A Countdown to our Favorite Christmas Destination
The Christmas season is taken pretty seriously in the southeastern US, and the Richardson Tribe has a dozen suggested destinations to make your holidays more adventurous. Over the next 12 days, we will reveal each of our favorite RV camping and recreation spots until we reach our #1 Christmas Holiday Destination. Come back each day to see the places this southern family has grown to love.
#6 - Biltmore Estate - Asheville, North Carolina
This nominee caused a little dilemma in the Richardson household. The Biltmore Estate is very near another beloved destination on the countdown list, and we considered combining the two. However, after several votes and re-votes, we determined that the Biltmore Estate could stand on its own. Honestly? It was probably the animals at the farm that closed the deal. Yes, we love animals, and the Biltmore Estate has a small farm complete with goats, horses, chickens, and a variety of other farm animals. But that's really not the main attraction. Let me explain...
The Vanderbilt home was built between 1889 and 1895 as a Summer home by George Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time. Over the course of six years, hundreds of designers, architects, artisans and craftsmen were employed to complete the 135,000 square foot chateau. The home features 250 rooms, an indoor lighted pool, a two-lane bowling alley, a work-out room, an intercom system, elaborate horse stables, and hundreds of priceless antiques, artworks, and various other furnishings.
Visiting the home is a memorable experience (and you will have to remember it, because no interior photography is allowed). The adult admission (as of 01/01/2011) is $75 which seems a bit steep, but Kids nine and under are free. That makes it a decent value for a large family, especially considering it's an all day event.
Christmas is extra special at the Biltmore. Imagine how the wealthiest Americans might decorate their home for the holidays. There are Christmas trees, wreaths, candles, and all sorts of ribbons and colorful wall hangings dedicated to the festive Christmas holiday. The Biltmore Estate is a place you really should visit during the Christmas holidays. The beauty is astounding.
While visiting the Biltmore Estate, we like to RV camp in Maggie Valley. The area provides multiple opportunities for fun, food, education, and outdoor activities. Maggie Valley is host to an awesome motorcycle museum, gem mining, great restaurants, entertainment, and one of our favorites, the Cataloochee Ski Area,
If you would like to see more pictures and details about the Biltmore Estate, click here.