We were drawn to Asheville for a number of reasons: artsy community, excellent food, walkable, and dog-friendly.
Since we went the week leading up to Thanksgiving, James still had to check in with work. To keep our dogs out of his hair while on a conference call, we leashed up and headed out to the Biltmore Estate.
Holy cow is that place incredible. Under construction from 1889-1895, George Vanderbilt’s 3,000 acre estate boats of “four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.” So, your typical country cottage.
While dogs aren’t allowed inside the main house, they are permitted to roam the gardens, hike the trails, and get a coffee.
[Side note: If you want to walk the estate and then tour the mansion, the Biltmore does have first-come/first-serve kennels where dogs can curl up with fresh water and protection from the elements. We didn’t opt for that feature during our tour– first came the adventure with the dogs, then I dropped the furries back and snagged James for our human’s-only tour in the house.]
Two dogs, one Kari and a pocketful of treats left our little mountain respite for this expansive tourist draw in Asheville. We had a dusting of snow that morning, so MJ was wearing one of her (my) favorite hoodies to keep her warm. We got more comments about the dog-in-outfit during our walk!
To get to the estate, you park your car about 1/3 of a mile down a slope. Humans can get on a shuttle that delivers you to the front door. For those with pups, your walk starts right away, on pine needle trails through the woods.
A view of the train depot approach to the estate. That’s the front lawn. (This really adorable older couple insisted on taking our picture. He knew how to use an iPhone, and proceeded to take 47 pictures that look exactly like this one. No lie.)
What we loved most about the estate is variety of paving/ground the dogs got to walk on. Brick, grass, pebbles, concrete, sodden earth… they took them all like champs. Although we liked the pebbles the least (the princess disliked sitting on them).
We followed this trail into a bamboo forest. I stopped to pick up a pup-deposit, got twisted in the leads and turned around. Then, basically, we got lost in a bamboo forest for 20 minutes. It’s cool, though. We broke several rules and walked off the path to find our way out.
This should have been our Christmas card. I couldn’t get organized fast enough.
one of each
This is MJ’s “I”m over it” face. Doodle is obviously having the time of his life.
We got to the estate as they opened for the day, so the trails were rather un-peopled and we could take our time with sniffs and changing directions. If I read the map correctly, we wandered over 5 miles of the estate, which wore everyone out and drained the pocket of treats.