From model trains in a miniature landscape to the thrill of a raptor encounter, to stars gracing the concert stage, Biltmore shines this summer with experiences to bring wonder and a touch of nostalgia to groups of all ages.
Biltmore Gardens Railway
Biltmore Gardens Railway opens May 24 and runs through September 29, 2019, with a model train exhibition in two estate locations: the historic Conservatory and Antler Hill Village.
In the Conservatory, nearly 800 feet of track carry G-scale locomotives and railcars as they traverse bridges and trestles in multiple rooms at varied viewing levels. Adding to the charm, trains weave through exotic botanicals and miniature replicas of estate landmarks. The plant-based recreations of estate structures include replicas of Biltmore House, the Stable, the Conservatory, Lodge Gate, the Bass Pond Waterfall, and the Gardener's Cottage, plus All Souls Church and the train depot in Biltmore Village.
In Antler Hill Village, a second railway display showcases the travels of Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt. Model trains travel on 250 feet of track, passing replicas of international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and London's Tower Bridge. The landscape is designed by Biltmore's gardeners using shrubs, trees and flowers.
The miniature replica structures were handcrafted out of all-natural materials by Applied Imagination, an award-winning crew of artists, botanical experts, and landscape designers known for popular exhibitions across the U.S., including New York Botanical Garden and United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. Many materials used in the design of Biltmore Gardens Railway were collected directly from the estate, including pine cones, bark, bamboo, grapevines, honeysuckle, acorns, pods, seeds and grasses.
- 1,700: The number of hours it took to construct the 10-foot-long replica of Biltmore House, compared to the 6 years it took to build the 250-room Biltmore House in the late 1800s.
- 6: The number of artists it took to build the scale model of Biltmore House, compared to the 1,000 workers it took to build Biltmore House in the late 1800s.
- 5,000: The number of tons of Indiana limestone used to build Biltmore House in the late 1800s, compared to the 25 types of items harvested from estate grounds to create replicas of Biltmore House and other buildings.
New Adventures in Biltmore's Backyard
Groups can now discover the ancient art of falconry on the estate's grounds, learning how to handle a trained hawk or falcon. Another new offering is the Outrider USA Adventure Tour that takes participants off-road through remote trails and roads of the estate on electric recumbent tricycles. Groups staying at either of Biltmore's lodging properties are offered complimentary guided hikes and yoga classes—another idea for getting out into Biltmore's 8,000-acre backyard.
23rd Annual Biltmore Summer Concert Series
Biltmore House, the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains and a canopy of stars serve as the backdrop for enjoying music during the Biltmore Summer Concert Series. The 2019 concert lineup includes The Beach Boys, The B-52s, The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band, Chicago, The O'Jays and Kool & The Gang, and Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.
Enjoy live music daily in Antler Hill Village this summer. Sample Biltmore's extensive portfolio of wines at Biltmore Winery and visit friendly farm animals at the farmyard. Don't forget to soak up the beauty of the tall sunflowers and wildflowers that stretch amid meadows of native grasses on the road leading from Biltmore House and gardens to Antler Hill Village & Winery. The Italian Gardens also offer gorgeous views, including reflecting pools teeming with exotic water lilies, elephant ears, and papyrus, complete with koi and goldfish swimming just beneath.
Learn more at Biltmore.
Courtesy of Groups Today.
Photo courtesy of Biltmore.