Archive for the ‘Western NC Area Attractions’ Category

29th Annual Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings

November 18th, 2013 by Honey Hill

Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings – The Nature of Christmas

Now through January 4, 2014

The Biltmore Estate is a destination for many travelers to the Asheville area. Christmas is the most popular time for visitors when the estate is decorated with one of the largest holiday displays in the Southeast. Candlelight Evenings in the Biltmore House are an added attraction during the holiday season when guests experience the hundreds of lighted trees in and outside the house as well as carolers, live music and the warm glow of the many lighted fireplaces and candles.

Biltmore House embraces “The nature of Christmas” during this year’s Christmas season. Guests enjoy a self-guided evening visit of Biltmore House that takes them through four decorated floors of the house as firelight and candlelight fill the house with a warm glow and accent delicate ornaments. Live music is performed during the evenings throughout the first and second floors.

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Booking Candlelight Christmas Evenings

If you want to visit the estate for one day and attend Candlelight, it is best to reserve your tickets directly through Biltmore in advance of your visit. Visit their web site for details: www.biltmore.com.

Attending Candlelight Christmas Evenings requires a separate entry fee in addition to a daytime ticket, and reservations that are date and time specific.

Daytime tickets purchased directly from Biltmore are valid for one day. If you want to spend two days on the estate, or don’t reserve your Candlelight visit in advance, the Biltmore Daytime ticket you purchase from us for $60, which is good for two consecutive days, can be upgraded to a Candlelight Evening ticket for an additional $15. You can purchase your upgrade at any guest service station on the Estate when visiting during the day, but your request for an upgrade will be based on availability at the time. We strongly advise that you plan your visit in advance!

Candlelight Christmas Evenings are not available on the following dates:

  •  Tuesday, November 26
  •  Thursday, November 28
  •  Tuesday, December 24
  •  Wednesday, December 25

Beat the Heat at Biltmore this Summer

June 5th, 2013 by Honey Hill

There is so much more to do on the Biltmore Estate besides touring the fabulous Biltmore House. With one of Honey Hill Inn’s two-day passes to the estate, you can enjoy activities that will keep you cool during the heat of the day and into the evening.

  • Guided Raft Trips: Take in the amazing views as you follow the gentle currents on the French Broad River as it winds through the estate during this 2 hour experience.
  • Self-guided Kayak Rentals: Enjoy a 3-mile, 2-hour float trip down the French Broad River in a single or tandem, sit-on-top, kayak. kayak_raft_closeviewCMYK
  • Shady spots on Hiking Trails: Hike miles of magnificent trails wind throughout the estate. Follow the Creekside Trail alongside the stream through a cool grove of hemlocks, pines, beech, rhododendrons, and bald cypress. The Woodland Trail follows an old farm wagon road, passing through deciduous woodlands. A wooden bridge arcs over the spring-fed brook and provides a spot for quiet meditation.
  • Ice-Cream! Savor a scoop or two at the Ice Cream Shoppe in Stable Courtyard, or at the Creamery in Antler Hill Village.
  • Visit late! Visit the winery and Antler Hill Village during the evening after it’s cooled down. Guests can enter the estate up until 10:00pm.

Tips for Visiting Biltmore Estate – Part 2

September 18th, 2012 by Honey Hill

Part 2 of our Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate covers touring the Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village and Winery.

Touring the House

Leave plenty of time to tour the house. A self-guided tour can 2-3 hours, depending on your interest level.

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  • To the right of the main entrance to the house is the building that originally housed the stables. There you will find an outdoor courtyard with food vendors, the Stable Shops and the Stable Cafe, a full service restaurant. You will also find the only public restrooms there.
  • Be prepared to consume all food and beverages before entering the Biltmore House. These items cannot be taken inside.
  • There are countless photo opportunities outside of the house, but photography is not allowed inside.
  • We recommend purchasing the optional self-guided audio tour. The history of each room and “back stories” are fascinating and well done. The equipment can be rented at the Guest Services desk immediately to the right as you enter the foyer.
  • There are additional guided tours available. The Behind the Scenes Tour is a favorite because it gives you a closer look at the design and construction of Biltmore House by going into areas not on the regular house visit. You will also enjoy the stunning views and photo opportunities from the rooftop and balconies.

