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Adventure. It’s been our word for the summer.

We didn’t really plan it this way, but with both my husband and meturning 40, a happy anniversary to celebrate, and a family trip of a lifetime all in one summer, it’s been one huge adventure.

And last week, I surprised my husband with a little pre-birthday trip to one of our favorite locations: Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. Click here to read my previous post about Biltmore and how much I love the house. But on this trip, we didn’t even go into the house. I planned a day of horseback riding and exploring the property for just the two of us and it was a grand adventure.

We met our trail guide at the estate stables at 10:00 a.m. for our tour and it turned out to be the perfect time of day to avoid the summer heat.

This beautiful Mustang is Archie. He and I became fast friends on the trail because he was a breeze to handle and gave me no trouble at all.

And Dave rode Cisco like he’d been born in the saddle.

It had actually been years since either of us had ridden a horse, but it all came back to us as soon as our feet hit the stirrups.

The scenery on the trail was absolutely gorgeous. We even saw a couple of deer.

And then we rode by the perfect place to get a glimpse of the back of the house.

We took the one-hour tour with a great guide and a few other people in our group. It was totally worth the money and we’d love to do it again sometime. Click here for for details on horseback riding at Biltmore.

After we left the stables, we drove to another part of the estate–Antler Hill Village.

This is where you’ll find some cute shops and restaurants as well as the farm and other activities for the kids.

There’s also a great exhibit on the Vanderbilts with some very interesting pieces from the Estate including a huge Louis Vuitton trunk and some menus from some practice meals on the Titanic. (Downton fans, you would love seeing these pieces since they are from the same era as our favorite characters.) Wish I could’ve taken some pics to show you!

After lunch at Cedric’s Tavern (delicious!), we drove across the property and passed the house to get to the gardens and trails.

The gardens and Conservatory are just absolutely amazing, and even a tad bit fairytale-esque, especially during the Spring and Summer months. Words just can’t describe, so here’s the best I can do…

And the trails around the gardens are just, well, look at these pics…

Needless to say, we’re going back soon. In fact, we upgraded to Season Passes for the year, which is a great deal for families because passholders’ children under age 16 can get in free along with many other perks. If you are traveling anywhere near Biltmore, check into visiting!

And then stay tuned because I’ll be back soon to tell you my favorite place to stay!

*This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated in any way with Biltmore Estate. I just think you need to go! It’s awesome.