On Thursday, May 27th, I started my morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, walking the grounds of the beguiling Biltmore estate. When I arrived, the estate was teeming with visitors, so I opted to concentrate my time in the garden and on the grounds, forgoing the house tour.
Now a National Historic Landmark, created by George Vanderbilt over a century ago as a country retreat for himself, family, and friends, this 8,000-acre estate remains a family business.
The garden and grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture, consist of six expansive gardens, a bass pond, a boathouse, and a conservatory.
Visiting the “Biltmore Garden Railway” exhibit in the conservatory, I joined other guests who marveled at the model trains chugging through the lush botanical landscapes and miniature Biltmore replicas. I then took a quick stroll through Antler Village.
Developed in 2010, Antler Hill Village, a former social center for families living and working on the estate, now hosts a Vanderbilt exhibition, shopping, dining opportunities, and various outdoor activities.
There was just so much to see and do at the Biltmore it’s virtually impossible to fit everything in one day. I’m looking forward to another visit to this enchanting estate. I might even treat myself to stay in one of Biltmore’s overnight properties.
If you haven’t been, I highly recommend you add a visit to your bucket list.