A trip to North Carolina would not be complete without going to Asheville and touring the “aged/aging” Biltmore Mansion. George Washington Vanderbilt II loved the area, purchased 10.86 square miles of surrounding property on which to build his home. Construction began in 1889 and continued into 1895 and is the largest privately owned house in the United States, at 178,926 square feet (16,622.8 m2) of floor space (135,280 square feet (12,568 m2) of living area. Still owned by George Vanderbilt’s descendants, it stands today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the Gilded Age. Read more here.