My friend Mendie is in town. We were originally going to have dinner last night, but when the forecast took a turn for the worst, I took the afternoon off and grabbed one of our extra passes (thanks to being a passholder, we had some extra passes that expire this weekend.) We decided to see Biltmore, knowing our time was limited.
We got the shuttle to the house and wasted no time taking photos.
(My statue friend is very unimpressed with the snow forecast.)
I originally thought that maybe we’d check out the grounds. I really didn’t believe we had enough time to tour the house, but maybe we could check out the first floor? So we went in for a quick look around.
We grabbed the brochure/guides at the entrance and wandered. I’ve been through the house countless times. I was able to give Mendie a little narrative about several rooms, without having to open our guides, and we moved quickly. We even stopped briefly for our official Biltmore photo!
They have the Downton Abbey exhibit happening right now. Neither of us has watched the show, so we weren’t too into the outfits on display (we paid just enough attention so we weren’t being disrespectful.) The house was busy for a random Wednesday afternoon in February!
We passed one large group and just coasted through the house. We even saw the basement level….and we exited within 30 minutes. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in and out of Biltmore like that. Our photos weren’t even ready when we left!
It was a fun visit and we laughed a lot about our run through the house. We snapped some photos outside before grabbing our official photos and checking out the shops.
On our way out, I pulled over so we could get a quick shot of the waterfall. I love the water and snow here.
I believe it took us longer to get off the property than to tour the house. Construction is underway for the new hotel in Antler Hill Village and it’s not very traffic-friendly.
A few tips if you’re looking to do a quick trip of Biltmore:
1. Go with a friend (preferably one who is a passholder.) That passholder friend may have free tickets or be able to get discounted tickets.
2. Don’t rush your first trip. I know we rushed it with Mendie, but we were dealing with a tight timeframe. I picked her up at 2 and I needed to be heading home by 5.
3. Feel free to listen to the guides explaining the history to other groups. The staff have great stories to share.
4. The brochure is full of interesting information. Feel free to take one with you and read all about everything when you get home.
5. Factor in the time it takes to get on and off the estate – it can be an hour in and out.