The holidays are quickly creeping up on us.
It’s never too late to plan a weekend escape with your loved ones and the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in the Asheville mountains offers its own enchanting way to celebrate the holidays.
WFMY News 2's Julie Luck says, "Exploring the grounds around Christmas is magical. The decorations on the sprawling estate will certainly get you in the holiday spirit."
On its website, the Biltmore offers an array of things to do during your visit to the Estate. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Stroll through the gardens
Leaves may start falling from the thousands of trees surrounding the estate, but the bark of some of the species are also an attraction. The stewartia, red-twig dogwood, paperbark maple and river birch are definitely a must-see. Towards the winter months, you can enjoy the natural greenery of the evergreen species that add a blue-green hue to the landscape, while bright berries and hollies adorn the green.
2. Dine at one of the seven restaurants
In Antler Hill Village you can find: Village Social provides a menu full of sustainable seafood and regional favorite ingredients in its dining experience; Bistro for a casual farm-to-table menu with a European open kitchen style setting; Cedric’s Tavern offers an American and global pub experience. Located in Deerpark, the Deerpark Restaurant offers your favorite southern cuisine in a buffet-style setting overlooking an interior courtyard. The Dining Room and Library Lounge in The Inn offer an elegant approach to dining inspired by the Vanderbilts. Your Appalachian Comfort Food can be found in one place, the Stable Café with dishes like Carolina barbecue and other southern-style meats in what was the estate’s former horse stable. WFMY News 2's General Manager, Larry Audas really enjoys the brunch and the buffet at the Deepark. He says it's "fit for a Vanderbilt... and the rest of us too."
3. See the Vanderbilt family stories exhibition
“The Biltmore Legacy features an exhibition of 60 years of Vanderbilt family wedding fashion. A highlight is the first ever display of the Lee family wedding veil worn by Mary Lee Ryan at her marriage to George Vanderbilt’s grandson in 1957, and also worn by her cousin Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at her 1953 marriage to future president John F. Kennedy.”
4. Experience the Candlelight Christmas Evenings
From November 3, 2017 through January 6, 2018, you can make your reservation for Christmas Evenings in Biltmore House which recalls the way the Vanderbilts hosted their guests during their first Christmas Eve spent in Biltmore House in 1895. “Setting the unique scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce sparkling in the center of the front lawn and surrounded by 20 illuminated evergreens. Luminaries line the walkway to the house.” WFMY News 2's Sales Executive, Janet Smith loves the madrigal carolers and the decorations available during Christmas time.
5. Enjoy a free tasting at the Winery
From November 3, 2017 through January 7, 2017, guests can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting at Biltmore Winery in the Antler Hill Village, America’s most visited winery. This year, the Winery will be decorated with 7,000 globe-shaped ornament hanging from the ceiling… Just like being inside a bottle of their sparkling wine! “Allow our wine hosts to take you on a memorable journey through award-winning reds, whites, and rosés, as you make your selections from among more than 20 of our handcrafted wines.” Our News Director, Kim Ballard, thinks this is the best part about the Biltmore.
6. See the Biltmore’s Fraser Fir Christmas Tree in the Biltmore House
The 35-foot-tall Fraser Fir tree is a staple of the Biltmore during the Holiday Season, covered in ornaments and wrapped packages into its branches, located inside the Biltmore House. TEGNA's Larry Schell tells us his favorite part of the house is the architecture and the "attention to details in the wood work inside."
7. Listen to live music in Antler Hill Village
Enjoy live music at Cedric’s Tavern in the evenings from November 3 through January 7 in Antler Hill Village.
8. Make your own s’mores by a fire
On Fridays and Saturday evenings, you can purchase your very own s’mores kit at the Creamery and The Kitchen Café inside the Village Hotel to make while you sit by a warm bonfire in Antler Hill Village.
9. Visit and shop at the Toymaker’s
Have you been looking for a unique, memorable Christmas gift for your loved one and still haven’t found the right one? Find that special gift in the Toymaker’s shop at the Biltmore house and Gardens Shopping area in this shop full of old-fashioned toys and games.
10. Take a picture with Santa at the bandstand
Santa will be making appearances at the bandstand to hear wish lists from guests of all ages. The bandstand is located in Antler Hill Village on the estate.
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