Monday, February 13, 2012

Scenes from Biltmore Estate: Asheville, North Carolina

(Photos by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

The first time you see the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina, the size overwhelms. Built by George Vanderbilt and opened--still not completed--in 1895, the vast, 125,000 acre estate is rightfully called America's Castle.

But spend any time walking through the gardens--designed by Frederick Law Olmsted--or taking in the view from the wide stone terraces, and the exquisite details are what you remember: The sight of the Great Smoky Mountains framed through a window of gnarled and blooming Wisteria vines. Or, a wide grassy field on the other side of an ornate old iron gate.

Don't rush. Buy a bottle of Biltmore wine. Linger. Then open your eyes to the magic of one beautiful and unexpected view after another.

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