The Biltmore exudes Christmas spirit. It’s unmistakable–from the glowing fireplaces and thousands of twinkling lights to the numerous shops and restaurants that welcome you in with the elegance of warm Southern hospitality. From the moment you pull through the gates, you’ll encounter unexpected beauty at every turn, and we could all use an infusion of that beauty and elegance as we wrap up 2020. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your time at Biltmore during this year’s Christmas season.
Daytime vs. Evening Experiences: Which to Choose?
When you book tickets during the Christmas season, which runs from Nov. 6th through January 10th this year, you’ll be asked to choose between the Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration or the Candlelight Christmas Evenings. All the shops, displays, and accessibilities apply to both tickets. The biggest difference? After the sun sets, Biltmore fairly glows with Christmas magic, thanks to countless pathway luminaries, tens of thousands of twinkle lights, and fireplaces aglow with life. Here’s a breakdown of your options for both day and evening tickets, so you can make the best choice for your visit!
Christmas at Biltmore doesn’t disappoint–even during the daytime when instead of twinkle lights, the property glows with cool Smoky Mountain winter sunlight. With a daytime ticket, you’ll still be able to enjoy the grounds, which includes admission to the glittering Antler Hill light displays after the sunsets. You’ll save a few dollars by booking daytime tickets; you just won’t be able to walk through Biltmore House itself after dark. You’ll enjoy wine tastings at the Biltmore Winery, admission to Antler Hill’s displays, shops, and restaurants, and a daytime experience of walking through the Biltmore House, which glitters with ornaments and seasonal decor during daylight hours.
Tickets to Candlelight Christmas Evenings include everything that a daytime ticket includes, as well as the unforgettable experience of walking through Biltmore Estate when the fireplaces are glowing and the artistry of excellent lighting and Christmas decor really shine. If seeing the estate at night doesn’t sound like it would add that much magic, or if you’re traveling with young children who’d enjoy the experience earlier in the day, then you could probably opt out of the evening experience. Otherwise, we highly recommend booking an evening ticket, which also includes admission to Biltmore House during daylight hours either the same day as the evening you visit or the day after. For a minimal extra cost, you’ll add an extra depth of experience that’s well worth your time and effort.
When selecting a ticket during the holiday season, you’ll also be met with options to choose between different tiers of experiences: the Biltmore experience, the Enhanced Experience, and the Exclusive Experience.
- The Biltmore experience (the least expensive tier) will be more than adequate for many visitors; it includes access to Biltmore House and Gardens, allows you to take a self-guided tour of the house and grounds, and offers access to Antler Hill Village and Winery–the ultimate destination for shops, restaurants, and one-of-a-kind Christmas gift ideas while you’re at Biltmore.
- The Enhanced Experience adds an audio guide to your walking tour, which gives you insight into some of the Vanderbilt’s best stories and archival details about the property.
- The Exclusive Experienced is truly exclusive and shows you parts of Biltmore no one else gets to experience. When you opt for this tier, you’ll be matched with a guide who’ll spend 90 minutes walking you through the estate, sharing historical background and stories, answering questions, and even taking you through exclusive areas within the estate that aren’t open to other tourgoers, based on your interests.
All tiers of tickets at Biltmore House include free parking, admission to Antler Hill Village and Winery, and Antler Hill’s scintillating evening light displays.
Extras To Enjoy During Your Visit
Not every Biltmore Estate experience is for everyone. But match up your Christmas dreams with Biltmore’s offerings, and you’ll be in for some unforgettable memories! These are a few of our favorite Biltmore experiences that most guests don’t get to experience.
The Spa: Few spa experiences feel quite this indulgent and exclusive. With decor inspired by the Biltmore main house and massage therapists and estheticians who’re veritable rock stars in their field, it’s impossible to go wrong with a spa day at the Biltmore. Whether you opt for a facial, a massage, or a nail treatment during your visit (or all three!) you might just walk away feeling like you’ve indulged in the best spa experience of your life. A spa day at Biltmore might be the best Christmas gift you give yourself during your time in Asheville.
Overnight Stays: Biltmore was established to welcome overnight guests in extreme warmth and style; book an overnight stay at one of the estate’s overnight stay options, and you’ll be able to enjoy the best of the evenings on the incomparable Biltmore grounds, take in the light displays on Antler Hill, and dine at Biltmore House’s top restaurants–all without having to leave the property in the evening.
Kid’s Experiences: Biltmore isn’t just for the grown-ups amongst us. You’ll find a full spate of options to engage the youngest visitors, from carriage rides to craft demonstrations to the Pisgah Playground. And if you’re visiting with kids, you’ll want to make sure you allow plenty of time to visit the Antler Hill light displays–always a favorite among Biltmore’s younger visitors.
Covid-19 Health and Safety Standards
As with other major Asheville attractions, Biltmore House has adopted CDC-recommended precautions in light of COVID-19 this year. Biltmore is limiting tour sizes and ticket sales to enable safe spacing between guests; they’re also limiting occupancy in restaurants and shops during this time. Masks are required of all visitors over the age of 2 when indoors, and outdoors when social distancing of at least 6 feet isn’t possible.
Biltmore House is using EPA-approved disinfectants regularly, in accordance with CDC guidelines, and performing daily temperature and wellness checks on all employees. Biltmore is also only accepting cashless methods of payments at this time, so plan to bring a credit or debit card for any purchase you make while visiting the estate.
Exploring other options for your Asheville visit this Christmas season? Whether you love to hike, dine, shop, or adventure, you’ll find insight into the area’s best destinations here.