Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Biltmore at Christmas Time

The historic estate built by George Vanderbilt was first introduced to family and friends on Christmas Eve in 1895~~

The Biltmore Mansion is the largest privately owned home in the United States.  The house is 135,000 square feet and contains 250 rooms.  Christmas at the Biltmore is an amazing spectacle of light and Christmas decor.  

America's largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland, and thousands of beautiful Christmas ornaments.  From the moment you enter the grounds, driving through the gingerbread style gate house - you know this is going to be a truly unforgettable experience.  

The Biltmore lions have been greeting guests to this magnificent estate for over a century. 

The arrival of the Christmas tree at the estate is the beginning of a Christmas celebration that will last well into the coming New Year. 

With hundreds of people involved in the decorating of the estate grounds, inside the mansion, and the surrounding areas that are also part of the estate - the Winery, Antler Hill Village, the farm, and the beautiful shops inside the gate house and garden center. 

 Weeks of preparation will finally culminate when the house is aglow with the twinkle of thousands and thousands of lights~~ 

Inside the home - hundreds of poinsettias fill the winter garden while musicians, dancers, and carolers fill the great halls with music and the sounds of Christmas. 

From the last of November through the first weeks of the New Year - the house is open in the evenings for the Christmas Candlelight tour. There is something magical about seeing this opulent mansion through the flickering glow of Christmas trees and fireplaces.
(the following candlelight photos are courtesy of the Biltmore estate.)

Outside - all around the estate - Christmas decorations are found everywhere you look.  Here a beautiful wreath adorns the door to the Conservatory. 

And at the farm - a regal Christmas tree is part of the decorations in the courtyard.  

The shop at the Winery is splendid with lights and festive displays.  

 The Biltmore winery produces a special Christmas wine every year.

  Visiting the Biltmore at Christmas time has become a tradition for us.  We love the atmosphere, the beautiful decorations and the shopping.

 This year we had a candle light dinner in the Stable cafe.  You can click the photo for a closer look at the incredible menu.  

 The shops in the Stable House are beautifully decorated for the season.  This photo was taken at the Candy shop :)
The Christmas shop was filled with toys and decorations - these Nutcrackers were especially tempting to me~~

The entrance to the wine cellars at the beautiful Antler Hill village.  

Night time sparkles at the village~

The entrance to the ice cream and pastry shop in the village is adorned with this gingerbread tree.  

Baby - it was cold outside!

The lights from the trees made the whole village sparkle.

A visit to the Biltmore at Christmas is an experience to be treasured forever.  

Do you have visits to special places at Christmas time that have become a part of your holiday tradition?  If you would like to learn more about the Biltmore Christmas experience, you can click here. 
The Christmas rush has taken over everything at our house.  We just returned from a visit to Atlanta where we visited with our adorable 3 year old grandson Mason.  (I will have some new photos soon.)  Right now, the Gardener is putting the Christmas tree up and we will decorate it later tonight.   We still have Christmas shopping to do, and wrapping, and baking.  Is your life as crazy as mine right now?

I'm sending you holiday wishes - hoping that the magic of Christmas fills your hearts and that you have enough hours in your day to finish your "to do" lists!!



Sea Witch said...

Lovely photos and what a magnificent tour. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you and those you love. Sea Witch

Acorn to Oak said...

Wow! Visiting there already seemed amazing but over the holidays it looks like a truly magical experience. How fun to have a candle light dinner there at this time of year. :-)

Gert said...

Oh thank you so much for taking us on your journey...this is just an amazing place!

xoxo Gert

Shirley said...

Hi Vicki, I enjoy your adventures so very much. It makes me feel as though I am right there with you. The holidays are always so beautiful with all of the greenry and decorations. I would love to go to somewhere it is warm right now. It is 16 degrees with the wind chill in the single digits tonight. Have a great week. Your Missouri Friend.

Lois Evensen said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. We have driven past the Biltmore many times. We will have to get it into the schedule and stop there sometime. Love your images and information.

kerrie of sea cottage said...

I have never heard of this place so it is wonderment to see! thank you for sharing. Christmas has come way too fast this year. But I am not allowing myself to get busy...I am choosing that which keeps me still and in awe of the beauty surrounding us this magical time of year. ox

sjmcdowell said...

Dear Vicki,

The Biltmore looks like such a beautiful place!! Someday hubby and I will have to take a little road trip to go visit!
I was looking through the pictures, hoping there would be a picture of "you" somewhere...:) and there you were!! Love your smile!! :)

A Blessed Christmas to you and your lovely family,



suziqu's thread works said...

Hello Dear Vicki across the sea my sweetie!
OMG! So much Christmas wonderment!
Thank you so much for the beautiful guided tour. Oh so many beautiful things to absorb including those wall tapestries which are stunning.
My email is still coming and you are still in my thoughts! Just so busy with that "to do" list and the Giveaway!
Love and hugs,

Dorthe said...

Dearest Vicki, what a tour, you took me on... that is magic, and so totally out of everything I would be able to experience in little Denmark . It is I understand a most wonderful tradition, what a gorgeous place,sweet friend.
Hugs and love, Dorthe

SuZeQ said...

So - when are we moving into the Estates? Such a beautiful place and you captured the magic perfectly, OF COURSE ... nobody can do it like you!

Holiday Happies to you and yours and on my wish list this year would be to have about nine more hours per day right up until the 25th ... I need them!

affectioknit said...

I grew up just a few miles south of there...it really is gorgeous at Christmastime...

Have a lovely day!

Sherri said...

