Optional Events

2019 HEDS Annual Conference Optional Events


Private Guided Tour of Biltmore House ($95 per person)

Monday, June 17th from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m.

A chartered motorcoach will pick you up at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel and travel to the famous Biltmore Estate. Along the way, a professional guide will provide entertaining commentary about the Vanderbilt family, Biltmore Estate, and the history and architecture of Asheville. The 90-minute private tour of Biltmore House begins at 4:45 p.m. The house spans three floors and a basement and includes original art work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley. The stories of George Vanderbilt and America’s largest home will come to life as a knowledgeable host reveals intriguing information about each room and explains how Vanderbilt’s love of art, travel, and beauty made the Biltmore House a national treasure.

Biltmore House

Biltmore House


Asheville Walking Tour ($20 per person)

Tuesday, June 18th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

A professional local tour guide will conduct a guided walk through a portion of Asheville’s Urban Trail, sometimes referred to as a “museum without walls.” On this leisurely walk, you will learn intriguing stories about Asheville’s past while exploring a wealth of unique shops, restaurants, art and craft galleries, and lively public spaces.

Some of the stops along the way include the memorial and childhood home of Thomas Wolfe, one of America’s most esteemed twentieth-century authors; the Grove Arcade, a beautiful Neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece and one of the nation’s first indoor public markets; and the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, a Spanish Baroque Revival masterpiece designed by internationally acclaimed architect-engineer Rafael Guastavino and featuring one of the largest freestanding elliptical domes in the world.

The tour will depart from and return to the Renaissance Asheville. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the season (58–80°F). The approximately 1.7-mile walking tour will take place rain or shine.