Touring Antler Hill Village and Winery
Antler Hill Village and Winery is located five miles from the Biltmore House. To visit, you will have to drive your car there. The shuttle busses do not provide transportation from the Biltmore House to Antler Hill Village.

As you drive to Antler Hill Village you might want to stop to enjoy the most dramatic view of Biltmore House. When you pass Bass Pond, look for the Lagoon on your left. There is a narrow unpaved road at the far end that crosses a small bridge and takes you around the lagoon for a stunning view of the back of the Biltmore House.

  • History buffs will not want to miss The Biltmore Legacy building located in Antler Hill Village. The exhibits change periodically. Currently, the exhibit is The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad. This exhibit gives you a fascinating look at the lives of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. See rare objects from the Vanderbilts’ personal collection. Entry to the exhibition is included in estate admission.
  • Your admission ticket includes a guided tour and tasting at the Biltmore Winery. This is a must for anyone interested in the art and science of winemaking, or just tasting wine.
  • Also on display is the Vanderbilts’ car, a rare 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C-Six seven-passenger touring car. This car is the only car in the Biltmore Company’s collection that was purchased by George Vanderbilt. It is believed to be one of only 10 models existing today.

Dining on Biltmore Estate
There are five restaurants on the estate: The Stables Cafe, The Bistro, Cedric’s Tavern, The Smokehouse and The Dining Room (in The Inn on Biltmore Estate). Biltmore embraces the “farm-to-table” concept. Much of the food served in the restaurants is grown or produced right on the estate. Our favorites are: Stables Café (located next to the house), The Bistro, and Cedric’s Tavern (both located in Antler Hill Village). The Bistro is the most upscale of the three. The Stables Cafe is bustling with families during the day. Cedric’s Tavern is casual and has outdoor seating in the warm months. For a quick snack while touring the house, the courtyard outside the Stables building has “quick serve” food and beverages, including gourmet pizza, a coffee shop and bakery, and ice cream. There is plenty of seating in the courtyard.

The Honey Hill logo, honey bee and photos are property of Honey Hill Inn, LLC. They may not be copied or used without expressed permission of Honey Hill Inn, LLC.

Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate – Part 1

September 14th, 2012 by Honey Hill

The Biltmore Estate is a popular destination for visitors coming to Asheville. The Biltmore house is the main attraction, but there are many other things to do on the estate. Biltmore’s lodging partners sell two-day passes to the estate, almost always at or below the gate prices. If you stay at Honey Hill Inn and Cabins, we suggest that you purchase tickets through us rather than purchasing them on the Biltmore website or at the gate. Our tickets allow you to explore the estate without feeling rushed to see and do everything in one day.

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Planning Your Visit

These tips are written for visitors who have purchased tickets through one of Biltmore’s lodging partners with two-day passes.

  • During peak tourist season (Memorial Day through New Year’s Day), you might have to reserve a time to enter the house. If you have purchased tickets through us, you will avoid the lines at the Welcome Center Ticket Office.  We recommend that you arrive early and get your reservation at either Guest Services desks located in Antler Hill Village and in front of the Biltmore House. If there is a long wait, you should consider touring the gardens first.
  • During summer months, visit the estate early in the day while temperatures are cooler. The house is not air conditioned. In cold weather, spend the warmest part of the day outside, perhaps at Antler Hill Village. Save the coldest part of the day for touring the house.
  • During peak tourist season (Memorial Day through New Year’s Day), you might have to reserve a time to enter the house. We recommend that you arrive early and get your reservation at either of the Guest Services desks located in Antler Hill Village and in front of the Biltmore House. If there is a long wait, you should consider touring the gardens or conservatory first.

