One of my favorite places in the entire world is just a short drive away from my hometown: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. If you have been following My Beautiful Adventures for a while, then I am certain you are familiar with how often we visit this extraordinarily special place. Recently, we took a family trip there for several reasons; it was my husband’s Birthday and there are two new displays (which are only open through Labor Day) that we simply had to check out before they are gone!
Before we visited the displays, we first checked into the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. We had never stayed at this property before and were completely blown away by it! It truly is the perfect way to experience America’s largest home® and Biltmore’s celebrated hospitality. The location on the Estate is in the heart of Antler Hill Village, which invites you to relax in charming surroundings convenient to dining, shopping, the Winery and 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty. On a side note, they have cribs available per request if you are traveling with a child and I highly recommend upgrading to a suite, as they are incredibly spacious and will not disappoint.
In the hotel’s restaurant there was a small preview of what was to come later in the day. My son loves LEGOS®, so he could not have been more excited to see this awesome creation.
There really is nothing like the Biltmore Estate grounds. You definitely need a couple of days to be able to explore them in a leisurely manner. If you want time to visit Asheville as well, you will need to add even more days to your trip. You will thank me later for this suggestion!
Both of the two displays that were the reason for our visit are located within the Village. The first stop was at the Vanderbilt Travels Railway, a 250-foot model train display handcrafted from leaves, twigs, and other natural materials. You and your little ones will enjoy seeing five separate trains threading through miniature versions of well-known landmarks (all stops on past Vanderbilt travels around the world), including the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, London Bridge, and more. The railway was constructed by Applied Imagination, which creates an annual holiday train display in the New York Botanical Garden. Joaquín loves trains, so you can imagine his excitement when he saw Thomas the Tank Engine!
The second display, which I already alluded to, took 600-plus hours of hard work. It is a Toy Model of the Biltmore House made using LEGOS® that comes in at 10 feet in length and features more than 50,000 toy bricks. The model is so life-like and the creators left out no attention to detail. You will even find a tiny toy man atop one of the iconic (toy) lion statues outside of the Biltmore House; much like a picture from the archives that shows a guest of George Vanderbilt’s sitting on the same lion statue. The model is on display in the Wine Shop at Antler Hill Village. While your children are appreciating the model, I recommend taking a look at the fabulous gift shop. We bought some bottles of champagne to take home with us.
I hope this post inspires you to plan a spontaneous trip to the Biltmore Estate, as I promise you it will be a trip you will never forget thanks to these displays. Remember, they are temporary, but what perfect timing with kids free all summer!