December 11, 2018 @ 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
1 Lodge St
Asheville, NC 28803
Many Asheville-Region CNPA members keep an annual pass for the Biltmore Estate and return often. If you are not familiar with Biltmore, December can be a good time for a first or return visit.
Our CNPA-Asheville Field-Trip will begin at the Conservatory, about 3:30 or so. This extensive garden-under-glass has a great variety of orchids and tropical plants. Flash & Tripods are permitted, but be considerate of the tourists. The conservatory closes at 5:30 PM, which is also near sunset. We’ll hike back up to the lawn and photograph the brightly lit tree and Biltmore House in the gathering twilight. It should be fully dark by about 6:45. On the way out, we may try for reflections across the Lagoon and moonlight on the French Broad River.
If you are unfamiliar with the estate, we recommend that you study their website for maps, tickets, and other important information. Nov/Dec is a popular time for tourists due to the seasonal decorations and activities. Special candlelight tours (extra fee) are conducted after regular visiting hours, and the grounds remain open late into the evening.
Ticket prices are complex. There are a variety of discounts (senior, advance purchase, multi-day, etc.). A season pass is regularly $219 (I believe, unofficially), but can be obtained before Nov 30 for $119. Thereafter, annual renewal is $109.
Parking: There are several lots. The remote lots have shuttles running late into the evening to serve the candlelight tours. The A and the B lots are close enough to walk to the house. Either way, it will require a good hike down to the Conservatory and back up again. If you wish to head home directly from the Conservatory, you can park below the “Walled Garden” at “The Gardener’s Place” or its over-flow lot. All traffic is one-way. As Thomas Wolff wrote, “You can’t go home again.” That is, you can’t drive from the Conservatory back to the House.
I live almost as close to the front gate as George Vanderbilt did, and regard the estate as part of my back-yard. If you have questions, email me with your phone # and I’ll try to provide answers. You can reach me via email at email@example.com or, on the day of the event, call me at (828) 335-8634.