Though best known for its outdoor recreation in the summer and leaf peeping in the fall, Asheville is awash with exciting winter activities, too! Whether you’re on the hunt for a winter hike or in need of some holiday cheer, we’ve got the inside scoop on the top five things to do in Asheville this season.
A Visit To The Biltmore
Christmas is in the air at America’s Largest Home®–from extravagant decorations in the house (including 55 Christmas trees!), holiday blooms in the Conservatory, to Christmas wine at the Winery and special menus at the restaurants! Admission includes a self-guided visit of the house, admission to Antler Hill Village, complimentary wine tastings at the Winery, and more. You can even do your holiday shopping in the estate’s many gift shops.
Hike Lover’s Leap
No need to stash your hiking boots in the back of closet this winter; WNC is chock-full of awesome spots for winter hikes. Just 36 miles from downtown Asheville, Hot Springs is home to the popular Lover’s Leap Trail. Start in downtown Hot Springs and cross the French Broad River before climbing the winding ridge to rock outcroppings and fantastic views. Warm up after the 1.5-mile round-trip hike with a dip in the mineral springs or a coffee from the ArtiSUN Gallery.
Don’t Forget to Pack: Inspired by its 1980’s predecessor, our updated Great Day Pack is perfect for present-day exploration. The durable pack features detachable front pockets, expandable water bottle compartments, several interior pockets, and multiple attachment points for keys, carabiners, and other accessories. Plus, our signature padded back panel takes a load off of the spine, so you can hike longer and harder.
Explore Arboretum Lights
Open nightly from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights are the perfect way to brighten those dark winter evenings. Take the kids for a walk through a winter wonderland of more than half-a-million lights, all while listening to the holiday classics and sipping on some hot cocoa. If that isn’t reason enough to visit, Bent Creek Bistro will be offering sandwiches, salads, soups, and sweets! Just be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.
Don’t Forget to Pack: Inspired by our 1980’s daypack, the updated Belay Bag is spacious, durable, and highly versatile. Its shoulder straps can be adjusted for size and style (or remove one and carry the bag as a slingpack), while its hip and sternum straps can be removed with the ease of a snap. And like our Great Day Pack, the Belay Bag features our signature padded back panel that takes a load off of the spine — which comes in handy when the bag’s front pockets are large enough to store a 32 oz. water bottle, thermos, wine bottle, or growler!
LaZoom Holiday Tour
LaZoom’s City Comedy Tour is “historical and hysterical,” featuring hilarious guides, comedy skits, incredible views, and tons of Asheville insight. This season, LaZoom is adding some holiday hilarity to their award-winning tour with a December twist on their iconic routine. The Comedy City Tours last approximately 90 minutes, with a 10-minute intermission at Green Man. Get a group together for some holiday cheer!
Don’t Forget to Pack: Beer and wine are welcome on board the legendary purple buses. Ditch a burdensome cooler and toss your adult beverages in a Double Take Tall, whose waxed canvas exterior is wide enough for asix-pack and tall enough for a wine bottle. With interchangeable chilly bags included, your drinks will stay cool and secure throughout your ride; just toss in some ice packs! The closure even doubles as a beer opener.
Grove Park Inn
Looking for a weekend getaway or holiday staycation? Book a room in the storied Grove Park Inn, where you can take advantage of the hotel’s many restaurants, subterranean spa, indoor pool, and guided tours. The resort even offers several holiday packages, perfect for locals or tourists. Or just make a day of it and swing by to see the gingerbread houses from the famous National Gingerbread House Competition. It’s a treat that can’t be missed!
Don’t Forget to Pack: Our Renaissance Overnighter is loaded with features to ensure travelers can get away with style and ease, including hidden zipper pockets for phone and keys, a pleated zipper compartment for toiletries, and more. Details inspired by vintage luggage from the Biltmore estate archives alongside local artisan fabric gives the bag a feel of nostalgia and sophistication–because we believe trips this special deserve an overnight bag that is just as exceptional as the adventure itself.
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