Biltmore Estate Christmas Outside with lights

Guide to the Biltmore Estate Christmas 10+ Festive Tips

Looking for Details on Biltmore Estate Christmas in Asheville, NC?

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The Biltmore House is a historical gem located in Asheville, NC. The home was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt and boasts an astounding 250 rooms. This grand estate is not just a marvel of architecture, but also a slice of American history encapsulated within its walls.

Spanning over 8,000 acres, the Biltmore’s grounds are an open invitation to explore and connect with the past. The gardens, designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, offer a blend of horticultural beauty and tranquility. With over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, the estate is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Visiting the Biltmore isn’t just a tour of a grand house; it’s an immersive experience into the Vanderbilt legacy and the bygone era of Asheville’s history. During the holidays, the house is transformed and is one of our favorite times of year to visit.

Biltmore Estate Christmas

Visiting the Biltmore Estate during the Christmas season offers a unique and enchanting experience that taps into over a century of holiday traditions. The 2023 Christmas at Biltmore event runs from November 3, 2023, to January 7, 2024​.  There are two ways to enjoy the Biltmore this time of year: during the day and a candlelight evening.

Address for Biltmore Estate Christmas:
1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

Biltmore Estate Christmas Library

Getting to Biltmore Estate Christmas

From Interstate 40 West: Take I-40 West to Asheville and take exit 50B (US Highway 25), then turn right at the traffic light after exiting. Stay in the left lane and follow signs to the Biltmore entrance.

From Interstate 40 East: Take I-40 East to Asheville and take exit 50 (US Highway 25), then turn left at the traffic light after exiting. Stay in the left lane and follow signs to the Biltmore entrance.

From the Blue Ridge Parkway: Take the US Highway 25 North exit; Biltmore is approximately 4 miles from the parkway.​

Biltmore Estate Christmas

Once you’re at the estate, parking is available and included with your admission. Lots A and B offer a short walk to the house and gardens​​. Accessible parking and shuttle services are available for guests with mobility disabilities, with shuttle service to Biltmore House from parking lots C, D, and E​​. There’s also parking for RVs and buses.

For those staying on the estate, transportation around the property is included with a stay at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. However, for general visitors, Biltmore does not provide estate-wide transportation, so it’s recommended to have a personal vehicle or use the Biltmore Express shuttle service, which can be reserved for a fee.​

Biltmore Estate Christmas Outside with lights

Tickets to Biltmore Estate Christmas

If you would like to experience the candlelight evening, we recommend booking months in advance, as it sells out quickly.  One suggestion if it is sold out is to book your daytime ticket as late as you can. You might not be able to experience the “candlelight” experience, but you’ll be able to experience the estate in both daylight and evening and see the beautiful trees lit up outside when you leave.  

Daytime tickets start at $110 and include free next-day grounds access, a new feature for this year’s celebration. 

Tickets for the Candlelight Evenings are slightly higher than the daytime admission, starting at $115, and also include free next-day grounds access.  

If you have a season pass, you can reserve daytime tickets at no extra charge.  To book the candlelight, they do give you a discount as a pass holder, but it’s not included in your annual pass.

Biltmore Estate Christmas

Things to Do at Biltmore Estate During the Holidays

Your admission grants you more than just a glimpse into the Vanderbilt family’s history; it offers a full experience.

🎄 Visit the Biltmore Winery. Here, you can indulge in a complimentary wine tasting, sampling the estate’s own labels. Make sure to make reservations.

🎄 Stroll through the gardens. The gardens are a horticultural paradise throughout the seasons, whether it’s the spring bloom or the vibrant colors of fall. Each garden has its own character, inviting guests to stroll and unwind amidst the natural beauty.

🎄 Enjoy the many restaurants. Culinary delights await at the estate’s variety of restaurants and cafes, where menus range from casual bites to fine dining experiences. Each venue offers dishes that often incorporate the estate’s homegrown produce, ensuring a fresh and seasonal selection.

🎄 Go Shopping. You’ll find a selection of shops featuring everything from handcrafted souvenirs to Biltmore-inspired gifts. It’s an opportunity to find unique keepsakes and artisan goods that reflect the spirit of the estate.

Biltmore Estate Christmas Shopping

Tips for Visiting Biltmore Estate Christmas 

Here are some tips to ensure you have a magical and smooth visit:

🎄Purchase Tickets in Advance: To guarantee your spot and potentially save time at the gate, buy your tickets online. This may sound obvious, but also easy to forget; if you have purchased your tickets in advance, don’t forget to bring them, either printed out or ready on your mobile device.

🎄Dress Appropriately: The Biltmore Estate is vast, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended. You will also be walking to and from your vehicle if you park in lots A or B. Be prepared for variable weather, too, as Asheville can have cold winters and precipitation.

