PSA: If you have a new Ford Explorer ST or a Ford Edge ST, it comes with driving school! And if you don’t have one of those, maybe your friend does! My carpool partner (who also happens to be one of my best friends) recently bought a Ford Explorer ST and let me tag along with her to Asheville, NC to learn its fun features. With all the driving we do in real life, we naturally crushed everyone on the racecourse. (Give us a challenge next time! Maybe a hot coffee to balance, or a kid’s backpack in our lap? At least some arguing children!) Driving school was a blast, but the real highlight was our tour of the Biltmore Estate.
Good golly. Those Vanderbilts were rich.
The entire house (mansion? castle?) was a thing of beauty, but there was a wide array of conventional art too, including (but not limited to) paintings by Renoir, Monet, and John Singer Sargent. I’ll share some of my super high-quality pictures with you in a moment, but first- some facts about Biltmore!
- Their winery is the most visited in the United States! I brought back several bottles and tasted several while I was there. Biltmore = drink more!
- Biltmore House spans 175,000 square feet. In the winter 65 fireplaces helped heat it. Or you could throw back some hot chocolates, then use one of the 43 bathrooms!
- Is there at least one room with gold plated walls? Why yes, there is.
- The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect to the stars! (And my 5th great-uncle!)
- The Vanderbilt family was very hospitable. The Roosevelts were just one of the high-society families that frequented the Biltmore.
- The Vanderbilts had tickets to sail home on the Titanic, but were a little homesick for Biltmore, and came back a week early instead. A close call!
Okay, now the moment you’ve been waiting for! Some Biltmore House pictures!
Even though my photos are the best of the best, I recommend seeing the Biltmore Estate in person. Bonus if you get to go to driving school while you’re there!