Family Vacations: Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate houses more than 40 sculptures, and room after room of art, history, and luxury.
Biltmore Estate houses more than 40 sculptures, and room after room of art, history, and luxury.

The largest home in the United States is the centerpiece of an immaculate 8,000-acre estate that includes lush gardens, active vineyards and a luxury inn. Originally the country retreat of the Vanderbilt family, Biltmore has evolved into a swanky tourist attraction with a fascinating historical pedigree. Biltmore mansion is the estate's distinguishing feature. It was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.

In the late 1880s, he purchased 125,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, for the estate. He commissioned his friend, architect Richard Morris Hunt, to design the mansion. Construction began in 1889 and lasted six years, requiring the labors of more than 1,000 workers.


The fruit of their labor was this 250-room French Renaissance chateau. It was one of the most technologically advanced buildings of its time. Biltmore had indoor plumbing, electricity, elevators, and some of the first lightbulbs and telephones. There are 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, a bowling alley, and numerous antiques. The gardens, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, are similarly superlative.

Biltmore Estate Information

Address: 1 Approach Rd

Asheville, NC

Telephone: 828/225-1333, 800/624-1575


Hours of Operation:

  • Jan - Mar: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., daily
  • Apr - Dec: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily

Admission: Cost varies

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:


Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.

North Carolina State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in North Carolina, as well as other recreational activities.

Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.