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For most visitors to Asheville, North Carolina, a trip to Biltmore is a mandatory excursion. George Washington Vanderbilt’s vast mansion, still the largest privately owned house in the United States, is located around 5 miles south of the city, surrounded by an 8,000-acre estate. Built between 1889 and 1895, and modeled primarily on the Château du Blois in France’s Loire Valley, it contains 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms and is an embodiment of the Gilded Age in pale golden limestone.