The stunning Biltmore, located in Asheville, N.C., is majestic all on its own and worth a visit at any time of year. The largest private residence in the U.S. offers house tours, an onsite winery and thousands of acres to ramble. Not to mention, there’s enough history to keep you fascinated for years.
But we happened to notice that many of its characteristics bear a striking resemblance to a certain fairy tale. So we’ve highlighted 10 things about Biltmore that’ll make you feel like you’ve left the real world and stepped into the magical land of Beauty and the Beast.
Antler Hill Village looks just like a quaint French town, similar to the one where Belle lives. Filled with restaurants, shops and an onsite winery, it’s a home away from home while staying on the estate. There’s even a fountain in the center.
If you choose, you can have plenty of interaction with the horses that call the estate home while visiting. From horseback riding to carriage rides, exploring the grounds in this way might make you feel like Belle riding through the forest.
The Beast’s castle was modeled after Chateau de Chambord in France and, coincidentally, so was the Biltmore (in addition to other French chateaus)! It’s really easy to imagine yourself as Belle or Prince Adam when you stroll the stately corridors.
The many grotesques and carvings that adorn the expansive house might remind you of the frightening gargoyles in the film. Don’t worry, these are friendly.
Almost everywhere you look at The Inn on Biltmore, there’s a glass vase with a single rose. These might not be charmed like the one in Beauty and the Beast, but they’re just as mesmerizing.
In addition to the intricate grotesques, you’ll find Italian rose marble lions guarding the home. These creatures are much friendlier than the Beast and have been welcoming guests since 1895.
The many places to get lost
Across the estate’s 8,000 acres, there are plenty of nooks and crannies where you can get lost and even hide away. It’s kind of like a giant West Wing, except it’s outdoors and many places are open to guests.
George Vanderbilt’s library is truly enchanting, from the perfectly organized shelves to the ceiling graced by the painting, “The Chariot of Aurora.” There’s even a hidden door leading into a hallway. We think Belle would be quite happy here.
The magical views
Every time I see this view, I think of Belle clad in her fur-lined cape romping in the snow with the Beast. This terrace is just as beautiful during spring, summer and fall, if not more so.
Speaking of gorgeous views, Biltmore boasts several gardens and a conservatory – often serving as the sites for marriage proposals. The award-winning rose garden might be your favorite.