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Turn of the century athletic equipment. (Um, last century.)

I am in upstate North Carolina this week, though I didn’t know North Carolina had an upstate until they kept mentioning it on the local news. (Upstate weather, next! What’s happening in the upstate? Upstate, upstate, UPSTATE!) My mom is visiting for the week, so we took a road trip to visit the Biltmore estate in Asheville. It’s America’s largest home, has 43 bathrooms, and no public restrooms. (Take your pee break before you enter!) We also just missed getting on local television when they were filming a story about a freakishly huge mushroom found on the grounds.

I thought you guys would be most interested in the recreation areas in the basement of the Biltmore. Here’s the swimming pool:

Biltmore swimming pool

Don’t jump in! There is a noticeable lack of water. The 70,000-gallon pool was heated and had underwater lighting. There are also call buttons near the edge so guests could call for a servant.

And here’s an early 20th-century gym:

Biltmore gym

Those wooden pins hanging from the wall made me think George Vanderbilt was a closet juggler, but they’re evidently called Indian clubs. You’re supposed to use wave them around in different patterns for exercise.

If you stop by the Biltmore, I want you to know that Dave the shuttle driver gives the best parking lot tour I’ve ever been on. No joking! (Except for Dave’s joking.) I suppose if you drive in circles all day you either go crazy or develop a comedy routine to keep you sane. Catch Dave’s shuttle if you can!

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17 Comments

Beth M • September 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

That’s one of my favorite places to visit. We live about an hour and a half away in SC so it’s a short little trip. At Christmas they have a decorated tree in every room….in the spring they have the festival of flowers and the gardens are done up beautifully. I would go every season if I could find someone to go! (the husband says you can only see an old house so many times)

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Lynne Stubblefield • September 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

Indian clubs? The first kettlebells? Soon to be seen on late night TV LOL

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Mymsie • September 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Awww, I haven’t been there since a field trip in elementary school. The pool is lookin’ good! ;)

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she overflows • September 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I have been wanting to visit Asheville and the Biltmore forever! Jealous. Also, I totally want to swim in that pool. If it had water, of course.

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ChrissyS • September 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

haha, I thought they had something to do with bowling.

I’ve been on this tour & enjoyed lunch in the stable (real food, ppl).

So nice you got to see your Mom!! [is that making the move hard now? Just as you were getting settled? Hope not..hope it was just plain enjoyable!] Hi, Mom!

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The Merry • September 23, 2010 at 11:19 pm

That pool looks gloomy, verging on creepy.
What, all the money and he couldn’t afford a friggin’ window? Sheesh.

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Kyle • September 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I went there when I was little and I thought that pool was like the coolest thing in the whole wide world!

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Debby • September 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

LOVE the Biltmore! Also love the McDonald’s I passed on the way to the Biltmore — it has a grand piano in the dining area. Very fancy!

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Kim C. • September 25, 2010 at 2:41 am

I hope that you enjoyed Asheville! I’ve lived here for 41 years :) “The Upstate” actually refers to an area of SC though :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstate_South_Carolina

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Amy • September 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I love your blog and I LOVE that you visited Asheville! That’s where I call home and I can’t wait to head back over fall break (from UNC! Welcome to Chapel Hill! :) )

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Jenni • September 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Never heard of that place, but it looks awesome! I must add it to my list of places to visit.

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Tricia • September 28, 2010 at 2:15 am

Isn’t The Biltmore supposedly haunted? I think I’ve seen it on one of those shows. Ghost Hunters or Mtv’s Fear or something along those lines.

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Diane • October 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Asheville, one of my favorite places to visit! And the Biltmore is amazing. Love the pics. It makes me want to go visit again! I think I’ll have to check it out around the holidays! Would love to see it decorated.

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Irene • October 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I would love to visit there

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Lisa F • October 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I was just going to say what Kim already said. I live in the Upstate of SC, so when they say it on the news they are referring to us. But don’t worry – we have to have your weather too and we get to see all the school closings in NC and be jealous. (I’m a teacher)

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Gingersnapper • October 13, 2010 at 8:22 am

Have NEVER heard the term “upstate.” As incredibly unlikely as it may seem, it is remotely possible that the local news reporter doesn’t know what s/he is talking about.

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Anonymous • May 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I live about 45 mins from Biltmore. I have been there several times throughout my life. They do have public restrooms located near the gift shops and restaurants (near the exit of the tour and where the stables used to be). I recommend using them before you take the tour because the inside house itself doesn’t offer a restroom for the public. I also recommend watching “The Private Eyes” starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts before and after you visit. It shows a lot of the house (before certain changes were made and a lot of the sercret passages). It’s a cute, funny, family movie to enjoy. My 6th grade class visited there (in 1991, ohh I’m gettin kinda old lol) my teacher wouldn’t let us watch the movie till after we toured it because the movie showed so much of the house.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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