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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.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Dec 14 — Dec 19, 2014

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, December 14 - A nice friendly welcome to beautiful Western Nort...
Note: Today you'll check-in to your room, register for the program, have dinner and attend a program orientation.

Arrive To: Check-in begins at 4:00pm at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville. Program registration and material pick-up begins at 4:30pm.

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

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. We will review the schedule and printed materials for the week, give you information about the hotel and answer any questions you might have.

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, December 15 - Learn about Victorian Christmas Traditions, visit...
Learn about Victorian Christmas Traditions, visit the Blue Ridge Parkway's Folk Art Center, the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the fabulous Grove Park Inn.

Note: A light day of walking as we visit the Folk Art Center, the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the Grove Park Inn.

Breakfast: A full breakfast buffet

Morning: Christmas is a most special time of year and this morning an Appalachian Cultural Specialist will present a program on the rich culture of the Southern Appalachians and it's Christmas traditions, highlighted with archival materials of the Victorian era.

Lunch: Full lunch buffet provided.

Afternoon: We'll begin our afternoon with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center. The Center is home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild and showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. The center also houses three galleries, a library and a craft shop. Afterwards we'll visit the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Designed by Rafael Guastavino, the basilica's dome is considered to be the largest free standing elliptical dome in North America. Then it's on to the beautiful Grove Park Inn for a tour of this unique and beautiful facility. The Inn opened in 1913 and through the years has provided accommodations for ten U.S. presidents, including Barak Obama, as well as numerous other people of notoriety.

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

Evening: This evening a local historian and expert will tell us about the city of Asheville. We'll learn about its beginning as a crossroads for Native American Indians and its growing into one of the highest ranked destinations in the country. We'll learn of the history of the city and its becoming a storehouse for music, culture, arts, crafts and other treasures. We'll learn about the architecture of Asheville, a city that has one of the best collection of art deco buildings in the country. We'll understand the role of the railroad in her history as well as the effects of the stock market crash in 1929... over two hundred years of history condensed into an evening lecture to help us gain a greater understanding of the Asheville we will visit tomorrow!!

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, December 16 - A day in downtown Asheville... A motor coach city...
A day in downtown Asheville... A motor coach city tour, visit to the Asheville Art Museum, lunch at Pack's Tavern and a tour of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Museum...and more!

Note: A fair amount of walking through the Asheville Art Museum and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Museum.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet.

Morning: We'll begin our day enjoying a comfortable drive through downtown Asheville. Unique architecture, historical sites and other points of interest will be highlighted along the way. The remainder of the morning will be spent at the Asheville Art Museum. The museum's web page describes the facility best. "Founded by artists in 1948 in Asheville, NC, the Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its Permanent Collection of 20th and 21st century American art. Any visit will also include experiences with works of significance to Western North Carolina's cultural heritage including Studio Craft, Black Mountain College and Cherokee artists. Special exhibitions feature renowned regional and national artists and explore issues of enduring interest."

Lunch: Lunch at Pack's Tavern, one of the many cozy and quaint eateries of downtown Asheville.

Afternoon: Following our delicious lunch we will have some free time to explore the downtown area. Numerous businesses including art galleries, sweet shops, craft shops and more make downtown Asheville most unique. Mid-afternoon we'll tour the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Museum, a state historic site. "Considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature, Thomas Wolfe immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and the Old Kentucky Home boarding house earned the historic Victorian home a place as one of American Literature’s most famous landmarks" (quote from www.wolfememorial.com).

Dinner: This evening we will enjoy a wonderful catered Christmas meal in the Sams Executive Dining Room of Pittman Dining Hall on the campus of Mars Hill University.

Evening: Following our evening meal we will be entertained by some of Mars Hill University's most talented students. The university, founded in 1856, is the oldest educational institution on it's original site in Western North Carolina. Mars Hill University has sponsored Road Scholar Programs since the 1970's and we look forward to "rolling out the red carpet" for our special guests!

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, December 17 - The beautiful Biltmore House, adorned in her Chri...
Note: Enjoy a leisurely evening 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: This morning we'll learn about the infamous Vanderbilt family and the construction of the Biltmore House as a prelude to our upcoming visit to the estate.

Lunch: A delicious lunch will be provided.

Afternoon: We'll begin our afternoon with a visit to the Cathedral of All Souls in Historic Biltmore Village. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1896, the cathedral serves as the local parish church for the village. After a brief introduction and tour of the facility, we'll take a few minutes to relax and enjoy some holiday music played on the cathedral pipe organ. We'll then travel to the visitor's center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Several miles of the parkway in the Asheville area span across lands once owned by George Vanderbilt. The parkway, America's longest and most narrow parkway, is known as "America's Favorite Drive" and is a major tourist attraction of Western North Carolina. Through exhibits and a brief introductory video we'll learn of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its offerings... with the hopes of encouraging another visit to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina!

Dinner: Dinner during fieldtrip.

Evening: One of the highlights of the week will be this evening 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: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, December 18 - 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. There's a lot of walking on this day so bring comfortable shoes!

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: This afternoon we will visit Antler Hill Village, home of the estate winery. The first vineyards were planted in 1971 and eight years later in 1979 the first bottle of wine was sold. You'll have an opportunity to tour the winery complex and enjoy a complimentary wine-tasting. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent visiting the other exhibits and shops of Antler Hill Village.

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

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: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, December 19 - "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: The Biltmore Estate is home to one of the largest azalea gardens in the United States. This morning, attendees will get a glimpse into springtime at Biltmore with a short Biltmore Gardens presentation, followed by an opportunity to ask any remaining questions, and check-out.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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
6 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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