Asheville in September is a dream to be sure. But this fall, Biltmore Estate steals the show with its Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition. Already a Disneyland for adults with its winery, restaurants, and mountain vistas stretching forever—the estate couples its gorgeous grounds with sculptor Dale Chihuly’s large-scale kaleidoscopic glass creations. Sixteen installations feature throughout, varying from colorful snake-like curvatures in the pergola, to prismatic glass balls among the lily pads in the fountains, to a lagoon-themed masterpiece constructed inside the 250-room house’s winter garden. While Chihuly’s ribbons and curly cues and tentacle-like structures are a sure sight during the day, an evening pass will have guests gasping at the glass exhibit’s exclusive nighttime lighting. Set against a Blue Ridge backdrop, the historical home’s exquisite architecture combined with Chihuly’s genius creates a profound effect not easily forgotten.
Chihuly at Biltmore, thru October 7; starting at $55. One Lodge St, Asheville, NC. (800) 411-3812, biltmore.com/chihuly
While you’re in Biltmore Village, check out these must-stops
EAT / DRINK
Considered the craft beer of the Carolinas, this brewery sits on the southern side of Biltmore Village. Try a White Zombie pale ale or Friki Tiki IPA after browsing the area’s extended retail offerings. 63 Brooks St, (828) 424-7290
Situated in a century-old Victorian cottage, this farm-focused foodie joint offers an ever-rotating menu, depending on what’s in season. Expect to find the likes of corn-fried oysters or white-wine-poached barramundi alongside craft cocktails, with a kids’ menu to boot. 3 Boston Way, Asheville, NC. (828) 274-2438
Known around brew-town for its balanced and approachable beers, Hi-Wire’s Big Top location sits at the northside of Biltmore Village. The circus-themed brewery sports a varied selection, though the mosaic IPA and house gose are definite showstoppers. 2 Huntsman Place, (828) 738-2448
Part mod décor, part hunting-lodge chic, Red Stag Grill brings out the best local flavors with its fresh food focus. While a filet from nearby Hickory Nut Gap Farm will certainly tame a beef craving, try the Sunburst mountain trout with sweet pea and mushroom farro accompanied by an Asheville Mule signature cocktail. 11 Boston Way, Asheville, NC. (828) 398-5600
Sign off your Chihuly experience with an evening at the Marriott Rewards–affiliated Grand Bohemian in Biltmore Village. Settled directly across from the estate’s entrance, this Tudor-inspired boutique hotel flaunts 104 rooms and suites in luxe European-lodge style. Opt for naturopathic treatments at the in-house Poseidon Spa, or draw your own bubble bath in your suite’s full-sized tub. 11 Boston Way, Asheville, NC. (828) 505-2949
Some of us deserted him or her a long ago, but there’s a galaxy gazer, rock rummager, and insect identifier still inside us all. Re-embrace your inner nature nerd at this local purveyor of nature study tools, providing outdoor enthusiasts with bird feeders, bat boxes, microscopes, and even computerized telescopes. 2 Brooks St, Asheville, NC. (800) 678-5430,
For full list of retail stores, visit historicbiltmorevillage.com.