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FLAT ROCK, NORTH CAROLINA

The Vanderbilts and Christmas At the Biltmore Estate

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Road Scholar
Program #10404RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
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EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
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Itinerary for Nov 25 — Nov 30, 2012

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Type: Conference Center

Description: The Blue Ridge Center is a full service conference center with modern facilities. It has a very spacious lobby with a large fireplace, ample seating, and a piano. The glass enclosed dining area frames the beautiful mountain views. The hotel type rooms have private baths and two double beds. Each floor is served by an elevator. The Blue Ridge Campus is a tobacco-free facility.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool (seasonal).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, November 25 - A nice friendly welcome to beautiful Western Nort...
Note: Today you'll check-in to your room, register for the program, have dinner, attend a program orientation and reception.

Arrive To: After a short drive on the beautiful, wooded entrance road, you can check-in to your room into the Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center, beginning at 3:00 PM. If you arrive early, you will find a comfortable lobby in which to wait until check-in time. This would be a wonderful time to leisurely walk around the landscaped grounds and streams and enjoy the views. Program registration and material pick-up begins in Conference Center lobby at 4:30 pm.

Dinner: Dinner will be served buffet-style in the Blue Ridge Assembly dining hall. A salad bar and an entrée bar are yours to enjoy, accompanied with drinks and desserts. Sugar free desserts are available upon request.

Evening: As we gather after dinner, you'll have time to get to know your fellow travelers and your program leaders! We always have a great time meeting one another during the Sunday evening orientation session, as well as reviewing the schedule and printed materials for the week, giving you information about the campus and answering any questions you might have.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: The Blue Ridge Center is a full service conference center with modern facilities. It has a very spacious lobby with a large fireplace, ample seating, and a piano. The glass enclosed dining area frames the beautiful mountain views. The hotel type rooms have private baths and two double beds. Each floor is served by an elevator. The Blue Ridge Campus is a tobacco-free facility.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool (seasonal).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, November 26 - Let us introduce Western North Carolina to you, t...
Let us introduce Western North Carolina to you, the intriguing city of Asheville, and America's treasure, the Biltmore House and Gardens.

Note: After learning about the city and some of it's secrets, we'll go exploring, perhaps to the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Rafael Guastavino's 1909 masterpiece and to Asheville's celebrity resort destination, The Grove Park Inn.

Breakfast: A full buffet breakfast is provided for you each morning. Coffee is available for the early risers in the lobby! Our kitchen staff is very responsive to your requests, so please ask!

Morning: We'll begin the week with an Asheville historian and expert, who will prepare you for your week in our city. We want you to know more about the city than what meets the eye. You'll learn how it began as a crossroads for the Native American Cherokee Indians and grew into one of the highest ranked destinations in the country. You will gain knowledge of it's history of over two hundred years and of it's becoming a storehouse for music, culture, arts, crafts, and other treasures.

Lunch: Full lunch buffet provided.

Afternoon: Your afternoon will be spent on a field trip to downtown Asheville, where you'll experience some of the places uniquely-Asheville! You'll learn first hand about the world and culture where George Vanderbilt built his luxurious home and brought his family to live.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet at Blue Ridge Assembly.

Evening: Appalachian Cultural Specialist gives a presentation about the rich culture of the Southern Appalachians and it's Christmas traditions, highlighted with archival materials of the Victorian era.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: The Blue Ridge Center is a full service conference center with modern facilities. It has a very spacious lobby with a large fireplace, ample seating, and a piano. The glass enclosed dining area frames the beautiful mountain views. The hotel type rooms have private baths and two double beds. Each floor is served by an elevator. The Blue Ridge Campus is a tobacco-free facility.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool (seasonal).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, November 27 - History of Asheville, it's nationally recognized ...
History of Asheville, it's nationally recognized collection of Art-Deco architectural buildings, and the rich history of the Asheville Vanderbilt Family

Note: Visit the beautiful downtown Asheville area!

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet.

Morning: The story of a city is told by the architecture of its buildings; and for Asheville, which has one of the best collections of art deco buildings in the country, this story is both unique and beautiful. As you learn more about the city, you will understand more about the stories of the people, architects, masons, artisans, and the stories told by the stones. With the arrival of the railroad, Asheville became a mountain escape for the wealthy and was transformed into a resort town as well as a center for therapeutic health treatments in the 1880's. When the Crash halted Asheville's architecture in 1929, it was a boom town, a home for the Vanderbilt's and Edwin Wiley Grove, a resort for Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and other historic luminaries, and a mecca for rising young architects following in the footsteps of one of the masters, Richard Morris Hunt, who designed the lavish Biltmore House in 1895.

Lunch: Full lunch buffet provided.

Afternoon: We'll spend the afternoon in downtown Asheville, where you'll have the opportunity to view the magnificent architecture, buildings that have been preserved and converted to modern facilities of businesses and shops today. Site visits may include the Grove Arcade, said in its time to be the most elegant building in America; as well as the "Old Kentucky Home" birthplace of world renowned author, Thomas Wolfe, and other destinations.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet provided.

