A Christmas time Visit To The Biltmore Will Transport You To The Gilded Age 

For the first time on Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt welcomed 27 family members and many friends to Biltmore Estate. His new home was still unfinished, so it didn't look as grand as it does today. 

Looking Back

I tour each room on a self-guided listening tour, admiring the elaborate displays, from mantels with greenery, light-reflecting ribbons, and baubles to George and Edith's bedrooms' miniature evergreen trees.

Putting on the Ritz

The Biltmore holiday season runs until January 7, but designers are already planning 2024 themes. They'll lay out all the ornaments on the floor in March to assess next year's possibilities. Designers will then divide the rooms and begin work. 

Planning Ahead

The most affordable option on the property is the charming Village Hotel in nearby Antler Hill Village. However, holiday bookings fill up quickly, so book early.

Where To Stay

In Antler Hill Village, check out Bistro for European-inspired food made with estate-raised ingredients, Cedric's Tavern (named after the Vanderbilts' Saint Bernard) for pub food or The Smokehouse Food Truck for Carolina-style barbecue. 

Where To Eat

Visit the spa for a rejuvenating treatment or go horseback riding, hiking, biking, or falconry (a veteran hawk trainer will teach you to feed birds of prey). Don't miss Biltmore wine tasting or the lush winter conservatory. 

What To Do

Granny Smith Apple Pie for this Christmas