The Biltmore Mansion
By Gage Arnold
Today we went to the Biltmore Mansion in Ashville, North Carolina. If you haven’t been here before, you should go at least once. It’s the largest privately owned home in America.
The Biltmore was built in 1895 for George Washington Vanderbilt. One thousand men worked on it until it was finally complete after six years. It had 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. There were a grand total of 253 rooms!
The Biltmore house was opened to the public in 1930. The house is still owned by Vanderbilt’s 4th and 5th generation descendants.
The driveway up to the house was impressive. It was three miles long! Back in the early years of the house, the guests had to take a train to the town of Biltmore Village and then a one hour carriage ride up to the house. There was a shorter route that the servants used to get the luggage there and in their room before they arrived.
When I first saw the house, I thought it was massive. After we were inside I noticed it was crowded.
When we started the tour, there were a large number of people trying to see it at the same time. As we were leaving the house I noticed the crowd had thinned out a lot. So based on my experience, I would recommend starting the tour later in the day, and seeing the gardens and the farm first.
They wont let you take pictures inside, sadly. The dinning room ceiling itself was a work of art. The dinner table could seat 32 people. Oh, and did you know they have a bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool? The bowling pins have the family crest on them. The bad thing about the pool is that it leaks now, since it was made out of tile.
In my opinion, the tour was ok but probably not worth the price. It was about $180. For the 4 or us. You can get a discount if you buy your tickets a week early online.
They had free wine tasting for my parents and I got to try their grape juice. Then my parents bought me the 2nd best ice cream I’ve ever had. (The best ice cream was from Lake of the Ozarks.)