10 Fast Facts About Biltmore

Estate History 09/18/18

Written By Heather Angel

Get to know George Vanderbilt’s magnificent 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, with this list of Biltmore facts.

Portrait of George Washington Vanderbilt
Photograph of George Vanderbilt, a scholar, collector, and patron of the arts who came of age during America’s Gilded Age

Nestled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore House is the largest privately owned home in the United States, and was the Gilded-Age vision of George Washington Vanderbilt.

10 Fast Facts About Biltmore

  1. George Vanderbilt was born in 1862 in Staten Island, New York. He was the grandson of famed industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt.

  2. After visiting Asheville in 1888, George Vanderbilt began the process of building his country home. Construction began in 1889 and Biltmore House was first opened to friends and family on Christmas Eve, 1895.

  3. Biltmore House was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and is America’s Largest Home® spanning 175,000 square feet, which is more than four acres of floor space. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau includes 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.

  4. Adjacent to Biltmore House are 75 acres of formal and informal gardens designed by renowned American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.

  5. George Vanderbilt married Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in Paris in 1898. Their only child, Cornelia Vanderbilt, was born in the Louis XV Room of Biltmore House in 1900.

  6. Biltmore was a pioneer in sustainable land use practices in 1895 and has long operated its farm and field-to-table program. Biltmore is also credited as the Birthplace of American Forestry. Today, Biltmore continues to honor George Vanderbilt’s legacy of preserving the land and protecting the environment through many ecological, recycling, and alternative energy programs.

  7. While the current acreage of Biltmore Estate is approximately 8,000 acres, the acreage during George Vanderbilt’s lifetime was approximately 125,000 acres and included property later sold to the federal government to create Pisgah National Forest, one of the first national forests east of the Mississippi.

  8. With 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain estate to discover. today’s guests enjoy Biltmore’s scenic backyard with outdoor activities like biking, carriage rides, hiking, horseback riding, and more. The private estate grounds feature over 22 miles of trails to explore.

  9. George Vanderbilt’s grandson, William A.V. Cecil, began planting grapevines in the early 1970s, paving the way for the establishment of Biltmore’s Winery in 1985. Today, our winery is an integral part of a Biltmore visit and is America’s most visited winery. Biltmore’s award-winning wines are available for purchase at estate shops, on, and in select retailers nationwide.

  10. On exhibit inside Biltmore House is the Vanderbilt family’s original collection, art, furniture, and more. With an emphasis on preservation, it’s no surprise Biltmore prides itself on having an in-house conservation department.
Discover 10 fast facts about Biltmore!

A mission of preservation

Today, Biltmore is still family owned and operated under George Vanderbilt’s mission of preservation through self-sufficiency – a philosophy embraced before the first stone was ever placed.

Over the years, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village & Winery, which includes Antler Hill Farm; overnight accommodations, including The Inn on Biltmore Estate–our Forbes Four-Star property, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, and our historic Cottages on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and a licensed products division.

Ready to learn more?

Since 1895, Biltmore has welcomed guests from all over the world to experience the splendor of George Vanderbilt’s visionary estate.

No matter the season, an 8,000-acre oasis awaits you. From historic gardens and grounds to outdoor adventure, behind-the-scenes tours, dining, shopping, and wine tastings, there is something for everyone.

Learn more about Biltmore by planning your visit.

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3 years ago

We planned a family vacation to visit Asheville, NC in October 2019. Visiting the Biltmore Mansion was definitely the highlight of our trip. I would highly recommend the fall leaves splendor.

9 months ago

Christmas is beautiful, all the time period decorations are simply amazingly beautiful

Robert Schuleit
9 months ago

We visited June of 2022. Unbelievable, as you might expect. But, the staff is fantastic and really make the experience pleasurable. Well worth the money!

Harriet Martin
5 months ago

I will be visiting the Biltmore in mid October 2022 for the first time.

T. J
4 months ago

We hope to visit in late November 2022. How long does it take for a typical tour of the home?

Hector Pagan
4 months ago
Reply to  T. J

Went there close to 2 weeks ago and, tour the house it self, we no rush to listen and observe all take close to 3 hours,plus, the gardens,store,restaurants, winery,ect, is easy a 6 to 8 hours tour

Doug Rowland
4 months ago
Reply to  T. J

I have been multiple times. How long is up to you. I like to take my time so as s to see everything. You can turn the audio guide, which I recommend, on and off, otherwise it will move you along. Figure 1&1/2 hours. Plan the Christmas season for the best experience.

Amy Mullis
4 months ago

This is a gorgeous estate and is beautiful to see any time of the year!!!

Wayne Hall
4 months ago

Have been to Biltmore House many times and it never amazes me that each time I discover something I missed. Loved it so that I bought season tickets.

Darlene Nixon
3 months ago

I went there about 10 years ago & that home is gorgeous. I like the build-in bowling alley with real pins & bowling balls & especially the lanes. The rest of the rooms are beautiful. Keep up the good work.

J Leon Jones
3 months ago

My daughter treated my wife and me to a Christmas visit. In addition to Me, my wife and daughter, my two granddaughters accompanied us on this wonderful visit. It is a great place to visit.

van stein
3 months ago

It took them 6 years to build this place-that’s because I wasn’t running that job. It’s gorgeous-I totally loved the tour. I would love to see the original architectural drawings of this place. Everything is so interesting we loved the history.

Jane Elliott
1 month ago
Reply to  van stein

It’s been a while since I visited the Biltmore but in one of the basement rooms, at that time they called it the Halloween Room because of the paintings the daughter and friends put on the walls, but on exhibit were the architectural drawings and pictures of the construction work! It was one of my favorite rooms, totally fascinating me.

1 month ago
Reply to  Jane Elliott

Dear Jane,
You can read more detail about the Halloween Room in Biltmore House in this blog post:

3 months ago

where did all the white oak used inside come from?

3 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Great question, Phil! Much of the oak for the interior of Biltmore House was grown, cut, and milled on the property.

2 months ago

We’re enroute to Florida for the winter and my husband wanted me to see the estate. I’m so happy that we’s a most incredible home with fabulous staff to help..unbelievable acreage and views. Well worth the trip.

Maria Woodward
2 months ago

I would love to learn more.

Barbara McDonald, Illinois
1 month ago

We have been there 3 times and each time it is a marvelous trip, we see something we had never seen before. We hope to see it again in 2023. I would recommend this trip to everyone .

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