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The Biltmore Grounds and Gardens

I have been traveling all over America visiting castles. And for the most part they are just castles! You visit the castle, take a tour, maybe stop in the gift shop. And it was a good day. But the Biltmore is different. It is a compound with a whole lot of stuff. Let me explain.

Biltmore Castle was built between 1889 and 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt as a home. So, it has the castle, and it has a whole lot of other things including parks, gardens, a conservatory stables and more. It was a place for he and his family to live their lives in affluence.

Well, It was opened to the public in the 30's and to this day it is still owned and run by the family. And, they have meticulously maintained it so it is still quite the same including the gardens, grounds and conservatory. They have also grown it into a wonderful community with a whole lot of modern things to do.

There is of course the gardens which are quite extensive, and themed. There is an Italian Garden, a Shrub Garden, a Walled Garden, A Rose Garden, a Bass pond with a boat house and a Conservatory , just to mention some of them. For me the gardens are great but the Conservatory was amazing. It is a 19th century hothouse where they keep exotic plants.

They also have a place called Antler Hill Village and Winery where there are shops, restaurants and wine tours/tastings. So, if you are looking for a full day adventure they have it all.

They also have a list of outdoor activities you can do including Carriage Rides, Fly fishing, Horse Back riding, kayaking and more.

It is an estate, and it was meant as a place for the Vanderbilt family to live, enjoy life and entertain guests. And the family maintains this approach, offering it all to the public.

Let's take a look at some pictures.








And my favorite part is the Conservatory where you can find a whole array of exotic plants.




The Biltmore is a wonderful place. And it has a whole lot of stuff you can experience. I went for the castle but was pleasantly surprised to discover they have a whole spectrum of things to do and see.

I ended up spending the day there. I first visited the Castle. Then I walked the various gardens. Then I went to the Conservatory. After that I was hungry so I went to one of the restaurants to have a late lunch. I had fish and chips (In Cedric's Tavern). And there was live music playing in the restaurant. It was a solo guitarist. Then I finished off my day with a wine tasting. It was a good day. And to make it even better as I head out to my car in the parking lot I was greeted by a rainbow.

It's true. I didn't make up the rainbow thing! Here's a pic: