Everything about mobility, traveling, fixing, and using the One Sexy Scooter and its companion products that make the list. Plus background material on how being handicapped or having a disability may change how you do something, but it doesn't stop you from doing it.
Originally Published September 4, 2017
I read every mobility review I could of the Biltmore Estates before we went. This was our first real “let’s buy a ticket” outing with the Triad 750 CSX that we had just purchased and had delivered the week before.
Biltmore Estate is an 8,000-acre estate that was built during the gilded age by the Vanderbilt family. It is still owned by Vanderbilt descendants. So many famous names helped construct this masterpiece nestled in Asheville, NC and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
WHEN TO GO
Holidays are going to be the most crowded. This is when they get most of their traffic. We went the Tuesday AFTER Memorial Day weekend and it was lovely.
We got the cheaper disability tickets. You have to call to purchase them or purchase them at the Biltmore. They are cheaper because you can only see the first and second floors with a scooter. You can't see the basement or the third floors. They have a movie with pictures of these areas, but, if you purchase the optional audio tour, the movie has no real explanation of the rooms like the audio tour does. It would be ideal if they had an alternate version of the movie that included the audio tour if you purchased it. (And do purchase it even for the first two floors. We each purchased our own copy. The recorders hang around your neck.)
IMPORTANT SCOOTER DIMENSIONS
We used a Triad 750 CSX to go through the house, eating areas, and winery. Please take note, the dimensions of the Triad 750 CSX are 29 inches wide and 45 inches long. If your scooter is wider than this, it probably won't fit in the doorway from the outside ramp. I have a picture of the clearance. It might not fit in the elevator either depending on length. I have another picture to show that.
HOW TO GET THERE
We have a disability placard. We were able to be passed through all the parking attendants to the main building itself. The main building has a drop off area by the handicapped ramp on the left-hand side of the building if you are looking straight at the main building. I dropped hubby off with the scooter, and then I parked in the lot closest to the main building. They have lots of handicapped slots there, but they also have nonhandicapped parking. I was able to walk a quick five minutes back to the main building. You could also wait for a shuttle. It was a nice day so I walked.
SCOOTER IN THE MAIN BUILDING
Hubby was able to get into the main building with about an inch or ½-inch clearance. We then enjoyed the first two floors. We used the original elevator to the building, which requires the attendant to work the elevator from the inside. All three of us managed to fit in, but it was tight. The elevator was called the bird cage and it was beautiful.
The standard ramp to get up to the Biltmore.
The Triad CSX just fits. I don't know if a larger scooter could get through.
It was a tight fit, but all three of us, the attendant, hubby and I fit in the elevator. This is one perk for having mobility issues.
After the main building, we ate at the Stables. There is a brick floor in the courtyard. If you have mobility issues, this might be a problem for you. It was wonderful with the scooter. He was so relieved that he could navigate this with ease. Before he had a scooter and would try to walk things like this, he couldn't.
Navigating the uneven bricks was a breeze.
I then retrieved the car by using the shuttle, and we went to the winery area. If you don't have a motorized scooter and you park in the regular handicapped parking area, you better be in shape if you are pushing a manual wheelchair. A mother and daughter were having a hard time getting up the long winding ramp to the main area, and then they had more problems getting up the second ramp to the winery. I looked around after seeing their problems, and it seemed that there was a handicapped drop off at least to the main area, but it you don't know it is there, it would be hard to spot it. They hadn't. My husband's scooter had no problem with the ramps, the winery (including the wine tasting room) or the wine shop.
Navigating the Biltmore wine store wasn't a problem. We purchased three bottles. The basket was handy for that.
Hubby preferred to stand. The scooter wasn't far away though.
We had fun tasting! They also serve little crackers to clear the palette.
These dry facts, while important, don't talk about the magnificence of this place. The architecture, the views, the artwork by Durer and John Singer Sargent. This place is a museum of the highest caliber. My husband and I really enjoyed it.
A FEW OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
There is a land tour that you can take that goes on a bus. Sign up for it beforehand if you want to go. It was full so we couldn’t get on it. (I called in the morning and there was space. I should have booked it then.) There is also a Segway tour. I wanted to see if we could go on the Segway tour and have hubby on his Triad, but they said, “no go.” (Hubby likes the stability of the Triad Scooter. He didn’t even want to try a Segway. I’ll have another post about this.)