Planning on spending the holidays in the beautiful mountain paradise of Asheville, North Carolina, but unsure of how to get into the festive spirit? Fear not! Asheville is teaming with holiday cheer and sights to behold.
We have compiled a list of holiday activities and attractions in Asheville that will leave you with a Christmas twinkle in your eye. Enjoy the splendid mountain views offered by the historic blue ridge parkway, view the dazzling displays offered by the Arboretum Christmas lights, or find that perfect hand crafted gift from a local shop. Asheville has everything you need to kick off your holidays the right way. Keep reading to learn more about these holiday mountain gems.
Christmas Lights at the NC Arboretum
Nothing says Christmas quite like a stunning, winter lights display and the NC Arboretum offers a light show you won’t want to miss! The Arboretum boasts one of the most impressive gardens in Western North Carolina, but when the holiday season rolls around, those gardens transform into a wondrous display of light and color.
With an eye towards artistic flare, 500,000 lights bring the Arboretum to life on cold winter nights! Behold fantastic light shows synchronized to your favorite holiday music at the quilt garden, complete with a 50-foot tall, animated christmas tree.
This winter wonderland is available for your viewing pleasure until January 4th, 2020. However, be sure to plan your leisurely stroll in advance and purchase tickets before arriving as some nights may get sold out. The Arboretum lights are open from 6-10PM.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of Asheville’s most iconic destinations. With four amazing restaurants, massive stone fireplaces, and legendary hospitality, the Grove Park Inn is a perfect place to enjoy the holiday season in Asheville, whether you are an overnight guest or simply visiting for the day.
Oh, and did we forget to mention the Omni Grove Park Inn hosts the annual National Gingerbread House Competition? That’s right! As if the Grove Park Inn wasn’t enjoyable enough on its own, the inn hosts their gingerbread competition every year from late November to early January.
Visitors can enjoy incredible works of art, made entirely out of gingerbread and edible materials. The main floor of the hotel houses the competition winners, while many other displays can be found on the 7th floor.
Local Holiday Shopping
Asheville is well known for its local, handmade arts and crafts scene and this becomes even more apparent during the holiday season. Stroll the streets of downtown Asheville in search for the perfect holiday gift for the craft lover in your family.
From street stall vendors to local shops, explore the latest offerings by artists and designers from WNC. Whether you are looking for antiques, fashion, functional crafts, art, or bizarre oddities, you can find it all in the heart of this mountain town.
The Historic Biltmore Estate
Another historic jewel in Asheville’s crown is the Biltmore Estate. An incredible place to visit anytime of the year, the Biltmore house and grounds are a must see during the holiday season. The Biltmore offers an unforgettable holiday experience including candlelight tours, live music, and breathtaking decorations throughout the estate.
No occasion is too grand for this colossal, vintage, American house and the Christmas holidays are no exception. The grounds contain 500 wreaths and sprays, over 100 adorned trees, more than 25,000 ornaments, and 1.5 miles of fresh garlands. As if that weren’t enough the house contains 55 hand-decorated trees, poinciettas, and the famous 35-ft. Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall.
Holiday LaZoom Tour
Looking to inject a little (or should we say a lot) of fun energy into your holiday vacation? Look no further than the LaZoom bus tours. Grab a six-pack of your favorite local craft beer, jump on the big purple bus and be entertained as you enjoy LaZoom’s holiday comedy tour. Meet fun characters, learn interesting facts about Asheville’s history and pickup some new holiday traditions with this thrilling excursion.
Have we talked about craft beer yet? Asheville is known nationwide for its plethora of outstanding craft breweries. With 33 breweries in the city alone, from the original, Highland Brewery, to the new sensations, Burial Brewery, there is no shortage of options to explore for beer enthusiasts.
Feel overwhelmed from deciding what breweries to visit, let someone else do the thinking (and the driving) with one of Asheville’s brewery tours. Services, such as Asheville Brews Cruise or the Amazing Pubcycle, take you on a guided tour of local breweries, while allowing you to taste generous amounts of Asheville’s finest craft beers.
Polar Express Train
Just a short drive from Asheville, in the town of Bryson City, discover the unique holiday experience of the Polar Express train excursion. The 1.25 hour round-trip ride shuttles mystified guests from the Bryson City Depot to the heart of the North Pole, where Santa awaits. This magical train operates until the end of December, so be sure to catch a ride while you can!
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Just South of Asheville, Lake Julian comes alive during the holiday season with a host of Christmas lights. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, enjoy a wonderful holiday lights show in this scenic recreational park. Take a walk under the lights or feel free to drive through an array of Christmas displays brought to vivid color and life.
Plan a Winter Hike
Asheville and Western North Carolina are home to some of the country’s most breathtaking and beautiful nature scenes to behold. Hidden throughout the forested mountains of the Blue Ridge are hikes leading to stunning views of mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Grab your loved ones, bundle up for the brisk winter air, put on your best hiking shoes, and depart on a journey into the great outdoors this winter.
Get Your Brightest Holiday Smile Ready
Want to get your smile looking its best for this year’s holiday postcard, but afraid dental care is too expensive? Impressions is here to help! We offer high quality orthodontic care under the supervision of highly skilled and attentive professionals, but with the affordability and ease associated with at-home dental care.
Want to brighten the room with a smile more dazzling than the star on your tree this holiday season? Book a consultation at one of our ImpressionsHubs today and get ready to light up your next holiday party.