It was beautiful in the winter but the spring and summer must be out of this world.
A view of the Blue Ridge Mountains form the Biltmore.
Tuesdya we toured the Biltmore - a 250 room mansion billed as the largest private home in the USA. In 1895 George Washington Vanderbilt built this 250 room mansion as a summer home. It has 50 bathrooms - and took 3 years to build. It is still privately owned by the family - but they gave the surrounding 15,000 acres of forest to the federal government on the condition that it become a national forest and never be developed.
In 1930 - the family decided to open the home as a tourist mecca. The grandson of George Vanderbilt decided that the house should be self-supporting. They get roughly 1 million visitors a year paying $60 a head. It take hundreds of caretakers and servants to keep the place up. As we walked through about 50 rooms alone - it was kind of spooky hearing the wind buffet the old double hung windows. When you went near the doors - there was a steady breeze of frigid air coming in. In some places - you could see snow flakes making their way through the cracks. I guess installing insulation and weather stripping would ruin the historic ambiance. The hardware and woodward were still in fantastic shape 115 years later.
Normally it is $60 admission - but Lulu found 2 tickets on craigslist.org for $20. We spent about 3 hours going through about 50 rooms and walking the grounds before the cold and winds sent us back to the car - and on to Knoxville.