From twinkle lights to gingerbread, Asheville, North Carolina brings sparkle and charm, making it the location to celebrate everything this Christmas season. Did we mention it even has a 2023 Hallmark Christmas movie that was shot there? Get in the holiday spirit and discover all that Asheville has to offer!
National Gingerbread House Competition
For the past 30 years, The Omni Grove Park Inn has been the home for the National Gingerbread House Competition, with displays of handmade gingerbread houses of every size, shape, complexity, and theme! Contestants from around the country compete for more than $40,000 in prizes in four different age categories – Adult, Teen, Youth and Child.
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Travel through a stunning section of the Appalachian Mountain range and be captivated by all the natural wonders around you during the holiday season. Known as America’s Favorite Scenic Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves around peaks connecting Virginia all the way through North Carolina. Within Asheville, the Blue Ridge offers the most breathtaking views of some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. There is no fee to travel on the parkway and there are many paved overlooks to stop and take in the breathtaking sights.
Holiday Shopping Downtown
While in town, check out downtown Asheville and make it a day of shopping and exploring local stores. Highlights to check out on your visit include: East Fork Pottery, which features kitchen and tabletop items and after hour events from wreath making to cooking classes; Asheville Emporium, with a vast collection of Asheville t-shirts and keepsakes; and Asheville Bee Charmer, famous for their honey tasting bar with 50 varieties of honey.
Support Local Asheville Makers
The Asheville area is home to many local craftspeople and makers who create homemade gifts perfect for everyone on your holiday list. Items range from locally-made, one-of-a-kind personalized gifts to mountain-made treasures. Take time to explore the River Arts District and immerse yourself in Asheville's culture of creativity while watching artists while they work. As you are shopping downtown make sure to pop into the various stores and don't miss out on special holiday food and beverages as you walk around!
Christmas at Biltmore
Daytime or night, Biltmore Estate offers a magical experience for everyone. In addition to exploring America’s Largest Home®, discover the dazzling gardens and trails. Marvel at the House’s main Christmas tree which stands over 50 feet tall, take a complimentary seminar in the Conservatory for tips on making your own holiday decor, and don’t forget to stop at Antler Hill Village where you can enjoy a free tasting at the Winery.
A Biltmore Christmas
Biltmore is the setting for an all-new Countdown to Christmas movie this year starring Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha. The movie has Lucy (Lenz) traveling to Biltmore Estate for research. While there, she unwittingly discovers the ability to travel to the 1947 set of His Merry Wife! through the help of an hourglass and deals with the challenge when she attracts the eye of leading man, Jack (Polaha). Don’t miss the movie A Biltmore Christmas on Sunday, November 26 at 8/7c.
Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum
Get immersed at North Carolina’s Arboretum, where one million bright energy-efficient LED lights illuminate the nationally known garden. Park goers can walk through the various light displays as well as enjoy live music performances, hot chocolate, storytime and of course s’mores by a fire pit!
Dickens in the Village
Historic Biltmore Village is transformed the first weekend of December into A Dickens Christmas festival. The two-day event features everything from carnival games for children, various live performances and a Christmas Market featuring local food vendors.
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Gather the family and hop in your car as you drive through a dazzling light show that takes over Lake Julian Park. The road becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights with 50 animated and stationary light displays.