Omni Grove Park Inn