8 Must-See Spots for Fall Color at Biltmore

The gardens and grounds of Biltmore during fall are nothing short of dramatically beautiful. An autumnal palette begins just inside the Lodge Gate and continues around every turn. But where exactly are the best places on the estate to find views of spectacular fall color?

1. Top of the Esplanade

Found at the top of the Esplanade near the statue of Diana is a “signature shot” of Biltmore House, framed by enormous hemlocks, pines, and rhododendron, with a majestic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

2. South Terrace

The wide open terrace on the south end of Biltmore House offers long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains with dramatic fall color.

3. Rooftop

The Rooftop Tour of Biltmore House provides you with a bird’s eye view after a climb up the Observatory’s spiral staircase and onto the balconies and rooftop of America’s Largest Home®.

4. Walled Garden

The fall color continues as this formal garden is transformed with hundreds of vibrant mums in autumnal shades—this year, boasting brilliant blooms of red, purple, orange, and yellow.

5. Bass Pond & Boathouse

Follow the Azalea Garden path to the Bass Pond path and discover vivid leaves reflecting upon the water. The geese and other birds and wildlife around the water also add excitement to the season.

6. Lagoon

Any spot near the Lagoon offers dramatic fall color from the wide variety of hardwoods that surround it, but the Boat Ramp towards the middle provides particularly vibrant hues with a view of the west façade of Biltmore House in the distance.

7. The Inn on Biltmore Estate™

Set upon a hilltop near Antler Hill Village, The Inn’s grand panoramic views are not to be missed. Relax on the Grand Terrace and enjoy a glass of Biltmore Wine as you take it all in.

8. Estate Trails

Lastly, Biltmore’s more than 22 miles of trails offer spectacular views throughout each season, but fall provides full immersion of color as your stroll through the beautiful woodlands of the estate.

Don’t miss these special must-see estate locations to experience fall color at its absolute finest. Plan your visit today!

Striking While the Iron is Hot: Biltmore’s Blacksmith

Did you know America’s largest home has a resident blacksmith?

A typical day for Biltmore blacksmith Steve Schroeder is spent demonstrating traditional techniques, telling guests stories, and answering their questions in the estate’s original smithy shop at Antler Hill Barn.

Steve started at Biltmore about seven years ago as an apprentice under blacksmith Doc Cudd. He also spent time working at the Farmyard, eventually becoming supervisor, but when Doc retired at the beginning of the year, Steve returned to the smithy shop.

Blacksmith to Blacksmith

During a demonstration in late April, after being in charge of the shop for about a month, Steve met a guest who was a fellow blacksmith from New Jersey. The guest, likely in his early twenties, showed Steve a piece of his own: a metal key ring featuring a golf ball-sized rose with about 40 tiny petals.

Steve was impressed by the rose design and asked the guest about his process. To his surprise, the guest offered to stay at the smithy shop for what ended up being over an hour to explain the method to Steve as he tried it out.

“That’s one of the great things about blacksmiths,” Steve explains. “We’re very open about sharing projects and we’re happy to teach each other different techniques. There are no secrets in blacksmithing.

“Although I have to say,” he continues, “That was the first opportunity I’ve had to learn from a blacksmith younger than myself—they’re normally about twice my age.”

The Process

  1. The upper portion of the rod is heated—as it is throughout the process—and then hammered (above) until it is incredibly thin.
  2. The rod is twisted in the middle to define the stem.
  3. The flat, upper portion of the rod is placed over a hot cut (below) and struck with a hammer to create indentions along one side, defining the individual petals.
  4. The upper portion is bent into a P-shape.
  5. The P-shape is tightly coiled, revealing the rose design.
  6. The lower portion of the rod bent to create the hook element.

Perfecting the Petals

Steve worked diligently to improve his rose hook technique over the next few months. During that time, news of the fascinating project caught wind around the estate. As result, eight rose hooks were soon installed in the comfortable seating area next to Village Social, located within Village Hotel.

However, Steve is quick to point out that the hooks installed in Village Hotel don’t reflect one of his biggest revelations in perfecting his technique, one that actually came from his wife, Kylie.

“I explained to her that I was having a hard time keeping the petals open in the coiling process,” he says. “She suggested I use pliers to pull the petals back for that nice blooming effect.”

He’s been peeling back the petals that way ever since.

Striking While the Iron is Hot

Steve knew early on there was potential for his products to be sold on the estate—like Doc’s famous leaf insignia key rings. On top of that, guests were asking if the rose hooks were available for purchase on a daily basis.

While Steve didn’t want to sell the product until he thought it was in its best possible form, he knew that he had to “strike while the iron is hot.” (Yes, that is a blacksmith pun, and yes, Steve is full of them.)

Finally, after a few months and a few hundred roses, Steve felt confident enough in the design—more specifically, in his ability to replicate the design over and over—and the product hit the shelves of The Barn Door in early October.

And they are selling just as fast as Steve can make them. He brings a handful of rose hooks to The Barn Door every morning and they’re gone by the afternoon. In the first two weeks, the shop sold more than 50 hooks, making it their current best-selling item.

As a result of this estate collaboration, the product’s footprint is almost non-existent. When a batch of rose hooks is ready, Steve simply walks them next door to be sold—no additional carbon emissions, packaging, or waste involved. In fact, the rose hooks don’t even have price tags.

A Look Ahead

With the success of his most recent endeavor, Steve hopes to have two more products for sale at The Barn Door by the end of the year. While he’s not sure what exactly those products will be, one thing is for sure: thanks to Steve’s passion for blacksmithing and his attention to detail, they will sell out fast.