Biltmore Estates


I was invited to a wedding in a small town in North Carolina and used that opportunity to drive in and out of North Carolina three times to visit South Carolina and Virginia. This road trip sold me on solo travel. I drove into Houston to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina and then I drove to Charleston, South Carolina to spend the night. Then back up to north North Carolina for the wedding and the night. The following morning, I drove almost three hours to see a sight in Virginia, and then four and a half more hours back down to North Carolina to visit the Biltmore and spend the night in Asheville. In the span of 5 days, I drove a total of 24 hours. I’m still recovering but it was all worth it. I’m officially at 25 states now in my 50 states travel goal.

I didn’t know much about North Carolina and someone earlier in the year told me it was his favorite state. He’s been to 48 states. As I was driving through it and spent a day and a night in his favorite town, I just had to text him despite not being in contact with him much. I told him I get it! I am completely smitten with North Carolina and I especially love Asheville. I can see myself settling in a town like Asheville. It feels like a smaller, friendlier, more charming version of Austin. And I say this truly loving my hometown, Austin.

If hypothetically I lived in Asheville, I’d invest in the annual pass to the Biltmore. The grounds and gardens are so expansive and beautiful. I saw people bringing lounge chairs and blankets and bikes. As I was being shuttled from the house to my car, I asked the shuttle driver if he ever tired of the breathtaking views, seeing it day in and out. I have a theory that when humans get too comfortable and familiar in their relationships and surroundings, it’s inevitable they start taking people and things for granted. He told me he never tires of it because the surroundings change with the seasons. The gardens change with the seasons. He said he could spend his days off back at the Biltmore if he lived closer. And as I admired the views and remembered breathing in the scents of the gardens and greenhouses, I believed him.

Asheville, I have to come see you again.





  • Fung

    I just pinned this blog post.

    • FUNG. I’m honored to be pinned by you.

  • lisasyarns

    As you know I loved the Biltmore. I had a season pass and went there 3 times during 3 different seasons and it was different each time. I may not have liked Charlotte but I did like the state of NC as it’s so pretty. Asheville was my favorite place that I traveled to and I will for sure come back. I went hiking with this club there right before I left and one of the people in the club told me that Asheville is known as a city where people come to heal and I can totally see how that is the case. I am glad you had such an awesome trip and enjoyed solo travel! I have done a lot of solo travel and I love it!

  • Gorgeous photos Linda!

  • It’s my goal to do more solo travel next year. I really want to visit North Carolina, too, because I hear it is so, so pretty!

  • Stephanie Cunningham

    Solo travel is the best thing ever – we both hit that first this year :)
    And so glad you got to see the prettiest parts of my birth state – Biltmore at Christmas is an incredible sight also if you get another chance!

    • Yeah! I totes agree. So I tried it for the first time as part of my Fear Factor December and liked it enough but didn’t fall in love with it until my second solo trip which was this one. Maybe it was all the driving I did for this one as opposed to the 5 hours from Nashville, Tennessee to Louisville, Kentucky and then a 10 minute drive to Indiana.

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  • Biltmore is grand.

  • Bree

    Solo travel is awesome. You can do what you want, when you want. Stop at some random place and spend 4 hours. Go right ahead. Decide to sit at a coffee shop and stare out the window. Sure, why not. No one to rush or worry about. I love it. I’m so glad you discovered the joy of soloing.