🎄Plan to Stop: If you’re traveling from a long distance away, make sure to schedule a stop before you arrive if you need to use the restroom, as the drive into the Biltmore Estate can take you about 15-20 minutes from the entrance to get to the parking lot and another 10 minutes to walk to the house.

🎄Be Patient and Enjoy: Remember, the Biltmore Christmas is a popular holiday attraction, so patience is key. There may be traffic and waits can be long, but the experience is worth it!

🎄Gingerbread House: There’s a gingerbread model of Biltmore House that is stunning and truly remarkable; find it along your tour.  

Biltmore Estate Christmas Gingerbread House

🎄Watch the Sunset: Depending on the time of your entry, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the southern terrace overlooking the grounds from the house. You can watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

🎄Allow Time: Give yourself enough time to explore the estate, as there’s much to see, including the gardens and winery.  The winery does provide complimentary wine tastings, but please note you need to make a reservation.

🎄Photography: Bring a camera to capture the beautiful decorations, but check the photography guidelines for the house.  No video recording is allowed inside the house.

Biltmore Estate Christmas Dining Area

Things to Do Near Biltmore Estate

If you are looking for more things to do, here are some great things to check out.

✅ Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum
Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806

Winter Lights transforms the arboretum into a sparkling wonderland with over a million lights, showcasing new spectacles alongside classics like the towering 50 ft tree and the vibrant Quilt Garden. This season, bask in the ambiance of live music, watch the Rocky Cove Railroad’s G-scale train chug along, gather for storytime at Woodland Cove, and indulge in s’mores by crackling fires. Make a wish at the wishing trees and browse the gift shops for treasures. Admission is based on vehicle size.

Personal Vehicle (up to 20′ in length) starts at $35 for members and up to $80 for flex.
Large Vehicle (21′ to 29′ in length), starting at $70 for members and up to $150 for flex.
XL Vehicles (30′ + in length) – need to have a reservation ($395+)

✅ National Gingerbread House Competition at Omni Grove Park Inn
Address: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804

The Omni Grove Park Inn hosts the annual National Gingerbread House Competition, a 30-year holiday tradition, attracting contestants nationwide vying for over $40K in prizes across adult, teen, youth, and child categories. Gingerbread creations, which must be at least 75% gingerbread, come in various shapes and themes. 

Visitors not staying at the Inn can view the displays Sunday evenings or Monday through Thursday, except for select dates in December and January, based on parking, which costs $35 for valet and $25 for self-parking. Proceeds from parking during the festive period benefit a local charity.

National Gingerbread House Competition at Omni Grove Park Inn

✅ Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley
Address: Olde World Christmas Shoppe, 5 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803

Take a festive 75-minute ride on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley, starting from the Olde World Christmas Shoppe in Biltmore Village, Asheville. Enjoy live music and caroling with songbooks provided as you tour through the twinkling lights of downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village, Montford, and Grove Park. Don’t worry about the cold; the trolley is cozy and warm, thanks to its heated enclosure and glass windows.

Read More: Things to Do in Asheville NC, in December

✅ Asheville Pinball Museum
Address: 1 Battle Square Ste 1b, Asheville, NC 28801

At the Asheville Pinball Museum, visitors can dive into a world of fun featuring an impressive array of 35 pinball machines and 35 vintage arcade games. It’s a gaming haven for enthusiasts and families alike.

Asheville Pinball Museum

Go on a Ghost Tour
Address:  1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Dare to discover Asheville’s ghostly side on the Asheville Ghost Tour. A local expert will guide you through downtown’s most haunted spots, sharing tales that will have you hanging on every word. From the apparitions at the Omni Grove Park Inn to the entombed secrets of the Basilica of St. Lawrence, you’ll step through the city’s dark history. Surrounded by the old architecture, you’ll use ghost-hunting gear to sense the spirits around you. 

✅ Go Shopping at the Grove Arcade
Address:  1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Shopaholics, take note! The Grove Arcade is your go-to destination for an extraordinary shopping experience. This beautifully restored historic site dazzles with unique boutiques, art galleries, and eateries. Dive into the vibrant ambiance and discover a treasure trove of handmade crafts, local art, stylish apparel, and artisanal products.

Grove Arcade

✅ Eat at Chai Pani
Address: 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Chai Pani in Asheville has earned the title of “America’s Most Outstanding Restaurant” at the James Beard Foundation Awards, serving dishes bursting with the flavors of Indian street food, a nod to chef Meherwan Irani’s childhood in India. Since its 2009 opening in downtown Asheville, the restaurant has delighted diners with hits like Okra Fries, Vada Pav, Paneer Tikka Roll, and Sloppy Jai. And for those with dietary preferences, there are dairy-free and vegan choices available!

