We extended our trip from Gatlinburg to Asheville specifically to see Biltmore, the largest private home in America. I had read about it all my life, and it was definitely a bucket list item. I wasn't disappointed. Seeing this house provides a fascinating look into a bygone era of opulence and the creation of a masterpiece of planning and execution that cannot be duplicated today because of the enormous cost.
Its 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms and 135,000 square feet defy the imagination, and its splendid location overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains is unequaled in its stunning views.
We took the self-paced audio tour that had 40 stops where you can listen to a recording giving details about the items of interest in your view. There are several other behind-the-scenes tours that we could have taken, but we were too tired after spending most of the day here. We vow to return next fall, but just a bit later in October when the leaves are at their peak of color. If you have a chance to see this, don't miss it!
|Sandy looks out over Biltmore's vast acreage from the loggia of the mansion.|
The White Duck Taco Shop: Excellent and inexpensive, considering the exotic ingredients available; the fish taco and the Bangkok shrimp taco were my favorites.
The Lobster Trap: Great fresh seafood. We shared a lobster/clam/mussel and shrimp boil entrée that was more than both of us could eat. Highly recommend.
Baan Thai: Marvelously fresh and tasty Thai dishes cooked right before you in an open kitchen. So good!
It would be a good idea to eat before going to Biltmore; the restaurants on the estate are very expensive. Our lunch hamburgers were $14 apiece; we nearly choked.
Heading back west tomorrow: Next stop, Chattanooga!