When I started planning a little mother-daughter get away before Katie's wedding, I knew we wanted to go to someplace luxurious where we'd be pampered, but we also wanted to hike, practice yoga, and spend time outdoors. When I discovered Katie had always wanted to go to the Biltmore, our new client, it was a no-brainer.
Inc. Magazine, one of my favorite reads, recently listed Biltmore House and Gardens as one of six great historic sites to visit. Inc. says that "if you're looking for a new venture, maybe it's time to brush up on your history."
This lush family-run estate is locate in Asheville, North Carolina, and situated next to The Pisgah National Forest, a half million acre forest in the Great Smoky Mountains created when George Vanderbilt, the grandson of railroad baron, Cornelius Vanderbilt, assembled property around his growing estate.
He hired the founding father of American landscape architecture—Frederick Law Olmsted—to design the grounds. Olmsted's vision for Biltmore included a small pleasure ground and garden, a major arboretum and nursery, and a systematically managed forest, the first in the country.
George and Edith Vanderbilt built the 250-room manor as their private residence in 1898. In 1930, his enterprising daughter Cornelia Cecil opened up the sprawling 125,000-acre estate for limited tours.
Today, Biltmore hosts more than one million visitors annually and employs almost 2,000 people, one of the largest employers in Buncombe County. It features gardens, a winery, shopping, and dining - even horseback riding, fly fishing and segway-ing. Biltmore welcomes visitors from all ages and regions.
LeeAnn Donnelly, a spokesperson for the Biltmore Estate, says historical tourism is a sound market: "I can say that, in general, smaller regional attractions have tended to do better as people have opted for less expensive, closer to home vacations, or 'staycations.'"
Check out Inc for other exciting and profitable historical sites around the nation.
See you at Biltmore in May! Suzi, Garden Media Group