Entering the Estate

  • Just outside the main entrance to the estate is Biltmore Village. George Vanderbilt designed this it to provide housing for employees who were married. He also wanted to create a quaint village for his guests to see as they traveled from the train depot onto the estate. The original cottages are now shops and restaurants.
  • You will enter the main gate on Approach Road. As you drive, imagine you are traveling in a horse-drawn carriage as guests did over 100 years ago. The 15 minute drive to the house took two hours by carriage! This road was designed specifically to build anticipation. Visitors approaching the house cannot see it from any vantage point along the road.
  • When you approach the Welcome Center,  the guard will scan your ticket and direct you to the parking areas at the Biltmore house.
  • There are five parking lots that are a short distance from the house, all with shuttle service. There are also walking paths that will give you the experience of approaching the house from a scenic vantage point.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Touring the Biltmore Estate.

The Honey Hill logo, honey bee and photos are property of Honey Hill Inn, LLC. They may not be copied or used without expressed permission of Honey Hill Inn, LLC.

Mini Class Reunion at Honey Hill Inn and Cabins

September 10th, 2012 by Honey Hill

Honey Hill Inn and Cabins recently hosted a mini high school class reunion. Seven women, all alumnae of St Mary’s Academy Bay View in Riverside, RI converged on Honey Hill for a long weekend of reminiscing, catching up on each others’ lives, eating, drinking and laughing (a lot).

I (Cheryl) am also a Bay View alumna, so it was very special for me to be able to host this reunion. My Bay View sisters filled the entire Inn for three nights. It was perfect for a group event. They were free to relax on the second floor sitting room or in our spacious living room without any worry of disturbing other guests. As I do with all groups, I helped plan their stay with things to do in Asheville, places to eat, and a recommendation for a sightseeing tour. Fortunately, Gretchen was “on duty” all weekend so that I could spend time with my peeps.

We had dinner one night at Strada, a new Italian restaurant in downtown Asheville and one of our favorite restaurants. The food was delicious and the service excellent. Wine flowed, conversation never slowed, and everyone had a great meal.

The next day, the group decided on my recommendation to take the LaZoom comedy tour of Asheville. 

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Our tour guide was Miss Augusta Wind, a nimble, brash, young lady with an attitude! This is our Bay View alumnae group with Augusta Wind. Yours truly is lower right in the photo.

The Honey Hill logo, honey bee and photos are property of Honey Hill Inn, LLC. They may not be copied or used without expressed permission of Honey Hill Inn, LLC.

20 Romantic Outings in Asheville

August 3rd, 2011 by Honey Hill

I was just doing a websearch for a guest who is interested in a carriage ride in Asheville, when I discovered this great article on www.sheknows.com. Not only did the article provide information on carriage rides on the Biltmore Estate, but gave an additional 19 ideas for romantic, fun things to do in the area – both indoor and outdoor activities.

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Here is a link to the article: http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1594/20-romantic-outings-in-asheville

Note: Unfortunately the links in the article do not work, but you should get some good ideas for things to do during your visit to the Asheville area!

The Honey Hill logo, honey bee and photos are property of Honey Hill Inn, LLC. They may not be copied or used without expressed permission of Honey Hill Inn, LLC.

DuPont State Forest Waterfalls

June 3rd, 2011 by Honey Hill

Gretchen and I don’t get out very often, but this year we decided to take the Tour de Falls, hosted by the Friends of the Dupont State Forest. The Tour de Falls is held twice a year, in May and September. It is a great way to see the waterfalls in a short amount of time. We saw three waterfalls and a lake in the forest, all by bus with the assistance of a tour guide. Visitors on the tour can hop off the bus and visit each waterfall at their leisure. When you are ready, you can get on the next bus and go on the the next waterfall.

Of course we had our camera handy!

This is Gretchen at High Falls.

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Triple Falls
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The Honey Hill logo, honey bee and photos are property of Honey Hill Inn, LLC. They may not be copied or used without expressed permission of Honey Hill Inn, LLC.

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