Top 5 Biltmore Family Activities for Summer

Here are our Top 5 Biltmore family activities for summer that are sure to please the entire clan, from grandparents to grandchildren!

Winkie Bar Sundae in a waffle bowl
Try all the ice cream treats, including this delicious Winkie Bar Sundae served in a waffle bowl

5. Ice Cream for Everyone

Did you know that the vanilla ice cream served on the estate is based on a delicious original Biltmore Dairy recipe? Now at Biltmore Dairy Bar near Biltmore House and the Creamery in Antler Hill Village, you and your family can enjoy the same rich flavor enjoy by estate guests more than a century ago.

Tip: Get sandwiches and ice cream to go from The Creamery and have a picnic on the nearby Village Green. Celebrate summer with Biltmore wine for the grownups and Biltmore sparkling grape juice for the younger set.

Family biking at Biltmore
Bring the whole family along on your next biking adventure at Biltmore

4. Biking for All Ages

Ready to explore our wide-open spaces? Visit the Outdoor Adventure Center or Bike Barn in Antler Hill Village and rent mountain bikes for rugged trails or comfort cruisers for paved paths. Tandem rentals also available so the younger members of the family can join the fun.

Tip: You can bike all the way from Antler Hill Village to the Lagoon and back on a level, paved trail.

Costumes inside Downton Abbey: The Exhibition
Detailed and luxurious costumes on display at The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village as part of Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

3. Explore Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

Now through September 7, 2020, the whole family can enjoy Downton Abbey: The Exhibition hosted in two locations on the grounds of the estate. This interactive exhibition connects you with the characters, fashions, and historic events depicted in the global hit television show and new feature film.

Tip: Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to see Downton Abbey: The Exhibition at Biltmore!

Top 5 Biltmore family activities for Summer
Plan a Biltmore visit today to explore our gardens and grounds

2. Play in Our 8,000-Acre Backyard

With 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain backyard, you’ll never run out of places to explore at Biltmore! Enjoy more than 20 miles of hiking trails along the French Broad River, through lush green forests, or in the open meadows of the estate.

Tip: Visit the Bike Barn or Outdoor Adventure Center for a detailed trail map and orientation to the trails.

Biltmore Gardens Railway in Antler Hill Village at Biltmore
Marvel at the wonders of miniature trains during Biltmore Gardens Railway!

1. Biltmore Gardens Railway

One of the absolute must-see elements of the estate this summer is Biltmore Gardens Railway, featuring beautiful botanical model train displays in Antler Hill Village. New for 2020, this charming outdoor exhibition features iconic American train stations—each handcrafted in meticulous detail from all-natural materials.

Tip: Experience Biltmore Gardens Railway July 1, 2020 – February 15, 2021.

Explore Biltmore’s Walking, Running, Hiking, and Bike Trails

Whether you’re at Biltmore for a short stay or are an Annual Passholder, exploring Biltmore’s 22 miles of trails is an excellent way to get some outdoor exercise. From leisurely strolls to intense workouts, our trails offer a variety of routes that can be tailored to your skill level with spectacular views throughout each season.

We’ve listed some of our recommended routes below, but refer to our Garden Map or Trail Map before you embark. All of the trails listed below are pet-friendly, well-maintained, and located on Biltmore’s private property. For more infomation, please contact the Outdoor Adventure Center at 828-225-1331.

Easy Walking Trails

Walk in our manicured gardens on paved paths in Biltmore's Italian and Shrub Gardens
Walk in our manicured gardens on paved paths in our historic gardens

Historic Gardens (walking) – This popular walking path incorporates the Italian Garden (gravel), Shrub Garden (paved), Walled Garden (paved), and Spring Garden (mulch). It stretches approximately 1-2 miles depending on the particular paths you choose. Enjoy the seasonal blooms with the benefit of several benches along the way to stop, catch your breath, and admire Biltmore’s beauty. Please note, some access points to the Shrub Garden and Walled Garden require going up or down railed stairways. 

Azalea Garden (walking) – This mostly-paved walking path can be accessed from either the Spring Garden or Walled Garden. This lovely path allows you to go even deeper into Biltmore’s historic gardens, offering benches along the way, and leads to Bass Pond Waterfall and Boat House. It offers spectacular views across the Bass Pond at approximately 1 mile.

Moderate Walking, Running, and Bike Paths

View from the Lagoon of the West Side of Biltmore House
View from the Lagoon of the West Side of Biltmore House

Lagoon Trail (walking, running, biking) – This mostly flat, paved trail leads to the Lagoon, which offers a striking view of the west side of Biltmore House (a popular picnic spot). Start and end at Antler Hill Village for a pleasant 3-mile trip. The French Broad River and estate farmland provide pleasant scenery as you explore the path. 

Farm Trail (walking, running, biking) – This flat gravel and dirt road runs along the perimeter of Biltmore’s grounds and the French Broad River. Totaling 6 miles, this trail also leads into the Arbor Trace Trail at one end and the Lagoon Trail at the other.

Westover Trails (hiking, biking, trail running) – Access this set of Biltmore trails from the Bike Barn or The Inn on Biltmore Estate to see Biltmore’s beautiful woodlands. The green (1.7 miles) and blue routes (2.8 miles) immerse you in nature while offering wide trails for a comfortable experience with a few challenging hills.

Challenging Hiking, Running, and Bike Paths

On Biltmore's Westover trails, a bridge in the woods
Biltmore Westover trails

Westover Trails (hiking, trail-running, biking) – The black route totals 3.5 miles round-trip inside Biltmore’s beautiful woodland. The narrow trail offers steep hills and is great for a technical single-track bike ride, or authentic hiking experience.

Arbor Trace Trail (hiking, trail-running, biking) This Biltmore trail can only be accessed by first following the Farm Trail. The 3.5 mile round-trip route travels in and out of the woods providing scenic views of the estate’s agriculture and the historic Cottage on Biltmore Estate. The last stretch of the trail (black) is quite narrow and an optional loop.

Deerpark Trail (walking, running, biking) – This challenging uphill trek is quite popular due to the stunning view of Biltmore House it offers. For an even longer challenge, start at Antler Hill Village and take the Farm Trail, to the Lagoon Trail which will meet Deerpark Trail.