Leaving Charlotte, we went to Asheville and visited Biltmore House. Built by the Vanderbilt family, it is the USA’s largest privately owned home. Over several hours we toured the house, gardens, exhibits on the family and winery (free tastings were good!) Sadly we were not allowed to take photos inside the house, but it was stunning. It was built just before 1900 and had some cool features – an indoor bowling alley and swimming pool were two incredibly modern features that were in place. The gardens were beautiful – the house is set on a massive 8,000 acre estate and looks out to the Smoky Mountains.
After we left the estate we drove up to Fontana Dam, a tiny settlement in the Smoky Mountains where we pitched our tent at a campsite attached to a resort – meaning that we were camping a couple of miles away but could go up to the main resort and use their pool, campfire etc. We had two nights there relaxing and swimming and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
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Lovely! This is quite reminiscent of ‘Breakers’, the Vanderbilt’s summer holiday home in Newport, Rhode Island, which Nicholas and I visited in October: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150366953407017&set=a.10150338021612017.347588.536672016&type=3&theater
Its opulence was quite excessive!
The Smoky Mountains look lovely… always wanted to go there, never quite managed it. Maybe someday.
Oh wow, it looks amazing there! Such pretty pictures.