Biltmore Estate and Biltmore Village
Explore America’s Largest Home
Biltmore Estate is Asheville’s premier tourist destination. This grand, palatial mansion was built in 1895 for George Vanderbilt, grandson of the famed industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt. Biltmore Estate is the largest home in the United States, with 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, a banquet hall, a library containing over 10,000 volumes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a bowling alley, and so much more.
Built in the elegant French Renaissance style, Biltmore Estate is surrounded by beautifully manicured Italian gardens and 22 miles of well-maintained hiking trails, earning it the nickname “The Versaille of America.” It is easy to spend an entire day exploring the magnificence of Biltmore Estate. You can see the estate by foot, bicycle, horse carriage, or even a Segway. Whether you come to view the impressive collection of Impressionist art, get lost in the immaculate gardens, or admire the views of the lovely French Broad River, Biltmore Estate should be at the very top of your Asheville travel itinerary.
You should also plan a visit to the historic Biltmore Village. Biltmore Village began as a residential community for workers at Biltmore Estate but now offers first-rate shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities for Asheville tourists and locals alike. Explore Biltmore Village before or after your trip to Biltmore Estate, or swing by anytime during your stay at the Inn. We’re just a stone’s throw away.
Food & Drink
You haven’t done Asheville right if you didn’t spend a good chunk of your time eating and drinking. Asheville’s thriving restaurant and bar scene has made it a popular culinary destination for foodies across the United States. From authentic Southern BBQ to sustainable farm-to-table cuisine, Asheville serves up something to please every palate. Asheville’s strong community of chefs bring passion and creativity to their work, often using local, seasonal produce to create inventive food with a Southern flare. At the Biltmore Village Inn, we encourage all our guests to explore the wonderful local restaurants cooking up some of the most delicious and creative meals in the United States. Here are some of our favorites.
- All Souls Pizza: All Souls Pizza uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to make inventive and delicious pizzas. They mill their own flour and polenta from traditional organic grains and source their meat and produce from as close to home as possible. All of their bread comes from their sister shop, the Farm and Sparrow Bakery. Come here for some of the best pizzas, sandwiches, and salads in the city.
- Curate: This Spanish tapas bar from renowned local chef Katie Button has been nominated for the James Beard Award four separate times. Located in a former 1927 bus depot, Curate celebrates traditional Spanish cuisine like jamon ibérico, croquetas, and patatas bravas.
- 12 Bones Smokehouse: 12 Bones serves up generous portions of BBQ classics along with mouthwatering sides like cornbread, mac ‘n’ cheese, and baked beans. During their lunchtime rush, lines are known to stretch outside the door. But trust us, it is worth the wait. President Obama even braved the line during his visit to Asheville.
- Posana: Posana serves up premium, unprocessed ingredients from nearly 65 local purveyors and farmers each week. They change the menu to incorporate local ingredients and even grow kale, carrots, beets, and more in a urban garden down the street. Posana is another way to experience the finest of Asheville farm-to-table dining.
- Rezaz: This Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar is located right in Biltmore Village, making it a convenient and delicious choice for guests at the Biltmore Village Inn. They serve 5 course meals paired with wines perfectly selected by their in-house “Burgundy Wine Man,” Steve Pignatiello.
- The Bull & Beggar: Located in the River Arts District, the Bull & Beggar offers high-end American fare in a rustic setting. This local treasure might look unassuming from the outside, but venture inside and you’ll find some of the best steak, seafood, and cocktails in Asheville.
- Homegrown: With its commitment to sustainability and all things local, this restaurant truly lives up to its name. They have make healthy and delicious food accessible to all. Come to enjoy locally sourced soups, salads, sandwiches, hot plates, and sides in a welcoming and casual setting.
- Bouchon: Whether you are a francophile or just looking for a romantic dinner option, we recommend you check out Bouchon during your time in Asheville. This small but elegant bistro serves up French classics like French onion soup, crepes, quiche, escargot, braised rabbit, and more.
- The Admiral: Don’t let this restaurant’s modest cinder block facade fool you. The Admiral is one of the stars of the Asheville dining scene. Come to experience inventive global cuisine with a menu that changes everyday.
