North Carolina
Biltmore & Beyond: The Wonders of Western North Carolina
Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Lure on hikes and boat rides, and delve into the local heritage and history with visits to the homes of the region’s most famous residents.
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 18073RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

Uncover all that western North Carolina has to offer—from the bucolic Biltmore gardens to the urban charm of Asheville and the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Lure from atop Chimney Rock. Visit the homes of some of the region’s most famous residents: the opulent Vanderbilt estate, the austere goat farm of Carl Sandburg and the boarding house where Thomas Wolfe spent most of his childhood. Take in a show at North Carolina’s state theater, and learn about the diverse botanical collection at the North Carolina Arboretum.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Considerable walking on some uneven terrain and climbing stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the 125,000-acre grounds of the turn-of-the-century Biltmore Estate and learn the history of the Vanderbilt Family and the men who built America’s largest home.
  • Visit the Old Kentucky Home and Connemara, once home two of Western North Carolina’s most famous writers: Thomas Wolfe and Carl Sandburg.
  • Experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you hike to Chimney Rock and enjoy a narrated boat ride on Lake Lure.

General Notes

Opportunities are available for traveling companions to attend a different program at Montreat during the same week.
Featured Expert
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Peter Loewer
Peter Loewer is an artist, gardener, writer and illustrator living on the shores of Lake Kenilworth in Asheville, N.C. He holds a bachelor’s in graphic arts and art history and won the 1958 Max Beckmann Fellowship to the Brooklyn Museum. Peter gardens in what he calls a “failing effort to escape the real world and its problems.” He writes and illustrates gardening books and, with the help of his wife Jean, children’s books. His two latest books are "Loves Me Loves Me Not,” about the language of flowers and "Solving Deer Problems."
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Peter Loewer
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