Vickie, I live about 2.5 hrs. from the Biltmore House. While I have never been there at Christmas time the whole estate is just gorgeous! I love seeing all the photos you took of all the Christmas decorations-just gorgeous! Maybe next year hubby and I will have to make a visit at Christmas time to the Biltmore. Thanks for sharing your wonderful visit with us.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

What a beautiful place to visit during the holidays.

And I complain about putting up one tree!

gigi knits said...

It looks like a beautiful place to visit over the Christmas Holiday's!!
Can't tell how much I love my Christmas nest.. Hoping the yarn made it to you and that you can use it for future nesting,, Have a Very Merry Christmas..

Carole said...

It's been a dream of mine to go there someday....any season. Ok all the seasons. I took my niece to Newport and we got to visit the Breaker that the Vanderbilts built. I meant to do a post but ran out of time. They are still open between Christmas and New Years so I can't forget to go with hubby. I think seeing this post reminded me that I want to go.
Of course Biltmore is even bigger....the others were just their summer cottages...haha

hugs to you my friend


Erica said...

We took a trip to NC a couple years ago just to see Biltmore at Christmas. Yes, it was COLD, but beautiful! I love the forest of twinkling trees on the lawn, and the candlelight tour was magical. You are so lucky to get there as often as you do. I'm hoping to go in the late spring to see all the gardens.

A Scattering said...

I feel like I've just been on a visit to fairyland! Gorgeous photos, Vicki.

Eileen said...

I love Biltmore! And Christmas at Biltmore is spectacular. Loved the photos.

Deb said...

Hi Vicki! Beautiful photos of a beautiful place!! I've taken one Christmas tour there more than 30 years ago. As wonderful as all the lights are during this season, i think I prefer visiting Biltmore during warmer spring with the flowers coming to life in the gardens, but I really enjoyed the winter tour sitting here in my comfy warm home.

Merry Christmas to you!

Lululiz said...

I am lost for words.........

Lili said...

Oh Vicki, the closest I ever got was to the gift shop when we were visiting family once, it was too late in the day for the tour. But I even loved the gift shop so much. I know that once inside those doors I probably would not want to leave! I just love the overall pictures of it all lit up at night. So magical. And I couldn't think of a more beautiful place to visit at Christmas time. So glad you shared this with us. xoxo ~Lili

yaya said...

Wow, I feel like I was truly there, only now I want to see it for real! My Son and his family lived near there for 2yrs and we never went..our loss! His company always had their Christmas party there and they have many lovely photos and memories of fun times. Yes, our household is crazy now too and I think one day I'll have it all together. I hope by the 25th!

Gabriela said...

Thanks for sharing all the beauty of the Biltmore at Christmas!

susan jenkins said...

Well if I didn't feel Christmas I sure do now!!! Just gorgeous and breathtaking!!!! I want to be there!!!
I went up to Hearst Castle here for the docents party and I thought THAT was wonderful but this!!!Amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing!!Have a wonderful Christmas!Fa la la la la la la la la!
xx Susan

Bonnie said...

Everything looks so beautiful. I would love to see this in person.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Rustique Gal said...

What gorgeous pictures! If I ever get to the Biltmore, I hope it is at Christmas! It looks like wonderland!
Hope you get everything done and have a wonderful relaxing holiday!

Esme said...

Vicki this place is gorgeous. Next year I am coming with you. Your photos are incredible.

Bumpkin Bears said...

oh pure magic! The photos at night are just brethtaking, how I would like to go there right now! Maybe one day.. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Catherine x

Avery Hill said...


Thank you for posting!

I would love love love to visit!

Merry Christmas, Vicki!


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Did you know Mr. Vanderbilt wanted to build in Burkes Garden here in Tazewell County? The residents wouldn't sell him any property so he moved south to Asheville.
Merry Christmas, Vicki, from Thistle Cove Farm.

MosaicMagpie said...

This is a favorite place of mine to visit. I have been several times during the years, but never at Christmas. Such beautiful photos! The views out the windows of that estate are breathtaking. I have 2 begonia plants that I purchased years ago, from their garden shop. They serve as a nice reminder of our visits there. I am certain "The Gardener" is enjoying having help from Mason as you decorate your home. Have a great Christmas.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, we love the Biltmore estate, too! We have lived near the estate for years and kept a season pass for most of those years and Christmas is my favorite time to visit the house! I love all of the Christmas trees..especially the ones in the children's rooms. You took wonderful photos! Happy holidays! ♥♥♥

Anonymous said...

This is such an amazing post - thank you for sharing it with us!
Sounds like things are busy but happy at your house!
Merry, Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you and yours, Vicki!

Donna said...

Wow..just WOW!!!

Joluise said...

What a magnificent place. MY brother has visited the house and loved it. Thankyou so much for sharing your adventures, its too far for me to visit so I enjoy my lounge chair traveling.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for the tour of the Biltmore. It is a place I've wanted to see forever but I've never seen it all pretty for the holidays! I wanted to get over here before Christmas to wish you a merry one but the season got the better of me. To say it was busy would be an understatement. Reading your blog & getting to know you thru it has been a highlight for me this year. Can't wait to read your adventures in 2012.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for the tour of the Biltmore. It is a place I've wanted to see forever but I've never seen it all pretty for the holidays! I wanted to get over here before Christmas to wish you a merry one but the season got the better of me. To say it was busy would be an understatement. Reading your blog & getting to know you thru it has been a highlight for me this year. Can't wait to read your adventures in 2012.

Lili said...

While I was over here, I just had to take another look at the Biltmore in this magical season. If I lived closer I'm sure this would be a frequent destination of ours too. I'm so glad you share your visits there with us! xoxo ~Lili