Biltmore Estate Visit

In July, my youngest sister, (Michele), from the UK visited the US - she flew to Charlotte NC since that’s where our parents and other sister live. Of course, I flew from Illinois to NC to join in all the fun. It’s been 2 years since the nuclear Chang family last gathered and to make the visit extra special, the Chang women took a short overnight trip to Asheville NC.


Asheville is a short 2 hour drive from my sister’s house, nestled on the western edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along with proximity to the mountains, another major attraction is the Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt in the 1890’s. Situated in a secluded parcel of land, one can explore the vast 8000 acres by hiking, horseback riding and guided tour. The main attraction is the estate house, its grounds and gardens, which is where we focused our day.


Note - We decided to visit Biltmore last minute while we were driving towards Asheville, so I secured tickets online but could only purchase tickets to access the grounds and garden since access to the 250-Room Estate was sold out. But after we arrived, Teresa checked at the on-site ticket office and we got a timed entry around noon. Travel tip - it always pays to double check availability onsite!


After you park, the trail leads you to the estate via this observation area where you get your first glimpse of all the grandeur that awaits….



Which requires a group selfie!

Visit to Asheville and Biltmore Scenes from around the grounds:

Biltmore Estate Visit Biltmore Estate Visit

En route to the Conservatory, we took time under the grape arbor to cool off.

Sisters Teresa and Michele:

Sisters Mom taking in all the beautiful vines and flowers:

Looking Up

The approach to the Conservatory:

Scenes from our visit to the Biltmore estate, starting with the Conservatory, finishing with the Estate tour. We had a great time. #family #changgirls #stmchang


Inside the Conservatory we saw trains winding through the plantings along with miniature replicas of Biltmore buildings. Closer inspection of these models revealed they were built using plant based materials - for example, the filigree detail of an iron fence was fashioned out of the cross section of walnut shells. Roof shingles were made out of pine cone scales. The railroad trestles were formed by twigs, leaves and acorns!

Visit to Asheville and Biltmore


Visit to Asheville and Biltmore


The house tour included an audio accompaniment that provided much insight to the history, culture and details of living in such a house at the turn of the century and beyond. The tour also brought us “downstairs” to the kitchen / service quarters and described the inner workings of such an operation, ala Downton Abbey. Teresa had visited the house prior and remarked the tour had been expanded to include the “Back stairs Elements” of the estate.


The view from the Estate’s balcony. Yes, this is a real photo! Such a beautiful day.

Visit to Asheville and Biltmore

Grand stair case:

The Way Down #staircase #chandelier #family #biltmoreestate


After our tour, we enjoyed wine tasting at onsite Antelope Village. A wonderful way to finish off our day.

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