Welcome back! A week or so ago, we looked at the Biltmore Estate, but I never filled you in on the other details of that trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Today I want to share with you where we stayed, a few places to shop there, and a restaurant where we dined. The photo above shows the two hotel options on the Biltmore Estate. (Keep in mind that although both of these are located on the estate itself, they are still a few miles from the mansion.) The hotel pictured at the top of the hill is The Inn on Biltmore Estate. It is a very nice hotel with many amenities, but it was out of our budget for this trip – an extended trip for my husband, my daughter and me where we toured 5 cities scattered throughout the state. The hotel we chose for this trip was the one at the bottom of the photo – the newer (but less expensive) Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.
It is more casual in feel than its big sister on the hill, and I think this one would be an exceptionally good choice for families with children. Here is its comfortable lobby.
The halls have old photographs of the estate framed and scattered throughout the building.
There is an onsite coffee shop just steps away from the lobby.
And this is the dining area across from the coffee shop.
Our room had two beds, a window seat, some built in storage, and a desk. The beautiful and serene view outside the window was of the fields on the estate farm. The bathroom was very nicely appointed, and we will definitely choose to stay here again when we visit Asheville in the future. (My photo turned out too dark, so here is one from their website.)
There are plenty of shopping opportunities on the estate itself. I did not get a chance to tell you in the last Biltmore post about the shops right next to the mansion. Located in the old Biltmore stables, you will find a Christmas shop, a bookshop, a toy shop, a gift shop, a couple of restaurants, and a confectionery. (Of course my photo would be from it! 🙂 )
But that is not all the shopping there. Our hotel was located right next to Antler Hill Village and Winery. You can tour the winery (with free samples) and shop in several gift shops. You can also tour the barn, view antique farm equipment, and see farm animals there in Antler Hill. It is also where all the outdoor activities begin (biking, Land Rover tours, hiking, horseback riding, and more.)
Additionally, there are exhibits to view in the Legacy building. The exhibits change out from year to year, and you can read about the one for 2017 here. (It’s all about movie costumes!) The Vanderbilt and Cecil family wedding veils were on exhibit when we were there, including the one worn by Jacqueline Lee Bouvier for her marriage to future U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
More Biltmore Estate shopping is also available at a few shops at the entrance gate, and then it gets confusing. As you can imagine, the name “Biltmore” seems to be on every possible thing in Asheville. But there is one really good Biltmore shopping experience right across from the estate’s entrance gate: Historic Biltmore Village, a community that was constructed for those working on the Biltmore Estate.
At the center of the village is The Cathedral of All Souls, the church that George Vanderbilt had constructed from 1896-1905 for parishioners who lived in the village.
The homes were constructed in the Tudor architectural style. There is a good article with the timeline of the construction of Biltmore Village here.
There is also a hotel in this village…The Grand Bohemian Hotel (the same line of hotels in which we stayed in Celebration, Florida.) This would be another good choice when visiting the Biltmore Estate (but there is no self parking there, and I believe they do not offer a free shuttle to the Biltmore House like the Village Hotel does.)
It has quite a lobby!
Across the street there are even more stores…from Chico’s, J Crew, and Talbots to Williams Sonoma and a whole host of local shops.
Obviously, this is only one small section of shopping in Asheville. We also explored the downtown area, and there are a number of other interesting districts to visit as well, but to me, the best part of visiting Asheville is its restaurants. It is really a “foodie town.” Before we checked into our hotel, we stopped for Sunday brunch at The Market Place Restaurant located right in the historic downtown area.
Although the food was good, I believe there are many other equally good (if not better) places to try in a town filled with great restaurants. After that meal, we decided to go on a mission to sample a variety of barbeques in the city. (Such a tough job! 🙂 ) And that will be the topic of my next Travel Talk post. I hope you will be back for it!
Until next time..