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If you are not familiar with Dale Chihuly's stunning glass art, what better place to discover his talents than the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Expertly positioned in various areas of the Biltmore property, sixteen separate installations of Chihuly's graceful creations are a visual experience not to be missed.
Having the Chihuly art sculptures available to view on the east coast is a delight, and you still have time to enjoy the experience at the Biltmore Estate through October 7, 2018. At night the displays are illuminated for a totally different encounter, filling the senses with color and light.
Day or night, you'll be greeted on the front lawn of the mansion with Sole d'Oro, a glass replica of the sun. Made up of hundreds of curly amber glass tubes which glisten in the sun or glow at night, this 14-foot design stands tall at the entrance to the property.
More installations, like the Laguna Torcello II, are arranged beautifully in the Winter Garden area just inside the front entrance of the mansion. While touring the estate, you will glimpse several other colorful Chihuly sculptures just outside the windows. Take advantage of the self-guided audio tour to learn the history of the property and get a feel for what it was like to live in this massive home in the late nineteenth century.
Returning outside to the massive grounds, the Italian Garden comes into view with its multiple water features-now the temporary home to many more Chihuly creations. Purple Neodymium Reeds rise from the water alongside a Fiori boat filled with colorful glass spheres, reminiscent of Japanese fishing floats. The dramatic Palazzo Ducale Tower sits in a pond with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, providing a feast for the eyes in a peaceful setting.
Adjacent to the Italian Garden lies the Conservatory which houses the Burnished Amber, Citron, and Teal Chandeliers. This group of three dramatic fixtures glows with color during the Chihuly Nights at Biltmore events-held Thursday through Sunday evenings by reservation only. Add a majestic sunset over the mountains, along with live music in the gardens and a wine bar, and you'll enjoy an unforgettable evening.
Once you've taken in all the house and gardens have to offer, take a short drive through the Biltmore property to Antler Hill Village & Winery. Here you'll find two more Chihuly installations-the Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers with its glistening glass spikes; and the Turquoise and Erbium Fiori, a group of blue, aqua and purple shapes, installed in the fountain fronting the winery.
In addition to the beautiful Chihuly art pieces, the Antler Hill Village & Winery provides several gift shops, restaurants and two hotels, as well as the Biltmore Winery itself. Your admission ticket includes complimentary wine tastings from their more than 20 handcrafted vintages.
Add-on tours are also available, including the Vine to Wine Tour & Tasting Experience which offers a trip to the vineyards and Premium Grand Tasting Seminar with a selection of artisanal cheeses and chocolate truffles.
Antler Hill Village is also home to The Barn where live presentations of blacksmiths, woodworkers and other craftsmen display their skills. A Smokehouse offers Carolina barbeque and other Southern fares. The Farmyard features old-fashioned games for the kids as well as farm animals and a playground with climbing logs and rock formations reminiscent of the estate's past.
For an extra charge, the property offers outdoor activities such as river float trips, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides and much more.
The Biltmore property has so much to offer on its own merits, but with the addition of the Chihuly exhibit, one has a chance to view these amazing glass art creations with the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. Tickets are available online or on-site, with discounts offered when ordered a week in advance.
Also, check their calendar for special events and changes to admittance times.
Susan Young is a travel and lifestyles freelance writer, currently creating for TravelPulse.com. Susan has previously written...
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