May 02

Asheville, North Carolina – First Stop on the US Roadtrip

by in North America, North Carolina, United States

After a 7 hour drive from Washington, DC – we arrived in Asheville, NC yesterday evening – our first stop on the road trip.  Asheville is a hip, bohemian town nestled among Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina with about 85,000 residents.

One of the primary reasons we visited here was to see the Biltmore Estate.  The house is the largest privately owned residence in North America with almost 180,000 square feet of interior living space (including 250 rooms and 43 bathrooms).  It was built by George Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper’s Great-Great Grand Uncle) between 1889 and 1895.

i'm standing in front of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

I’m standing in front of Biltmore Estate

Admission wasn’t exactly cheap – its $44 per person if you buy your tickets at least 7 days in advance ($15 per person more if you don’t).  We also purchased audio guides for $10 more per person – we found these very helpful because you wouldn’t necessarily know what you were looking at in each room if you didn’t have the guides.  One nice thing about the tour is that we did get to see 50+ rooms in the house.  Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos of the interior of the house so we cannot post any of those pictures here.

The background shows the rolling hills behind the Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC

The background shows the rolling hills behind the Biltmore estate

I love anything architecture related – especially when its on such a grand scale.  The estate is impressive, well-kept and interesting – but I wouldn’t recommend taking a trip out here just to see the house unless you are already in the area.  We had a good time – the one thing the house did lack was that take your breath away, awe-inspiring factor – something the Hearst Castle in central California had (we visited Hearst Castle in 2011).

Stone lion guarding the Biltmore Estate front door in Asheville, NC

Stone lion guarding the Biltmore Estate front door

Relaxing at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

Mustafa relaxing in front of the Biltmore

 

Later in the day, we went to eat at a restaurant in downtown Asheville called Tupelo Honey – which is known for Southern cuisine. Mustafa and I ordered mint iced tea, nutty fried chicken and shrimp and grits with goat cheese – doesn’t get much more Southern than that!

Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, VA

Food from Tupelo Honey Cafe

Next stop: Nashville, Tennessee

Tags: , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Asheville, North Carolina – First Stop on the US Roadtrip”

  1. From Pablo:

    Wait, what? I thought I was the first stop. I know my humble abode doesn’t compare to the Biltmore…

    Posted on May 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm #
    • From Colleen:

      Dear Pablo, Marco-YOLO has received your request. While the square footage of your charming B&B is considerably less than the 4 indoor acres at Biltmore, the food was better at Casa Baragiola so we will redress your grievance shortly.

      Posted on May 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm #
  2. From Aunt Mary:

    Looks like a great choice for a first stop. Nashville, here you come!

    Posted on May 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

Leave a Reply