Is Christmas at Biltmore worth it? Yes! Explore the best things to do during a Biltmore Christmas from annual passholders and locals.
What is there do at Biltmore at Christmas, and is it worth the ticket price?
As annual passholders and Asheville locals, we definitely think a Biltmore Estate Christmas is a must at least once — even if you have previously toured the home.
Biltmore offers holiday special events, seasonal meals, and plenty of things to do for the entire family.
Not to mention that Biltmore Candlelight Christmas is magical with those blazing fireplaces and Martha Stewart-worthy holiday decorations. Even spy a gingerbread Biltmore House hiding in the kitchen.
Plus, tour the home to live Christmas music in the dimly lit common areas and sip on seasonal cocktails at Biltmore’s delicious on-site restaurants.
If you are hoping to witness the festivities, a typical Biltmore House Christmas runs from early November to early January, and yes, you will need to purchase Biltmore Christmas tickets — there are many options.
So, keep reading to discover all that you can do at Biltmore Estate for Christmas, including ticket information and FAQs. Make the most out of that ticket price. Let’s get started!
Afterward, read our comprehensive guide to getting the most of your Biltmore Estate ticket – itinerary included.
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8 Best Ways To Enjoy Christmas At Biltmore
1. Watch The Sunset Over The Blue Ridge Mountains
As Biltmore passholders, we usually head to Biltmore Estate in the evenings and head directly to the trails or Antler Hill Village for wine and dinner at Cedric’s.
For years, we missed out on seeing the home at sunset, which is an amateur mistake.
We suggest planning your Biltmore Christmas tickets and house entry time around nightfall to catch a glorious sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Biltmore House.
An Asheville winter dusk is especially famous for those vibrant purples, out-of-this-world oranges, and hot pinks. Imagine standing on the raised viewing areas in front of Biltmore House as the sun goes down.
Christmas trees sparkle out front, and as twilight descends, Biltmore’s facade shimmers while enveloped within those Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s incredibly romantic.
2. Listen To An Audio Guide Tour
Not all Biltmore tickets include an audio guide, but for Christmas at Biltmore (in 2021), they do! Biltmore frequently changes their audio tours, and we will say that some are better than others.
One year, we ‘attended’ a Biltmore party filled with guests. Cedric the dog stole the turkey, and an opera singer caught a cold.
In 2021, this audio guide is much more formal, discussing unique and engaging Biltmore history. You even hear from the curators. Sometimes, we just wanted to enjoy the lights, though, as it gets a tad dry.
We also read local Asheville author Denise Kiernan’s, The Last Castle, which is full of untold Biltmore history. We couldn’t recommend the title enough if you wish to read about the Vanderbilt family’s Asheville legacy.
There is more to George and Edith than just excessive wealth. Edith was active in politics, and both made contributions to forestry education.
If you love Biltmore’s history, be sure to visit all of Asheville’s top museums and historic sites.
3. Spy Stunning Holiday Decor & Christmas Trees
Did Martha Stewart just vomit all over Biltmore Estate? Yes; yes, she did!
A Biltmore Estate Christmas entails more than 100 intricately decorated trees, 10,000 holiday ornaments, and 100,000 sparkling lights.
You’ll also spy ribbons, presents, wreaths, garland, and all things candles. The trees are not original to the home, but they sure do add a magical quality.
The Banquet Hall is our favorite Christmas-themed room and has the tallest tree in the home. Of course, Antler Hill Village is also decorated and comes to life at night with lights.
Read more about all of Asheville’s breathtaking holiday light events.
4. Gawk At A Gingerbread Biltmore House
Located downstairs in Biltmore’s kitchen, you can smell it before you can even see it. In fact, the sculpture is so perfect, we had to ask to ensure it was indeed real.
On the kitchen table, don’t miss a gorgeous Biltmore replica made completely out of gingerbread.
This little masterpiece blows away the Gingerbread House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Sorry, not sorry.
Of course, if you love historic buildings and hot chocolate, you should also visit the Grove Park Inn at Christmas. Don’t miss all of Asheville’s Christmastime musts.
5. Take A Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings Tour
If you are a passholder and/or debating between a daytime or evening visit, we highly suggest choosing Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets.
With Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore, encounter a magical experience with the lights dimmed and candles situated throughout the house. Biltmore fires up many of the 65 fireplaces, keeping you warm and cozy.
Sometimes, we think Biltmore is a little creepy during the day. Blame the tapestries. At night with the Christmas decorations and lights, though, the home is stunning.
Hand us a glass of wine, and let’s go settle in a chair in George Vanderbilt’s library.
How long does the Biltmore Candlelight tour take? If you are touring on your own and with an audio guide, plan for one hour to one and a half hours.
You may encounter crowd congestion in certain areas, and budget a little time for non-flash pictures.
Please don’t forget to use the restroom before entering the house. There are no restrooms along the way.
Lastly, Biltmore asks that you arrive at the house 15 minutes before your allotted tour time. They also warn that you should budget for about 45 minutes to park and get to the house.
6. Sip Seasonal Cocktails With A 3-Course Meal
To dine at one of Biltmore Estate’s restaurants, you will need a daytime ticket, annual pass, or room booked on the property.
