Top 5 Winter Activities for Overnight Guests

While winter is Biltmore’s most peaceful season, it still offers plenty to do for overnight guests! Whether you’re interested in escaping the cold or exploring the estate, here are our top 5 winter activities:

Biltmore Red Wine & Chocolate tasting setup
Enjoy a specialty experience like our Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting at the Winery.

5. Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting

One of Biltmore’s most popular Specialty Wine Experiences, our Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting is a lovely opportunity to stay warm. Sip your way through a number of our red varietals paired with locally produced artisan chocolates from French Broad Chocolate and discover why each is a heavenly match.

Falconry is a Top 5 Winter activity at Biltmore
Explore the thrilling art of falconry at Biltmore

4. Falconry

Discover the ancient art of falconry on Biltmore’s historic grounds. Learn how to handle a trained hawk or falcon, then experience the inimitable thrill of a raptor flying to and landing upon your gloved hand. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with one of these majestic birds of prey–it’s sure to become one of your favorite winter activities.

West facade of Biltmore House in snow
While snowfall isn’t common in our area, it is a spectacular treat when the estate is blanketed in white.

3. Guided Hikes

If you’re feeling adventurous despite the lower temperatures, bundle up for one of our Guided Hikes—offered exclusively to overnight guests. Choose from the moderate to fast-paced Trail Blazers or the more relaxed River Stroll and spend time enjoying the long-range views that winter brings to Biltmore.

Biltmore Blacksmith at work
Watch our blacksmith work and learn more about the craft in Antler Hill Barn. Hours vary seasonally.

2. Blacksmith Demonstrations

While strolling through Antler Hill Village, be sure to make your way to the Barn to see our incredible Blacksmith Demonstrations. Not only is it fascinating to watch our blacksmith work—it’s also quite cozy in the Smithy Shop. For a memento of your visit, check for hand-forged items at The Barn Door shop located next door.

Van Gogh Alive multi-sensory experience
A guest explores Van Gogh Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences

1. Van Gogh Alive

And finally, the must-see event at Biltmore this winter is Van Gogh Alive, created by Grande Experiences and hosted at our event center on the grounds of the estate.

Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s paintings. Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Explore Biltmore this winter!

Stay overnight at one of our distinctive properties to ensure you have enough time to experience all of the top winter activities the estate has to offer. For the ultimate escape, consider one of our special overnight packages.

Top 6 Rainy Day Activities at Biltmore

What’s the best way to enjoy all that our sprawling, 8,000-acre private mountain estate has to offer when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating? 

In George and Edith Vanderbilt’s day, you could curl up in the Library with a good book, enjoy a dip in the indoor pool, warm up with a brisk workout in the Gymnasium, or even spend the afternoon bowling—all without ever leaving Biltmore House! Fast-forward over a century and there’s still plenty to do to ensure a rainy day doesn’t ruin your vacation to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina!

Things to do on a rainy day at Biltmore

Inside Biltmore's Conservatory
Biltmore’s historic Conservatory is a tropical getaway all year long, but an especially nice retreat during a rainy day at Biltmore!

1. Explore the Conservatory

This glorious garden-under-glass is a fascinating place to explore in any weather, but it’s especially nice to enjoy all the benefits of a lush garden full of tropical plants without getting drenched in a downpour!

Butler's Pantry
Step inside the Bulter’s Pantry of Biltmore House with a specialty tour.

2. Upgrade your visit to include a Biltmore House specialty tour

Let the rain fall while you experience a different side of Biltmore House and its surroundings. Specialty tours such as the Biltmore House Backstairs Tour offer a behind-the-scenes look at the rarely-seen domestic staff’s areas and what it was like to work at America’s Largest Home over a century ago.

Tip: Specialty tours offered in Biltmore House will change periodically and may have limited capacity. For our most current offerings, please visit our Tours page online.

Guests at The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad exhibbition
Learn about the Vanderbilt family and their travels, including their fateful decision to not board the Titanic as planned.

3. Learn more about the Vanderbilts at The Biltmore Legacy

Antler Hill Village is home to The Biltmore Legacy, an exhibition space that features a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Vanderbilt family and their treasures with our The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad exhibition. Exploring this guest-favorite exhibition is a perfect rainy-day activity at Biltmore!

Biltmore Wines
Discover our entire portfolio of Biltmore Wines at our Winery in Antler Hill Village.

4. Enjoy Biltmore Wines at America’s most-visited winery

Let it pour outside while you enjoy the “pours” inside at America’s most-visited winery! This original estate dairy barn was converted to a winery in 1985, and you can experience a complimentary wine tasting (included with any admission type!) and other delicious offerings! Plus, Biltmore’s Winery recently welcomed a stunning Chandelier by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly, which is on display daily inside our Wine Shop.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, ca. 1484–1486
Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, located in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, is yours to explore in vivid, large-scale detail with a visit to “Italian Renaissance Alive” at Biltmore.

5. Be transported to one of the most influential periods in art history

If you’re a fan of art history, you will not want to miss Italian Renaissance Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences, as it makes its world premiere at Biltmore! Set to a powerful operatic score, this immersive digital art exhibition features larger-than-life displays of some of the most renowned works in art history by such icons as Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, and Caravaggio.

Tip: This special exhibition is included with select ticket types or as part of select lodging packages. Biltmore Annual Passholders may purchase discounted exhibition-only tickets. Plan your visit while it lasts!

Afternoon Tea at The Inn
Savor decadent scones as part of the elegant Afternoon Tea service offered at The Inn.

6. Shop, Savor, and Stay!

What better way to wait out a rain shower than to savor decadent farm-to-table meals or pick out momentos from your time at Biltmore? With over 20 unique shops and restaurants on the estate available only to Biltmore guests and Passholders, you’ll have plenty to choose from!

Make your time on George Vanderbilt’s visionary estate even more memorable with an overnight stay at one of our unique lodging properties, including our four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate, cozy Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, or a historic, private Cottage on Biltmore Estate.

Raindrops settle on coneflowers in Biltmore's gardens.
Summer rain showers leave glistening drops on native coneflowers in Biltmore’s gardens.

BONUS: Pack an umbrella and explore our gardens and grounds

The weather in the mountains changes frequently, so much so, that the locals in Asheville often say “If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.” During light showers, you might even enjoy grabbing your umbrella or rain poncho for a peaceful stroll through our historic gardens.

Tip: Be sure to check the local weather radar and have a backup plan in case the forecasts predict more severe weather than a mild sprinkle.