America's Largest Home: The Biltmore, a 175,000 square foot estate located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.
As America’s Largest Home, Biltmore House has captured the imagination of millions with its sheer size – the square footage of four football fields – the 35 bedrooms, the 43 bathrooms, and a full-sized swimming pool in the basement. Yet it was also a warm and welcoming home where a family lived and a little girl grew up. George Vanderbilt’s dream lives on as one of western North Carolina’s rarest treasures.
Most holiday feasts were served in the banquet hall, the largest room in the house at 72 feet long by 42 feet wide with a 70-foot ceiling, three fireplaces and an organ gallery. The original dining table could extend to 40 feet and easily accommodate 64 guests.
George Vanderbilt’s most prized room was his two-story, 40-by-60-foot library, with 10,000 or so volumes handpicked from his own personal collection. George was considered “the best-read man in the country” and averaged 81 books a year. The library was crowned by the painting “The Chariot of Aurora” by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, which once hung in the Pisani Palace in Venice.
A portrait of the William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil family in the Biltmore House.
The basement houses a 70,000-gallon indoor swimming pool complete with underwater electrical lighting (positively cutting edge when built). Also in the basement is the first ever two-lane bowling alley built in a private residence. Balls were returned and pins reset by hand.
When Spanish architect Raphael Guastavino came to the U.S. in 1881, he already had a reputation for creating grand arches, domes, and vaults in Europe. Within a few years, his work caught the attention of Richard Morris Hunt, head architect for Biltmore House.
He was commissioned by Hunt to create the decorative tile vaulting at Biltmore House, including the hall ceilings around the Winter Garden. His tile work in the swimming pool is reminiscent of the vaulting in New York City’s earliest subway stations, another Guastavino design.
The laundry system had washing “machines” (for the rest of the country the first laundromat wouldn’t open for another 30 years), a precursor to the ones we know today. These machines could spin and extract, all powered by overhead belts. Heated drying racks accommodated the numerous linens.
America’s most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal getaway. Hike, camp, and experience one of America’s oldest mountain ranges.
lk once roamed the southern Appalachian mountains and elsewhere in the eastern United States. They were eliminated from the region by over-hunting and loss of habitat. The last elk in North Carolina was believed to have been killed in the late 1700s. In Tennessee, the last elk was killed in the mid-1800s. By 1900, the population of elk in North America dropped to the point that hunting groups and other conservation organizations became concerned the species was headed for extinction.
A primary mission of the National Park Service is to preserve native plants and animals on lands it manages. In cases where native species have been eliminated from park lands, the National Park Service may choose to reintroduce them. Reintroduction of elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park began in 2001 when 25 elk were brought from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area along the Tennessee-Kentucky border. In 2002, the park imported another 27 animals.
Cataloochee Valley is nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States. Surrounded by 6000-foot peaks, this isolated valley was one of the largest and most prosperous settlements in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some 1,200 people lived in this lovely mountain valley in 1910. Most made their living by farming, including commercial apple growing, but an early tourism industry developed in Cataloochee with some families boarding fishermen and other tourists who wished to vacation in the mountains.
This is a region that's equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle. You'll still hear "y'all" dropped into casual conversation, but Charlotte is a metro area on the rise, and has its own culture, culinary sophistication and unique feel that's making it a more enticing place for people from all over the world to visit and settle down.
The Charlotte Knights are a professional Minor League Baseball team in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team, which plays in the International League, is the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox of the American League.
Great evening for a Charlotte Knights game! The Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox play their home games in Uptown Charlotte, at BB&T Ballpark.
Bank of America Stadium is a 75,523-seat football stadium located on 33 acres in uptown Charlotte. It is the home facility and headquarters of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League.
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.
US Airways Flight 1549 was carrying 150 passengers and 5 crew members when it left LaGuardia Airport, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina. A few minutes after takeoff at an altitude of 2,818 feet, the aircraft hit a flock of migrating Canada Geese, causing both engines to shut down.
With only minutes to make life or death decisions, Captain Sully and First Officer Jeff Skiles were able to successfully glide the aircraft to a ditching in the Hudson River. There were no serious injuries, but the event changed many lives and captivated the world.
Today, US Airways Flight 1549 resides at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, where visitors can see the actual Airbus-A320 aircraft, hear passenger stories, and experience the harrowing event.
One of the most heroic events of the past decade to fully capture the public imagination was the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” Flight 1549. The aircraft forms the centerpiece of the Carolina Aviation Museum's collection of military and commercial aircraft, helicopters, equipment, and artifacts, which document milestones in aviation history back to the time of the Wright Brothers.
Spend a day at the North Carolina Zoo and discover the nation’s largest walk-through, natural habitat zoo. The 5 miles of walkway take you on a wild journey from North America to Africa.
Despite our shared lineage, humans are pushing chimpanzees toward extinction. Chimps have already disappeared completely from four countries and are under tremendous pressure everywhere else they live.
North Carolina’s famed Visit The Outer Banks are steeped in history. These northernmost beaches were home to America’s first colony, the Wright Brothers’ first flight and the nation’s first seashore. That legacy of adventure thrives today with a range of opportunities to explore the region by land, air or sea.
Kitty Hawk Kites operates the largest hang gliding school in the world located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s an experience you will never forget!
Come experience the fastest growing free-flight aviation sport in the world!
Legendary players have occupied the court over the years for UNC, the most famous being Michael Jordan, who was a member of the NCAA championship team in 1982 while wearing the Carolina blue.
Other Carolina greats like Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace, Billy Cunningham, Phil Ford, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Antawn Jamison, Rick Fox, Kenny Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and countless others have contributed to the Tar Heels program success over the decades.
The North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have won seven NCAA men's college national championships.
The Duke program has fostered countless standout players that have sealed their names in the Blue Devil history books. Duke greats Art Heyman, Dick Groat, Jason Williams, Danny Ferry, Johnny Dawkins, J.J. Redick, Shane Battier, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, and Christian Laettner are just a few Blue Devils who have paved the way for a historically successful program.
The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team represents Duke University in NCAA Division I college basketball and competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team is fourth all-time in wins of any NCAA men's basketball program, and is coached by Mike Krzyzewski.