Christmas at the Biltmore is so magical! I had visited the Biltmore in Asheville, NC previously during the summer, and seeing it all lit up for Christmas was quite an amazing transformation. I went on both the Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour and the Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration tour, and I don’t know if I could pick a favorite between the two. The mansion is beautiful at any point in the year, but I can’t recommend seeing the Biltmore Christmas lights in the winter enough if you get the chance!
For information about visiting the Biltmore in 2020, visit their Health and Safety page.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
I don’t think I have seen so many sparkling Christmas trees before going on the Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour! The Biltmore really is decked out for the season. The Candlelight tour has live Christmas music and lit fireplaces, and the lights are turned down low to make it nice and cozy.
If you want to really experience Christmas at the Biltmore and feel like you’ve stepped back in time, I definitely recommend the Candlelight tour! I almost felt like I was at Hogwarts at Christmastime it felt so magical.
Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration
If you haven’t visited the Biltmore yet, I recommend doing the Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration tour, too! Seeing it all lit up for Christmas at night is amazing, but you get to experience more of the house and its history during the day. And the tours during the day are much less crowded, so it was nice to be able to go at our own pace and not have to wait to take pictures without people in the way.
For a little history on the Biltmore, it was built between 1889 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II, and it’s the largest privately owned house in the US (it’s still owned by the Vanderbilt descendants). I’ve been to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY, and I think the Biltmore is even more impressive!
George Washington Vanderbilt II loved visiting Asheville for the scenery, so he built the Biltmore as his “little mountain escape” (I don’t know how the Biltmore could ever be considered “little”). It was built in the Châteauesque style, inspired by the French Renaissance. As beautiful as the inside of the house is, I recommend spending some time admiring the architecture outside, too! A lot of work went into small details with statues and gargoyles, and it’s pretty impressive to see in person.
Vanderbilt died in 1914 so the house was used less and less, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1963.
Make sure you spend some time exploring the grounds to experience more Christmas at the Biltmore! There isn’t much in bloom in the gardens, but the conservatory is amazing to see (and it’s a nice and warm escape during the winter). And if it’s a nice day outside, you can spend some time walking around the estate’s 8,000 acres and see beautiful views of the mountains.
I hope I’ve persuaded you to experience all the amazing Biltmore Christmas lights and decorations! The Biltmore in itself is amazing to see, but seeing it at Christmas is even more special and memorable 🙂
Unable to travel to the Biltmore to experience Christmas this year? Check out my other Christmas content for beautiful sights around Philadelphia and gift guides!