Off The Beaten Path: Hidden Gems of Biltmore

Discover the “hidden gems” of Biltmore Estate–special spots that may be off the beaten path, but are worth exploring during your next visit to this welcoming destination in Asheville, NC.

“Our guests tend to be familiar with Biltmore House and its historic gardens, but there are many hidden gems around the property that you might miss if you’re not looking for them,” said Bill Quade, Director of Horticulture.

The Vista and statue of Diana

The statue of Diana overlooking Biltmore House is a hidden gem in the landscape.
Statue of Diana overlooking Biltmore House

At the top of the long, sloping Vista overlooking Biltmore House, you’ll find a marble statue of Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt, under a wooden arbor. Accompanied by one of her dogs, she gazes out over the landscape.

“The statue is beautiful all by itself,” said Bill, “but when you combine it with a perfect view of Biltmore House framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond it, it’s a spectacular place to have a picnic or watch the sunset.”

Three women enjoy a picnic with a view of Biltmore House
The sloping lawn below the statue of Diana offers picnickers a perfect view of Biltmore House!

Tip: The area behind the statue of Diana is a popular site for weddings and group events, so it may be tented, especially during summer and fall.

The Bass Pond is one of Biltmore’s hidden gems

Boat House at the Bass Pond is a hidden gem of Biltmore
The view of the Bass Pond from the Boat House is worth the walk!

The Bass Pond is located at the end of Biltmore’s formal gardens, and though it’s a bit of a walk, the end result is well worth it.

“Keep following the path through the Azalea Garden and you’ll come out at the Bass Pond,” Bill said. “There’s a rustic boathouse on the shore and a bridge over the waterfall at the far end. It’s a beautiful spot for seasonal color and birdwatching.”

Canadian geese on an island at the Bass Pond
The Bass Pond offers wonderful opportunities to view the wilder side of the estate!

Tip: The return trip to Biltmore House is uphill, so take your time and set your own pace. If you don’t have time to walk to the Bass Pond, you can drive to it and use one of the convenient pullouts along the way to park your car and admire this hidden gem designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the estate’s landscape architect.

Explore the Conservatory

Two women in front of the Conservatory at Biltmore
The Conservatory in the Walled Garden is a hidden gem that’s worth exploring in every season.

Created as both an indoor garden filled with tropical treasures and a production greenhouse for nurturing plants, the Conservatory forms the back wall of the formal English-style Walled Garden.

“The design of Biltmore’s Conservatory was a collaboration between Biltmore’s architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted,” Bill said. “And we still maintain the original intent to showcase exotic specimens like orchids and palms, and we also grow some of the plants we use around the estate, like a portion of our Christmas poinsettias.”

Pink Ball Tree flowers
There are hidden gems within the Conservatory, like the fragrant flowers of this Pink Ball Tree (Dombeya wallichii)

Tip: There is always something blooming inside the Conservatory!

Linger by the Lagoon

View of the west side of Biltmore House from the Lagoon
The Lagoon offers a striking reflection of the west side of Biltmore House.

Just below the 250-acre Deer Park portion of the estate, Frederick Law Olmsted created the Lagoon as a peaceful, natural water feature that also serves to reflect the west facade of Biltmore House.

“The Lagoon is raised above the level of the French Broad River that flanks it, which helps keep the water at a more consistent level,” Bill noted. “It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy a picnic or watch for wildlife and waterfowl in every season. Many guests drive right by it on their way to Antler Hill Village and don’t realize they’ve missed another of Biltmore’s hidden gems.”

Tip: If you’re looking for a flat, easy trail with lovely views, park at Antler Hill Village and bike or walk the paved path all the way to the Lagoon and back.

Learn more about hiking and biking on Biltmore Estate and download our Trail Map on our Activities page.

More hidden gems of Biltmore Estate:

Hidden Gem: Antler Hill Village. This European-inspired village celebrates our estate agricultural legacy with learning experiences, field-to-table dining, outdoor adventure, unique shops and restaurants, and our award-winning Winery.
Hidden gem: In late summer months, sunflowers line the path from Antler Hill Village to the Lagoon.
Hidden gems: meet friendly farm animals at the Farmyard in Antler Hill Village.
Hidden gems: discover beautiful views along our network of hiking and biking trails.
Hidden gems: discover colorful koi in the Italian Garden pools
Hidden gems: explore a world of outdoor sculpture at Biltmore, like this cherub in the Italian Garden.
Hidden gems: a winged dragon carved into the base of a stone fountain near the Front Door of Biltmore House.
Hidden gems: the booths inside Stable Café are the original horse stalls from the estate’s stable complex!
Hidden gems: three large bronze turtle fountains at the base of the Rampe Douce were designed to handle the overflow from the estate’s reservoir system.

While we invite all our guests to enjoy finding some of these often-overlooked areas during your next visit, you may want to consider the benefits of purchasing a Biltmore Annual Pass. As a Passholder, you’ll receive exclusive benefits such as FREE unlimited visits for the next 12 months to discover your own hidden gems in every season!

Featured image: The Conservatory is a hidden gem of Biltmore that offers a tropical escape any time of year!