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Trip 3, Day 3: Biltmore Estate


The Biltmore Estate was a great stop during this trip, being positioned nearly halfway between the Congaree National Park in Columbia, SC, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Visiting the Biltmore required purchasing tickets in advance for a particular house tour time and the tickets included access to the gardens, grounds, and wine tasting (which also required a reservation and was well worth it!). We did the audio tour for the house, which was a beautiful example of an ornate mansion from the Gilded Age, designed in the style of several French chateaus. The house continues to hold the record as the largest house in America. (COVID protocols at the Biltmore required masks be worn while inside the house and other buildings.) The house, gardens, and grounds have been beautifully maintained and several rooms already held Christmas trees and decorations as the Biltmore was getting ready for the holiday season.

There are several hiking/biking trails on the grounds and we hiked the Deer Park Trail down to the French Broad River (about 2 1/2 miles roundtrip) and the trail to the Bass Pond, as well as walking the many garden paths/trails. We wrapped up our visit with a late afternoon wine tasting at the Antler Hill Village & Winery. The wine tasting was very well organized and included sampling five different wines of our choice from a list of about a dozen; they all were enjoyable.


We stayed in nearby Asheville, NC, which is well-known as a city of breweries. We only had time to visit two of them: Green Man Brewery and Wicked Weed Brewing Pub, both with excellent beers.


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