Monday, November 12, 2007

Biltmore: A N.C. gem in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Biltmore: It's a Western North Carolina treasure

Asheville, North Carolina – Nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains is a unique gem, the Biltmore Estate. The sprawling estate was home to the first family of American money, the Vanderbilt family, around the turn of the last century.

Constructed during the 1890s, the estate remains privately owned, by the Vanderbilt family, and is also the home to a working winery and farm. Of course, the centerpiece of the tour is the Biltmore Mansion. In fact, it is bigger than mansions, and if the United States had a palace it would be this place. Mansions are cottages compared to the Vanderbilt casa.

The house is perfectly preserved, right down to fresh-cut flowers in every room (grown on the estate in the garden). There is a great dining area open to the public in the Deerpark area of the estate. The food is great.

Entrance onto the estate is about $50 per person, and well worth the trip. The gardens are immaculately manicured, the home is in pristine condition, the view is – the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the ride is filled with fall foliage. There's plenty to do and see once there, and it's definitely worth a look if you're ever in any kind of proximity to Western N.C.

According to folks that work at the winery, it is relatively uncommon that New Jerseyians make their way to the estate. Yet, if someone is a fan of nature, wineries, working farms, scenic views and a serene get-away, this is definitely the place.

Click on the headline to go to their Web site, at:

Captions: 1: The Vanderbilt mansion. 2: The Vanderbilt's backyard. 3: A scenic shot on the working farm. 4: The winery showroom, which is at the conclusion of the tour.

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