I don’t know how this happened, but I just realized I never got to share me and my husband’s trip to Asheville, NC to see the Biltmore Estate! Eek! Better late than never. 🙂
This trip in early December was a really nice reset for us both, filled with many firsts we got to share together.
It was Erick’s first time EVER on a horse, and both of our first times eating at a five-star restaurant. The Dinign Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, where we stayed, had some of the best flavor combinations and textures. The salmon was perfectly crisp on the outside but mellllttteeddd like butter in your mouth. YUM. With five-stars, we also got 5 courses and were stuffed and feeling like gluttons by the end of our meal. We took our macaron dessert to go! I wish I took pictures of it, but I was embarrassed to take out my phone to snap a pic! It was so fancy and was our first five-star experience, so I’m not really sure of etiquette, but my mom always says “when in doubt, don’t!” Ha! Oh, and did I mention this restaurant is INCLUDED with your stay for dinner every. single. NIGHT?! To say the least, it was a nice break from being behind the stove at home.
The estate also had shuttles that ran all day long, so no car rentals or driving necessary! YAY! The staff was extremely helpful in setting up reservations for dining and tours and they really made everything convenient.
Although we didn’t venture out of Asheville, actually off of the Biltmore Estate at all, there was a TON to do. I know a lot of hotels claim to have something for everyone, but this place really did! Miles of hiking trails in woods made for the perfect weekend for the adventurous type who likes to mountain bike, ride horses or, yes, HIKE! Sparkling rivers made a great place to cast a fishing line or float a kayak, and if you are feeling brave, climb aboard an off-road segway!
My husband, Erick, and I chose the latter, another first for us both, and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much from being TERRIFIED! I had never been on one of these things and in the “training arena” where we had to master tasks before going off road, Erick crashed into me. Luckily there were no injuries, only a lot of poking fun at my engineer, race-car-driving husband, and we got to be upgraded to “Screamin’ Eagle” mode to fly across the land at a whopping 13 miles per hour! Haha! 🙂
Besides this incident the segways are actually really safe, and the rental facility will give you helmets. Kids can join, too, so it is family friendly!
The Biltmore House itself… well, I don’t really even know where to start with this one! The architecture, the history, the antiques, the paintings, the gardens… It is a true American GEM. If you go during Christmas, I highly recommend the Candlelight Tour! Sipping Hot Chocolate under twinkling lights and the roof of a castle DEFINITELY brings of the Christmas magic.
The one thing Erick and I didn’t get to do that we wish we could have, was Afternoon Tea. The Vanderbilt’s loved their afternoon tea, and this experience was supposed to hold true to this tradition with multiple teas you could taste, tea cakes and sandwiches to nibble on, and an ambiance that made you feel like you were traveling back in time to share a cup of tea with the Vanderbilt’s themselves. Every day we checked, the reservations were full and there was even a waiting list of a dozen people! Book this event months before you go if it is something you want to try!
Moving forward, each year Erick and I are going to pick somewhere new to travel to. We haven’t decided where this year’s vacation will take us, but I do know it will bring us closer together. Experiencing new things, whether with friends, family or alone, feeds your soul. It let’s new ideas and concepts in, making you more open to others around you. The grass will seem a little greener. The sunrise, a little more beautiful, and home… Well, home will be that much sweeter. <3
Happy travels! Feel free to offer us suggestions on where we should go next!