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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Great Winter Specials at Biltmore House: America's Downton Abbey

Biltmore House with a rare winter snow.
We love to explore Biltmore Estate in Asheville during January through March. Gone are the holiday crowds. It's certainly the most tranquil time of the year, plus you get the best deals on tickets to tour Biltmore House.
Discount Tickets
Take advantage of the lowest admission prices of the year January 13 through March 19, 2014. Biltmore Estate admission begins at $39 when tickets are purchased online seven or more days in advance. Regular tickets are $49, and kids aged nine and younger are free. For more info, go to www.romanticasheville.com/Biltmore.html

Free Audio Tours
Available at no additional charge January 13 through March 19, two new audio tours give an updated interpretation of Biltmore’s grand rooms, architecture, collection of art and antiques, as well as true stories about the Vanderbilt family, their guests and servants. For the first time, Biltmore has introduced a children’s audio tour in addition to the standard audio tour, created to give kids an imaginative connection to life in the Vanderbilt household. Biltmore’s curators and hosts narrate the standard audio tour, while the children’s tour is told from the point of view of Cedric, the Vanderbilt’s beloved Saint Bernard. Both tours follow the same route through Biltmore House for families to enjoy together.
Free Garden Orchid Talks
Biltmore's Conservatory in the beautiful walled garden is filled with thousands of tropical plants, including an expansive orchid display at its showiest peak in March. Orchids and Biltmore have a long history; in fact, some 800 orchids were on Vanderbilt’s list to be purchased for the Conservatory in 1894. A new educational tour is offered in the Conservatory Mondays through Fridays, January 20 through March 19 at 11 AM. Expert gardeners discuss the many types of orchids in bloom and topics such as Biltmore’s heritage orchids, the history of orchid cultivation, and details about the Conservatory. Growing tips and general care information will also be offered.
Downton Abbey of the South
As the fourth season of “Downton Abbey” airs on PBS, fans of the show have taken note of similarities between Biltmore and the period drama hit. Thematic story lines and the era of the show overlap with the time when George and Edith Vanderbilt lived in the 250-room Biltmore House and raised their daughter Cornelia. Parallels between Biltmore and Downton Abbey can be brought to life in two specialty tours at Biltmore. During the Butler’s Tour, discover how Biltmore House functioned, past and present, and learn about the work of the Vanderbilt’s domestic servants. As for the opulence upstairs, it’s easy to imagine what it would have been like to stay at Biltmore (1895 to the early 1930s) with the Vanderbilts as your hosts during the Vanderbilt Family & Friends Tour. Each tour is $17 per person in addition to estate admission.
Free Winery Tour & Wine Tasting
Stop at the Biltmore Winery for a free guided tour of the production facility and complimentary tastings. Antler Hill Village is just steps away from the Winery and features “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” an exhibition highlighting archival letters, personal items and exotic treasures collected around the world.
Special rates at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
Their four-star hotel, Inn on Biltmore Estate, has special winter pricing with savings up to half off. Rooms start at $149 per night. Finishing an afternoon with English tea at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, complete with traditional English finger sandwiches, scones, fruit breads, and tea pastries, will round out a day in the spirit of “Downton Abbey.”

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