Sunday, December 21, 2008
If you're looking for a new holiday tradition, a trip to Asheville to visit the Biltmore during the holiday season may be just what you're looking for. Whether you choose to tour America's largest home during the day or in the evening on one of the more intimate candlelight tours, you'll be fascinated to see how beautiful the home is filled with vintage, Victorian-style holiday décor. From dozens of towering trees to the hundreds of wreaths and the sounds of Christmas spilling from the organ in the Banquet Hall, Christmas at the Biltmore isn't something to be missed.
Biltmore by the numbers175,000 number of square feet covered by the Biltmore home10,000 number of volumes in the library1895 year of the first Christmas celebration at the Biltmore250 number of rooms in the home65 number of fireplaces in the home56-ft. height of the Christmas tree on the front lawn5 dollars you'll save if you pre-order tickets online
Take a tour of the estate's winery after exploring the house for a history lesson on America's most visited vineyard and, my personal favorite, a free guided wine tasting. If you're able to time it just right, a free cooking or tasting class is included in your ticket price. When my fiance and I visited the Biltmore last Christmas, our ticket included a wonderful red wine and chocolate seminar in the winery cellar that was well worth the extra bit of planning.
Be sure to check out the winery gift store, as well as the shops in the stables to find some great last-minute Christmas shopping finds. A Christmas Past, the quaint old-timey Christmas shop in the stables, features many Biltmore ornaments and decorations so that you can bring a bit of the Biltmore home to your own home for the holidays.
Visit http://www.biltmore.com/ for more information on planning your visit to the Biltmore including information on holiday accommodation packages.
Interested in visiting the Biltmore but don't think you can fit it in all of your busy holiday plans? The Christmas celebration will last until January 4, but the estate is open year-round for visits including the Festival of Flowers in the spring and a summer evening concerts including past performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Steven Curtis Chapman and KC & the Sunshine Band.