Great Drives: Christmas at BiltmoreEnlarge Photo
Before you leave
Our Land Rover weekend (really a Tuesday night and the bitterly cold Wednesday) ended with dinner at one of Biltmore’s good on-site restaurants, followed by a candlelight tour of the main house, trees everywhere, some towering more than 20 feet, and a choir singing in the main entry. Before it degraded into grade-school humor about the period-correct but primitive bathrooms, we’d seen the house from top to bottom.
But Biltmore has expanded to include many more attractions beyond its walls. The property includes the Historic Horse Barn, a sort of diorama of mid-1920s farm life. The grounds also offer opportunities for other outdoor activity — if you’re into those fly-fishing, rafting, biking, horse-riding kinds of things. Car and art fans will instead beeline for the nearby entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Southern Folk Art Center for bargains on local artists.
Bring patience, for both the off-roading and the holiday crowds. But don’t forget your forgotten sense of Christmas awe.