Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is a top tourist draw in the American South. Aside from touring the incredible Biltmore House, the estate offers a great variety of things to do for the whole family including dining, shopping, behind-the-scenes guided tours, outdoor activities, museum-quality exhibits, luxurious accommodations for overnight stays and so much more. There’s no way to experience all that Biltmore has to offer in just a single visit, which is why we always recommend that those who can purchase an annual pass. Here are what I think are the top Biltmore passholder benefits.
Hubby and I have been Biltmore annual passholders for almost 8 years. Biltmore is special to us, so it’s one of those luxuries we always make room for in our budget. Biltmore is our home away from home. It’s where we met, got engaged and love spending time together exploring and dining in their great restaurants.
What is Biltmore?
Biltmore House, billed as the largest privately owned home in the U.S., was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II (grandson of railroad and shipping tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt) and completed in 1895. The immense house is 175,000 square feet and has 35 bedrooms (most of which are not on view to the public).
George Vanderbilt died in 1914 when he was still quite young and left his home to his only child, Cornelia. The family opened the house to the public in 1930 and they still run the estate to this day. The original estate comprised approximately 150,000 acres, but the property now covers about 8,000 acres…still very large. Much of the property was sold to the U.S government to create Pisgah National Forest.
Should you purchase a Biltmore estate annual pass?
I’m going to cut to the chase. If you live within a reasonable driving distance of Asheville, North Carolina, and plan (or desire) to visit Biltmore at least two or three times per year (whether for just a Biltmore day trip or for a weekend getaway) then yes, I think you should buy an annual pass.
This is just my opinion. Each person’s situation is different. Only you can know for sure if the benefits of a Biltmore Estate annual pass are worth it for you.
You can purchase an annual pass online or you can upgrade your estate ticket to an annual pass during your visit at any guest relations kiosk.
Renewing your Biltmore Estate annual pass
Renewing your annual pass is very easy. Each year as you approach your annual pass renewal date, you will receive a reminder mailing from Biltmore Estate. You can renew your pass:
- Online at biltmore.com
- Over the phone using the Passholder Priority Line: (800) 413-9787
- In person at any guest relations kiosk on the grounds
All three of these options are quick and easy. I almost always renew in person if I know we’re going to be at the estate anywhere near our pass expiration. If not, I usually call the priority line. Your pass renews one year from your pass expiration date, not one year from when you renew, so there’s no penalty to renew your pass a little early.
The cost to renew an annual pass is significantly cheaper than to purchase a new pass.
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Biltmore passholder benefits
There’s no question that a Biltmore Estate annual pass is a little bit of an investment. Before you purchase one, I suggest you consider the benefits versus the cost, so you can make an informed decision about whether the pass is right for you.
Please note that these benefits are subject to change. You can keep up with the latest on Biltmore annual pass benefits on the official Biltmore Estate website.
With an annual pass you can…
See Biltmore at all seasons
The best, and most obvious, of Biltmore annual pass benefits is that you get unlimited visits to the estate, which means you can see Biltmore during each season of the year.
Biltmore Estate offers a great variety of things to see and do for all seasons. You can check out the flowers blooming in spring and into summer. The Biltmore Estate grounds and surrounding area are home to many species of deciduous trees which makes for a spectacular and long fall colors season. And Biltmore Estate must be seen at Christmas as well. The decorations are simply beautiful, and passholders get discounts on tickets to Candlelight Christmas Evenings, when Biltmore House is open at night for guests to view all the decorations with the Christmas lights on.
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Get special passholder-only discounts
Annual passholders receive 10% off on Biltmore Estate restaurants as well as a 10% discount at estate shops and online shopping. Passholders also receive discounts on Behind-the-Scenes guided tours and estate activities, and special pricing for stays at The Inn on Biltmore Estate and Village Hotel. You can even use your Biltmore annual pass for discounts on other attractions in the area including the Flat Rock Playhouse, Dollywood and the Tennessee Aquarium.
Enjoy special benefits for your guests
Even your guests can join in the benefits of a Biltmore annual pass. Passholders can receive discounts on estate tickets for guests, and children ages 16 and under get in free when accompanied by an annual passholder. You can even bring your guests onto the estate for free at certain times (at select restaurants or certain holiday meals) with advanced dining reservations or to Antler Hill Village after 5 p.m.
Get even more discounts during annual passholder appreciation
In addition to the year-round discounts and benefits of being an annual passholder, each year from approximately early January and into March Biltmore holds their annual passholder appreciation. The dates for 2021 are Jan. 11 – March 19.
Purchase special event tickets before the general public
Annual passholders also get special privileges such as the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance for their Summer Concert Series or other special events. Past artists that have performed at Biltmore include Tony Bennett, Chicago, the Beach Boys, Lauren Daigle and The Temptations.
Buy an annual pass to experience the pleasure of Biltmore
In my opinion, the benefits of buying an annual go beyond just the stated benefits of things like discounts and free tickets for family and friends.
One of my favorite “hidden” benefits of the annual pass is that we have a freedom to make quick trips there even if it’s just for a meal. Seriously. We’ve driven to Biltmore Estate just for lunch, for a quick birthday or wedding anniversary celebration or just to see the azalea garden in full bloom.
Because we have an annual pass, we never miss a special exhibit. We’ve seen amazing costumes from costumes from the hit TV show Downton Abbey and popular period films like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma, not to mention the spectacular Dale Chihuly glass installation in 2018.
As annual passholders we really enjoy these special exhibits because they give us more reasons to visit Biltmore Estate…and they’re also something new to see while we’re there.
Hubby and I have forged a strong personal connection with Biltmore Estate over the years. Just being there sparks joy for us. Perhaps it might for you.
In all honesty, you really can’t go wrong with the purchase of a Biltmore Estate annual pass. Biltmore Estate is a pleasure to explore. From the stunning house to the beautifully kept gardens and the romantic Inn, you will want to go back again and again. And with an annual pass you can go as often as you like.
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