ASHEVILLE NC – George and Edith Vanderbilt encouraged their guests to explore the rolling hillsides, manicured gardens and verdant forests surrounding Biltmore House, especially in summertime. Thanks to careful preservation, guests today may experience the estate much as the Vanderbilts and their friends did 100 years ago. Summer at Biltmore runs May 27 through Sept. 5.
In addition to hikes and strolls, today’s guests may ride horses along trails with views of Biltmore House. More modern modes are available for exploration at Biltmore’s Outdoor Adventure Center, which serves as the jumping-off point for guests interested in Segway tours, bike rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, rafting and kayaking. Land Rover off-road driving experiences are available, as are fly-fishing and sporting clays instruction.
Glorious garden strolls
No visit to the estate is complete without time spent in the gardens. Biltmore’s formal gardens flow from one to the next, offering guests varied scenery and places to stop and reflect. Garden and gardening lovers can lose themselves along meandering paths that lead down a gentle hillside to the Bass Pond. Along the way, guests can stop to say hello to the koi and goldfish that call the Italian Garden’s three pools home; marvel at the size of the elephant ears and tropical foliage plants that grow in the borders of the Walled Garden; and take in the heady scent of the historic rose garden.
Music in the evenings
Antler Hill Village & Winery comes alive in the summer, especially on weekend evenings when Live After Five takes place. Live music on the Village Green features jazz and pop, the Grape Stomp and casual food including cookout favorites.
Select nights this summer will bring stars to the South Terrace of Biltmore House with the Biltmore Concert Series presenting nationally- and internationally-known performers on the grand stage with views of America’s largest home.
Last chance to see Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film
Summer also offers the last opportunity to see the Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film exhibition, which ends July 4. Award-winning wedding dresses and costumes are showcased in Biltmore House, accented with elaborate floral displays. The exhibition continues in Antler Hill Village with a focus on the weddings of Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt and his descendants. The exhibition includes the first-ever display of the Lee family wedding veil worn by Mary Lee Ryan at her marriage to Vanderbilt’s grandson in 1957, which was also worn by her cousin Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at her 1953 marriage to future President John F. Kennedy. Another highlight is the re-creation of Cornelia Vanderbilt’s beautiful 1924 wedding gown and veil by renowned costume designers Cosprop Ltd., London.
Extend your day visit beyond sunset
Choose from two distinctive properties to reap exclusive benefits like waking up on George Vanderbilt’s mountain estate. Experience the gracious hospitality with a luxurious package celebrating summer holidays at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, or relax with a more casual stay at the new Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, located in the middle of Antler Hill Village’s activities.
Kids free: Summertime means kids 16 and younger are admitted to the estate for the day for free (with ticketed adult). Runs May 27 through Labor Day, Sept. 5.
Father’s Day: On Sunday, June 19, Dads are free with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket.
Save on admission: Receive $10 off ticket price if visit is booked seven or more days in advance. Save $5 if booked one to six days in advance. Next-day upgrade is $10.