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Have you ever wanted to take a trip back in time and live as those did in the past, even if for a short time? I find myself wondering what it would be like to live in a different decade, or even a different century. There are things that I love about so many different time periods. The late 1800’s through the early 20’s is a time that I associate with glamour, fashion, parties, and tea time. Of course, Downton Abbey may have sparked my interest just a tad, and now I’m totally obsessed with everything in this time period from the classy decor, to the catchy music, to the rich history. I am lucky enough to live in NC where one of the most beautiful mansions that was built and lived in during these years stands and is open to the public; the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. My boyfriend and I loved it so much that we bought season passes so that we could experience Biltmore year round; it’s a perfect escape from the modern world.

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As you enter the estate you are transported back into time in a land that feels like somewhere in England or Ireland, hidden away from society. The estate grounds cover 8,000 acres of land! The drive to the house is tapered with beautiful forestry, flowers, and streams. There are several gardens on the estate along with an enchanting conservatory that are absolutely incredible during the Spring/Summer! Also, large ponds complete with a boat house lie on the outskirts of the house, as well as a small waterfall. As I looked out across the Bass Pond, I could just picture the Vanderbilt children jumping off the boat house into the water on a hot summer day or running through the woods playing hide-and-seek. Wouldn’t it have been amazing to grow up at a home that had so much to explore? My boyfriend and I loved strolling along the paths, hand in hand, taking in the amazing scenery. There are so many different hikes that you can do on the estate with perfect spots for picnicking or just taking in nature.

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As for the house itself….ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING. It’s like a GIANT castle out of a fairy-tale with the French architecture that embraces every tiny detail. We went inside the house during Christmas time (which is a great time to go) and it was decorated from top to bottom in Christmas decor complete with hundreds of Christmas trees! We did the candlelit tour in which the whole house is only lit by candles. This gives the experience a really authentic and romantic feel. It’s kind of spooky in a way, like you are walking among the ghosts of Biltmore themselves. You see all the elaborate bedrooms, dinning halls, library, wine cellars, and even the servant quarters…and so much more!

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There is so much to experience on the grounds such as restaurants, shopping, and lodging. I really want to visit the Biltmore Inn soon; it looks like a wonderful place to stay. There is so much rich history in this estate and I love learning about it. One of my current favorite books is actually about the Biltmore House and it’s called Serafina and the Black Cloak. This story is about a young girl who lives in the basement of the Biltmore House while the Vanderbilt’s were living there. It’s not only an enchanting mystery, but it also gives history about the house in a way that is really interesting! I highly recommend this book; it’s an easy read and you won’t be able to put it down! Here’s the new trailer of the book (fingers crossed that they will make it into a movie)!

If you are ever visiting Asheville, the Biltmore House is a must! At any time of year this house is absolutely amazing and you will want to visit over and over again.

Be enchanted,

Ashlyn Tori <3