We highly encourage making reservations for any of your Biltmore meals as well as booking them as far out in advance as possible.
We occasionally manage to sneak in without reservations, but you may get turned away or have long wait times.
In 2021, Stable Cafe is offering a ritzy 3-course dinner menu with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It’s not the friendliest menu for food intolerances and preferences (or for children), but gluten-free items are labeled.
There is a vegan soup, and they are able to lightly modify dishes if you are lactose intolerant. The food is delicious, and those seasonal cocktails are fabulous.
Plus, after a night of sparkling lights, the ambiance is perfectly romantic.
Personally, we love Cedric’s for lunch, which is lighter fare with those same stellar drinks. Make sure to order some Lusty Monk mustard on the side.
Read more about all of Asheville’s incredible restaurants.
7. Stay Overnight At A Biltmore Property
Antler Hill Village glows at night, and throughout the barnyard, encounter trees filled with lights. Grab an Adirondack chair and pull up next to the playground.
Here you can also stay at Biltmore’s Village Hotel. This property is centrally located with moderate prices and spa access.
Plus, the winery is next door. The Village Hotel also has a pool.
The Inn On Biltmore Estate is a tad fancier. Cozy up in this luxury hotel with the most on-property conveniences, including (by request) mountain views.
Each suite is named after one of George Vanderbilt’s friends or relatives. There is also a premier cottage if you are going all out.
If you don’t wish to stay at Biltmore, these are the hotels we recommend in AVL.
8. Enjoy A Special Exhibit: Van Gogh Alive In 2021
Christmas at Biltmore Estate would not be complete without a special exhibit. This 2021, Biltmore has gone all out.
We’ve been to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but nothing beats seeing Van Gogh’s art swirl around you in a timeline of his life played to famous instrumental music and paired with inspiring and brilliant quotes.
Van Gogh Alive is a must. You’ll love this immersive experience that’s traveling all over the United States.
Expect about a 30-40+ minute standing video (we were too mesmerized to time it) along with a room filled with information about his paintings.
The exhibit is breathtaking and thought-provoking. It’s also selling out quickly.
If you are a Biltmore passholder, you may order discounted Van Gogh Alive tickets. If you are a daytime or evening visitor, you may add tickets to your house pass for a higher fee.
Van Gogh Alive at Biltmore goes through March 2022 and will be followed by Monet and Da Vinci.
All You Need To Know About Biltmore Christmas Tickets
A Biltmore Estate Christmas runs from early November to early January. Biltmore Christmas is located across the entire Estate, but most decorations are at Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village.
You will need to purchase Biltmore Christmas tickets or be a passholder to enter the Estate. Biltmore also offers a variety of Christmas packages and tours.
If you are a passholder, you will have to purchase and pay additionally for Candlelight Christmas Evenings and Van Gogh alive — at a discounted price.
Please double-check all information and purchase tickets directly with Biltmore Estate.
Biltmore Christmas Daytime Ticket Options (2021)
Please know that prices vary by day and time.
If you just wish to visit Biltmore’s home and grounds during the day, Christmas Daytime Biltmore House Admission offers a basic audio-visit daytime package starting around $106+.
If you also want to include Biltmore’s special 2021 exhibit, Van Gogh Alive, tickets start at $131+. We thoroughly enjoyed this breathtaking experience.
Lastly, Biltmore’s largest daytime ticket package costs $339+ and includes an audio tour, Van Gogh Alive, and a 90-minute group tour.
Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings Tickets
Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore are where the magic happens.
While you can see all of the gorgeous Christmas decor and trees during a daytime visit, nothing beats the warm glow emanating from candles, fireplaces, and lights.
Like Biltmore Christmas daytime tickets, the evening offers three different packages at slightly elevated prices.
Take just the evening audio tour for $119+. Or, purchase tickets for Van Gogh Alive and the audio tour starting at $144+.
Lastly, there is a package for a daytime audio guide, a 90-minute group guide, and extra Vanderbilt Christmas stories for $349+.
Read about all of Biltmore’s Christmas ticket pricing on their site.
Biltmore Estate Christmas Visitor Information
Biltmore Estate General Address:
Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
Phone Number: 800-411-3812
Information About Accessibility: https://www.biltmore.com/help-center/accessibility/
Parking At Biltmore
Parking is included with admission. Some lots are within walking distance to your destination. There are shuttles from the furthest lots that will take you around the property.
More Places To Stay In Asheville During Biltmore’s Christmas Celebrations
Asheville, NC Hotels
Hotels and B&Bs tend to book up fast in Asheville, especially in the fall, spring, and around holidays. Make dinner reservations wherever you can, too. A few hotels to consider that either we, our friends, or others highly recommend include:
Near The Asheville Outlets/Biltmore
Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area *Our second favorite pick. We stayed here before we moved.
DoubleTree By Hilton Biltmore/Asheville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
The Omni Grove Park Inn *We frequently stop by the Grove Park Inn for sunsets, drinks, and food.
1900 Inn On Montford
Don’t miss our Top Asheville Hotel, Resort & B&B Picks Here.
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Have you attended a Biltmore Estate Christmas event?
Have you visited Biltmore at Christmas? Did you attend a Biltmore Candlelight Christmas or Daytime Celebration? What did you think? Please let us know in the comments.