- Chiesa: This charming Italian bistro was opened by two newcomers to Asheville, but it quickly became a beloved restaurant for locals and tourists alike. This pasta-centered restaurant serves up mouthwatering Italian favorites like shrimp scampi, eggplant parmesan, and chicken marsala.
Breweries & Bars
Asheville is also known for its thriving beer scene, which is how it got the nickname “Beer City USA.” With more than 23 breweries per capita, Asheville boasts more breweries than anywhere else in the USA. It is fun and easy to do a brewery tour of Asheville because many of the breweries are clustered close together on Asheville’s South Slope. We recommend:
- Burial Beer Company: A brewery located in a former auto repair shop.
- The Green Man Brewery: One of Asheville’s oldest breweries, the Green Man Brewery gets its name from a centuries-old Asheville legend.
- Funkatorium: Come here for delicious wild and sour ales from the award-winning Wicked Weed Brewery.
- The Wedge: This brewery is located on the lower level of Wedge Studios, a warehouse housing 30+ working artist studios and retail spaces. It is the perfect place to stop after exploring galleries in the River Arts District and talking a stroll along the French Broad River.
Arts, Music, and Literature Scene
Explore the River Arts District
The Rivers Arts District (also known as RAD) is located in Asheville’s former industrial zone just east of the railroad tracks. Years ago, artists flocked to its empty warehouses for cheap spaces to live and create. Now, the Rivers Art District is a unique and lively confluence of art, commerce, and entertainment. Over 200 artists live, create, and sell their work here. To get a true taste of the River Arts District, take an “art trek” and visit its numerous studios and galleries.
If you are a literature lover, you will feel right at home in Asheville. To start off your literary tour, stop by the home of author Thomas Wolfe. Wolfe’s classic coming-of-age novel Look Homeward, Angel is set in a fictional version of Asheville called Altamont. Wolfe’s boyhood home is now a museum and considered one of the premier historic sites in Asheville. You can also visit Highland Hospital, the sanatorium where Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire in 1948.
No literary tour of Asheville is complete without paying a visit to our legendary bookstores. Our favorites are Malaprop’s Bookstore, The Captain’s Bookshelf, and the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, where you can have a drink or snack while exploring their unbeatable collection of used books.
Thrillist named Asheville one of “America’s 12 Great Music Cities.” Asheville’s music scene takes inspiration from ancient mountain traditions, soulful Southern melodies, and the modern, innovative sounds of today. While you are here, listen to street performers downtown or catch a show at one of Asheville’s iconic music venues.
The Great Outdoors
Asheville is a thriving mountain town with easy access to incredible outdoor adventures. While you are here, you’ll experience some of the best hiking, climbing, and sightseeing in the United States. Many popular trails and spots are located along the historic Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile route that twists along the highest ridge tops of the South Appalachian Mountains. We recommend planning visits to:
Other architectural treasures, historical sites, and recreational activities to explore during your time in Asheville.
- Basilica of St. Lawrence: Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, this beautiful Catholic Church is believed to be the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. It was built by renowned Spanish architect and engineer Rafael Gustavino, who is famous for other architectural marvels like Grand Central Terminal, Carnegie Hall, the U.S Supreme Court Building, and the American Museum of Natural History.
- Omni Grove Park Inn: The Omni Grove Park Inn was built in 1913 using granite stones mined from Sunset Mountain. Its stone facade and red clay roof make the Omni Grove Park Inn a unique architectural marvel. It has even hosted 10 U.S presidents since its opening. You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy this Asheville gem. Enjoy a drink in the Great Hall by one of their massive fireplaces or book a luxury treatment at their historic spa.
- North Carolina Arboretum: The North Carolina Arboretum is set on 434 acres nestled within the beautiful Southern Appalachian mountains. Come here to see biologically diverse plants and flowers from all around the planet, including a world-renowned bonsai exhibition and an expansive collection of azaleas. They also have 10+ miles of hiking and biking trails to fit all difficulty levels and various family-friendly events and educational opportunities happening year round.