Asheville is the largest city in the western half of North Carolina. Known across the United States for its wealth of Art Deco architecture from the 1920s, Asheville's most distinctive tourist attraction is the world-famous Biltmore Estate.
The Biltmore was constructed by the Vanderbilt family between 1889 and 1895. With more than 250 rooms, it today stands as the largest private home in the nation and has become synonymous with the idea of luxury. As originally constructed, the house included not just an indoor pool, but also a private bowling alley. The idea behind the Biltmore was to recapture the essence of the large working estates common to feudal and early modern Europe. In addition to the mansion, the Biltmore included extensive manicured gardens.
The Biltmore Estate has been open to tourists since 1930 and has been run exclusively as a tourist attraction since 1956. Today, more than 900,000 visitors come to view the estate every year. Popular attractions on the grounds include the two-story library, an extensive collection of fine artwork, and early versions of modern technology including the elevator, fire alarm, and intercom.
Tourists staying in holiday homes in Asheville will not want to miss the Biltmore, which is one of western North Carolina's most popular tourist destinations. Visitors should come prepared with clothes appropriate for a humid subtropical climate. Asheville's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains places it near both the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River.