Thursday, April 22, 2010

Biltmore Estate

Wow, Biltmore House - its going to be as hard to do it justice in words as it is in pictures. Go see this if you're ever in south-west North Carolina. Biltmore is George Vanderbilt's country retreat. It sits on 8000 acres of park-like land with often stunning landscaping. The house is the largest private home in America, and has 250 rooms. Besides the mansion, there's the gardens, bass pond, a farm, a winery, an inn, several restaurants and shops. In addition to the organized tour, you can hike, bike, ride horses, fish, and picnic on the grounds. Its the type of place you could spend a week in all by itself. An afternoon wasn't enough. Reminded me a lot of Hampton Court Palace outside of London, except less rainy. We did the self guided tour of 55 of the rooms, and walked the gardens, first without, then with the dogs. It was amazing. Here's a few images from the day:

The driveway is over 3 miles long, lined with flowering trees and shrubs in a natural style. Then you see this:

When your house sits on 8000 acres, you don't see your neighbors. Just the Smokies:

The planned gardens were a dazzling display of tulips:

Pretty, eh?

The conservatory in enormous, and has several annexes catering to various plant climates, cool, hot, etc.

An azalea garden filled a small valley, criss-crossed with trails, dotted with dogwoods:

Shearing and lamb season:

1 comment:

  1. Matthew and Nancy,
    I have two friends who live in N.Carolina and had told me about the Biltmore house. Your photos do it more justice than the ones I have. It is a splendid place. All of your pictures are great and Matthew,very good writing too! You are seeing so many wonderful places and I am glad for you.