Evening: Biltmore Estate is more than it's beautiful exterior. It is a place rich in personal history, national society and wealth. The gentleman and lady, George and Edith Vanderbilt, endured struggles and triumphs, and made contributions to Western North Carolina that are still visible today. Our evening program will introduce you to the Vanderbilts, explain their connection to the Northeastern Vanderbilt family, their diverse and breathtaking art, tapestry, and furniture collections, and their contributions to farming and forestry, including the first school of forestry in the United States.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: The Blue Ridge Center is a full service conference center with modern facilities. It has a very spacious lobby with a large fireplace, ample seating, and a piano. The glass enclosed dining area frames the beautiful mountain views. The hotel type rooms have private baths and two double beds. Each floor is served by an elevator. The Blue Ridge Campus is a tobacco-free facility.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool (seasonal).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, November 28 - Spend the afternoon and evening at the beautiful ...
Spend the afternoon and evening at the beautiful Biltmore House, adorned in her Christmas finery!

Note: Enjoy a leisurely evening candlelight stroll through the sparkling luminaries and the hundred plus Christmas trees twinkling their welcome to you from the Biltmore House.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet provided.

Morning: Take advantage of a free morning to rest up in preparation for an evening out at the Biltmore House. A list of optional activities will be provided, including a historic tour of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, one time home to the Black Mountain College of the 1930s, (weather permitting).

Lunch: Full lunch buffet provided.

Afternoon: We'll begin the afternoon in Biltmore Village, the area surrounding the entrance into the Biltmore Estate, designed and developed by George Vanderbilt and his architects. We'll have a guided tour of the Cathedral of All Souls, a structure conceived as the focus of the village and built in 1896 by George Vanderbilt as the parish church for his family and members of the community. (www.allsoulscathedral.org/history) After our visit to the village, we'll enjoy more touring of the Biltmore Estate.

Dinner: Dinner during fieldtrip.

Evening: One of the highlights of the week will be this evening candlelight tour of the Biltmore House with it's beautiful grand-scale Christmas decorations. Step back in time to the late 1800s as you view elegant Victorian decorations, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland, and thousands of ornaments twinkling in the firelight. Each tree is uniquely decorated to match the room in which it is located. Marvel at the forty foot Christmas tree that towers above visitors in the formal dining hall.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: The Blue Ridge Center is a full service conference center with modern facilities. It has a very spacious lobby with a large fireplace, ample seating, and a piano. The glass enclosed dining area frames the beautiful mountain views. The hotel type rooms have private baths and two double beds. Each floor is served by an elevator. The Blue Ridge Campus is a tobacco-free facility.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool (seasonal).

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, November 29 - Enjoy a guided behind-the-scenes tour of Mr. Vand...
Enjoy a guided behind-the-scenes tour of Mr. Vanderbilt's 250-room French château; return to your favorite places in the house or use the time to explore the beautiful gardens and grounds, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Note: Return to Biltmore House, Gardens, and Winery. Time allocated for both a guided behind-the-scenes visit and self-guided time.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet provided.

Morning: Touring of the Biltmore Estate and House continues as attendees receive a special guided behind-the-scenes tour of many rooms not open to the public. Learn what's involved in restoring a room, understand the advanced mechanical (water, heat, electricity) functionality of the estate as compared to the rest of the country at that time, and have the opportunity to ask the guide any questions you may have.

Lunch: Lunch at the Biltmore Estate! Everything at the Estate is first class and this leisurely holiday luncheon is no exception. You'll enjoy scrumptious turkey and dressing, and all the trimmings, plus fabulous homemade desserts at the Deerpark Restaurant on the grounds.

Afternoon: Biltmore Estate visit continues after lunch to other points of interest on the estate, such as the Biltmore Estate Winery, farm areas, and more.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet provided.

Evening: Free evening for attendees to explore the area on their own, visit with nearby friends or relatives, or make preparations for departure on Friday. An optional video, books, games, etc. available for those staying on premises.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, November 30 - "The Gardens of Biltmore."
Note: We'll wrap up our week, check-out of your room at the conference center, and say goodbye to our new friends.

Depart From: Program ends at approximately 10:30 AM.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet provided.

Morning: Attendees will be given a short Biltmore Gardens presentation, followed by an opportunity to ask any remaining questions, and check-out. At this time we will gladly assist participants with any travel plans they may be beginning today.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Blue Ridge Assembly
Local AttractionsMany sightseeing opportunities in the area.
For additional information, visit: www.exploreasheville.com
Museums, Galleries, Arts, Crafts, and moreThe Asheville Arts and Crafts, Fine Arts, and Gallery Art scenes are booming. www.romanticasheville.com/galleries.html
For additional information, visit: www.ashevilleguidebook.com/
Parks, Natural Attractions, and National ParksWestern NC is home of many natural attractions, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and Chimney Rock National Park, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, and more!
For additional information, visit: www.ashevilleguidebook.com/wnc/parks_&_national_forest.htm

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
10 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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