Arts / Culture / History, Family Fun, Festivals / events, Food and Wine, Mountain Adventures, North Carolina, Resorts, B&Bs, Inns, Romantic get-a-ways

Holiday Splendor in Asheville, NC

Asheville is an all-year-round destination, but during the holidays, this North Carolina mountain town sparkles with extra fun activities for the entire family.

CHRISTMAS AT THE BILTMORE

“Christmas at the Biltmore” is a one-of-a-kind event that draws visitors from all over the country for its two-month long celebration (Nov. 4th to Jan 8th ). Take a self-guided audio tour of this elaborately-decorated French Renaissance chateau featuring 55 hand-decorated trees, 25,000 ornaments and 100,000 holiday lights, or book a special holiday candlelight tour at night. In addition to house tours, there’s a plethora of other holiday events on the estate property including food, music, wine tastings, shopping, and even carriage rides. https://www.biltmore.com/things-to-do/events/christmas/

NATIONAL GINGERBREAD COMPETITION

One of the “sweetest” events of the holiday season is the “National Gingerbread Competition, which is held at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, gingerbread artists of all ages compete for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. Guests can view the displays and winners in person from Nov. 28th to Jan. 2nd  or watch “The Twelve Days of Gingerbread” on the hotel’s Facebook page @omnigroveparkinn from Dec. 1st to 12th.https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/things-to-do/gingerbread

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum

WINTER LIGHTS AT THE NORTH CAROLINA ARBORETUM

Don’t miss the winter extravaganza of light, art and music at the North Carolina Arboretum’s “Winter Lights” show. Walk through the rainbow arch into glowing landscapes with several new-themed displays including winter wildlife, colorful butterflies and a giant daisy garden. In addition to lights, there are plenty of family activities including hot chocolate and s’more making stations for kids. Adults can enjoy craft beers while walking through the gardens. (Nov. 18th –Jan.8thhttps://www.ncarboretum.org/winter-lights/

WINTER HIKES AND WATERFALL

Another reason visitors love Asheville during the winter holidays is the opportunity to get outside. With mild daytime temps in the 50s and 60s, the Asheville area offers a wide variety of winter hikes for the entire family. The “Moore Cove Falls Trail” is an easy .7 mile trail that ends in a 50-foot plunge waterfall over a dramatic rock ledge. Visitors can even walk under the ledge behind the waterfall. For more winter hike suggestions see https://www.exploreasheville.com/stories/post/5-great-winter-hikes-near-asheville-nc/

(This article first appeared in Allegiant Airline’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker, Winter issue 2022-23. I am a freelance writer for Allegiant and this is reposted by permission.)

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