Holiday happenings in a charming Southern city with a grownup vibe.
By Hope S. Philbrick
December is a festive time to visit Asheville, North Carolina, whether it’s your first visit or one of too many to count.
“There are so many places to enjoy Christmas here!” says Bill McIntosh, who owns and operates the A Bed of Roses Bed & Breakfast in one of Asheville’s historic neighborhoods with his wife Emily.
Indeed, Asheville does Christmas-time big, making it a popular destination throughout the winter holiday season. We checked with several locals to round up this list of favorites among the various seasonal options…
Tour “America’s Largest Home,” Biltmore Estate, which is dressed in spectacular style during the holiday season. Experience the grandeur of the 8,000-acre mountain estate in the mountains during the day — as we did — during an evening candlelight tour, or both.
@21plusTravel Tip: Save on the cost of a Biltmore experience by booking the “The Luxe Biltmore Christmastime Fantasy Package” at A Bed of Roses B&B.
Shop The Grovewood, a 9,000 square-ft. collection of traditional and contemporary crafts by more than 500 artists from around the U.S. Located near the Omni Grove Park Inn, The Grovewood is considered one of the nation’s top retailers of fine American craft.
Stroll through Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum.
Take the 20th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes in Montford (circa 1893).
Go to a play. Options abound, including The 42nd Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular! at The Magnetic Theatre, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by the North Carolina Stage Company, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by the Asheville Community Theatre.
Tour a historic house museum with its halls decked for the season, such as the Smith-McDowell House, Asheville’s first brick mansion, or the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the author’s childhood home immortalized in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel.
It’s not too late! Bill and Emily say that mid-week visitors until late December should be able to book accommodations even at this late date—if not at A Bed of Roses, with another member of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association. “If you’re willing to be flexible on your dates it can be fairly easy to book a stay,” says Emily.
‘Tis the season to get thee to Asheville.
Editor’s Note: In 2015, we ramped up our coverage of Asheville, North Carolina—since it’s proven to be very adults-oriented—so it’s fitting that our last road trip of the year included an Asheville stop. Since there’s much more to explore, expect continued coverage throughout 2016.
Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association
Gift the gift of travel with an Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association gift certificate.
@21plusTravel Tip: One friend of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association is a Christmas tree farm; ask your innkeeper for details.
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