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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.
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.
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Itinerary for Dec 15 — Dec 20, 2013

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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, December 15 - 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 a beautiful wooded entrance road, you can check-in to your room at the Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center, beginning at 3:00 PM. If you arrive early you will find a comfortable lobby in which to relax, or you may choose to enjoy a leisurely walk around the landscaped grounds and streams to enjoy the views. There are several marked trails to enjoy. Trail maps are available in the conference center lobby. The Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center, founded in 1906, is housed on 1,200 beautiful acres, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and serves more than 30,000 guests annually. Program registration and material pick-up begins in the 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 a variety of hot meats and vegetables 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. We will review the schedule and printed materials for the week, give you information about the campus and answer any questions you might have. After our orientation session we will convene in the conference center lobby where you'll find hot coffee, tea and apple cider along with cookies, cheeses, fruit and more for your enjoyment!!

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, December 16 - Touring the Folk Art Center and the historic Grov...
Touring the Folk Art Center and the historic Grove Park Inn all decorated for the upcoming holidays. Lectures on a Victorian Christmas and on the city of Asheville.

Note: Touring the Folk Art Center and a guided tour of the historic 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: George Vanderbilt introduced his stately mansion to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. The holiday was celebrated in grand fashion and the tradition has continued through the years. This morning you will enjoy an enlightening lecture on Victorian Christmas traditions... traditions that the Vanderbilt family would have celebrated then, and most likely celebrate today.

Lunch: Full lunch buffet provided.

Afternoon: Early afternoon we will board the motor coach for an afternoon of touring. We will visit the Folk Art Center, the home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The center was a cooperative effort between the Guild, the National Park Service and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Opening in 1980, the Folk Art Center houses exhibitions in three galleries and showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the region. Mid afternoon we'll tour the infamous Grove Park Inn. Built in 1913 of granite stones from the surrounding Sunset Mountain, the Grove Park Inn is one of the South's premiere resorts. During your guided tour of the inn you will marvel at the architecture and learn of the history. Distinguished guests through the years have included Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as several of our presidents. Be sure to ask your tour guide about the Pink Lady Ghost!!

Dinner: Full dinner buffet at Blue Ridge Assembly.

Evening: This evening you will hear from an Asheville historian and expert, who will prepare you for your upcoming visit to 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. You'll learn of the architecture of Asheville; a city which has one of the best collection of art deco buildings in the country. As you learn more about the city, you will gain a better understanding of the people, including the architects, authors, masons and artisans. You'll hear of the arrival of the railroad, and how 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. Learn about the Crash in 1929 that halted Asheville's architecture. It was a boom town, a home for the Vanderbilts 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. These events, stories and more throughout the years will allow you to gain a greater understanding of the Asheville you will visit tomorrow.

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, December 17 - A motor coach tour of the city of Asheville, a vi...
A motor coach tour of the city of Asheville, a visit to the Asheville Art Museum and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial museum will highlight our day!

Note: Walking will be required for museum visits and any exploration of the downtown area on your own.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet.

Morning: This morning we will enjoy a motor coach tour of the city of Asheville followed by a visit to the Asheville Art Museum.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in one of the many cozy and quaint eateries in downtown Asheville.

Afternoon: After some free time to explore downtown Asheville we'll tour the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Museum mid-afternoon. Thomas Wolfe is one of Asheville's most renowned authors.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet provided.

Evening: An Appalachian Cultural Specialist will present a program on the rich culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, 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, December 18 - 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: 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 with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway's Folk Art Center, the home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. En route we'll enjoy a video on "Christmas at Biltmore." We will close our afternoon with a visit to the famous Grove Park Inn. The structure, built from granite boulders hewed out of Sunset Mountain, opened its doors in 1913 and has become one of the South's most famous and celebrated resorts. A historical tour of the inn will be offered with additional time to enjoy all the festive decor.

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: 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, December 19 - 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: 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: 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, December 20 - "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


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.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
13 meals: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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