Christmas In Asheville, NC
Asheville North Carolina is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there's easy access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, plus for a relatively small town, Ashveville has a really great selection of restaurants and places to stay.
Life in this part of the world seems to provide artistic inspirations because many fine artisans make the area home and their works fill local galleries and shops.
One of the main attracitons in this area is the famous Biltmore Estate. The spectacular historic home of George Vanderbilt is particularly stunning decorated for the holidays.
Things to Do
Christmas at the Biltmore Estate
Each year the Biltmore Estate is decorated in grand style for the holidays and open for both daytime and evening candlelight tours. There's a huge Christmas tree in the Banquet Hall as well as 56 decorated trees throughout the mansion. See a video showing the arrival of the 2013 banquet hall tree.
The Biltmore Tree Arrival takes place each year in early November. This is a fun event to see. Santa arrives on a horse-drawn carriage, carrying the huge tree that will decorate the Banquet Hall for the holiday season. Visitors can watch as Biltmore staff carry the tree into the house, where it will be hoisted into place. Once the tree is secured inside, visitors to the house will see decorating work on the tree progress. The Romantic Asheville website usually posts the tree raising date, and they have a nice collection of phots from past events.
There are two ticket options during the holiday season: Daytime admission, which includes daytime admission to the house, gardens, shops, and restaurants, or Candlelight Evening admission, which allows you to visit in the daytime and during the evening, when the house is decorated with candlight and live music is provided by choirs and solists.
Christmas at Biltmore 2018 will be held from November 3, 2018 - January 6, 2019. More info.
Biltmore Village Dickens Festival
Biltmore Village was constructed in the 1890's as a planned community at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. Today the village provides shopping and dining opportunities from a mixture of locally owned shops and restaurants.
During the Christmas season the village is decorated with thousands of white lights and holiday wreaths hang from the streetlights and shop doors. The first Friday night and Saturday in December is the Biltimore Village Dickens Festival. Performers entertain both on stage and in various locations throughout the streets of the village.
National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn Resort
November 25, 2018 - January 4, 2019 at the historic Grove Park Inn. These aren't just any ginger bread houses. These are like edible pieces of art. Community viewing days for the public wishing to view the National Gingerbread House Display are Sunday-Thursday, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New year's Day. There's no admission fee, but there is a $10 per vehicle parking fee. Half of the parking fee is donated to local non-profit organizations. More Info.
Asheville Holiday Parade
The Asheville Holiday Parade is held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Details.
Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum
Winter Lights at the Arboretum takes place November 16 - December 31, 2018. Winter Lights is a walk-through holiday lights display of thousands of LED lights at the North Carolina Arboretum. Tickets for the light display are $18 for adults, $12 for children ages 5 - 11. Children ages 4 and under are admitted free. Tuesday (except Christmas night) is discount night, with $15 admission for adults and $10 for children. No tickets are sold at the gate, so you'll need to purchase your tickets in advace. Open nightly from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., ticket holders will have a specified entry time of 6:00 p.m., &7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.. Details.
Winter Lights Downtown
The City of Asheville partners with the North Carolina Arboretum for a Winter Lights Downtown display at Pack Square Park, near the Vance Monument and the Hoss Haley Fountain.
The downtown display begins in mid-November and runs through mid-January.
Santa Claus on Chimney Rock
Each year Santa rappels from the top of 315 foot Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (he's practicing for all those Christmas Eve drops down chimneys, of course). The event usually takes place in early December. The 2018 date for Santa on the Chimney is Saturday, December 1st. More Info.
Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland
A big annual drive-through holiday light display is usually held at the Western NC Agricultural Center Fairgrounds (1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC). Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, the Christmas Wonderland will not be held in 2017. They hope to be back in 2018. More info.
Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam
For over 25 years the Christmas Jam has brought a "one-of-a-kind, semi-structured marathon of music" to the U.S. Cellular Center Arena in downtown Asheville. The event benefits Habitat for Huminity. The London Times has rated it one of the top ten concerts in the US.
The 2017 performer line-up included Gov't Mule, Ann Wilson, Trey Anastasio & the Classic TAB, The Avett Brothers, Les Bros, and Balckberry Smoke.
Inn on Biltimore Estate - This hotel is located at the Biltmore Estate. Enjoy easy access to the Biltmore House and the Winery.
More Hotels Near the Biltmore Estate - Find a place to stay near the Biltmore.
Haywood Park Hotel - A nice, all suites hotels located right in the middle of downtown Asheville. Within easy walking distance of shops, restaruants and Civic Arena. This hotel is located in a former department store building and retains some of the charm of it's eariler days (such as announcements like "ladies wear" along with your floor number on the elevator). The rooms and common areas are very spacious and well-appointed. See Rates.
Aloft Asheville Downtown - Another good option with a downtown location that's walkable to the arena, plus lots of shops and restaurants.
Omni Grove Park Inn - This historic hotel is where the national gingerbread house competition is held. It's a beautiful resort hotel that's been in business for over 100 years.
Holiday Inn Express Asheville - Biltmore Square Mall - This Holiday Inn Express has a good central location for your Asheville visit.
Asheville hotels with free breakfast - Save money and time in the morning with free breakfast at these hotels.