Chai Pani Dish

​​Where To Stay near Biltmore Estate 

📍Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville – Close to downtown and in the charming Biltmore Village, it combines convenience with upscale comfort. The hotel features elegant rooms with marble details and modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi. Visitors can indulge in the spa, stay fit in the gym, savor local flavors at the Red Stag Grill, and start the day with a delicious breakfast. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the on-site gallery, adding to the hotel’s sophisticated ambiance. 

📍Courtyard Asheville Biltmore Village – close to the Biltmore Estate. Guests love the friendly bar service and cozy rooms. Amenities like an indoor pool, complimentary Wi-Fi, and parking, alongside 24/7 front desk help, ensure a comfortable visit. 

📍The Inn On Biltmore Estate – Guests are treated to lavish comforts, including a heated pool, a pampering spa, and diverse dining from laid-back to upscale. The indulgence extends with around-the-clock concierge service, a fitness center, and the luxury of dining in the privacy of your room.

📍 Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate – the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate is a welcoming 3.5-star retreat boasting its own winery just minutes away from the famed Biltmore Estate. Visitors can savor meals at the hotel’s two dining spots, indulge in the spa, or lounge by the pool. With added perks like a fitness center, complimentary parking, and a lively evening bar, the hotel caters to both relaxation and fitness enthusiasts. 

Biltmore Estate Christmas: FAQs

📌 Is Biltmore at Christmas worth it?
Christmas at Biltmore garners glowing reviews, with visitors describing the Candlelight Christmas tour as a must-see. The festive decorations are a standout feature. Some suggest daytime visits for a clearer view of the ornate details. Despite the admission cost, the experience—including the well-kept gardens and the winery—is considered worthwhile, with many eager to return. 

📌 How much does it cost to go to the Biltmore at Christmas?
Tickets to the Christmas Daytime Celebration start at $110 each, while Candlelight Christmas Evenings start at $115 each.

📌 What are the dates for Christmas at Biltmore?
The 2023 Christmas at Biltmore event runs from November 3, 2023, to January 7, 2024​.

📌 Is the Biltmore House decorated for Christmas?
Yes, it is decorated for Christmas. Each year, the estate transforms with elaborate decorations, including numerous Christmas trees, miles of ribbon, garlands, and twinkling lights. This festive display is a long-standing tradition at the Biltmore, designed to offer a spectacular holiday experience to visitors.

📌 What do you wear to the Biltmore Candlelight?
While there is no strict dress code, many guests choose to dress up a bit to match the festive and elegant atmosphere of the event. You might find people wearing smart casual attire, such as a dress shirt and trousers or a festive dress with comfortable shoes. However, it’s also important to dress warmly, as the evenings can be cool and part of your time may be spent outdoors. Layers are recommended, as indoor areas may be warmer. Comfortable footwear is advisable as well since you’ll likely be walking and standing during the tour.

📌 Can you wear jeans to the Biltmore?
Wearing jeans at the Biltmore Estate is. The estate does not enforce a dress code for general visitors, and plenty of guests opt for casual attire. Comfort is key, especially considering the amount of walking you may do on the grounds. 

📌 How long does it take to tour the Biltmore Christmas?
A typical daytime visit lasts 1.5 to 2 hours.  If you would like to add on the winery and tour the gardens, please allow extra time. 

📌 Do you need advance tickets for Biltmore?
Yes, it is highly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance for the Biltmore House, especially for the candlelight tickets, which may need to be purchased several months in advance for your desired time and date. If you are looking to tour just the grounds, advance tickets are not usually required.

📌 When does Biltmore decorate for Christmas?
The Biltmore Estate typically begins its Christmas decorations and celebrations starting early November and continues through early January. 

📌 Did Hallmark film a movie at the Biltmore?
Yes, Hallmark did film a movie at the Biltmore Estate. The movie “A Biltmore Christmas” was shot on location at the Biltmore Estate. The production wrapped up at the end of January 2023. “A Biltmore Christmas” premiered on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, November 26, as part of Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas.”

Biltmore Estate Christmas

Final Thoughts

Walking through its halls and grounds, one can’t help but feel the warmth and grandeur of the past at the Biltmore Estate. Each room, adorned with meticulous detail, whispers stories of yuletide joy. The twinkling lights, the majestic Christmas trees, and the aroma of pine serve as a timeless reminder of the magic that the holiday season brings.

A visit to Biltmore at Christmas is more than just a sightseeing experience—it’s a cherished memory in the making, a tradition that continues to enchant visitors year after year.

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