The days are growing colder and darker, but the holiday season is keeping us warm and bright. If you are looking for ways to lift your spirit and to get in the mood for the holidays, Asheville, North Carolina is an ideal place to start. Craft festivals, theatre, concerts and special Christmas celebrations can be found at every corner of this luxury mountain getaway city.
Planning Your Holiday North Carolina Mountain Getaway
Asheville, NC is the perfect North Carolina holiday weekend getaway. It is easily accessible and under a four-hour drive from several southern cities such as Atlanta, Knoxville, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham and Winston-Salem. Whether planning a family vacation or a romantic weekend getaway, Asheville offers an array of accommodations. Choices range from luxury condominiums and hotels with concierge services to more rustic or intimate surroundings such as cabin rentals and bed and breakfasts.
If you are truly seeking a holiday adventure that also promises to pamper, more luxury accommodations are the way to go. There are several places to choose from that include: The Residences at Biltmore; the Haywood Park Hotel; The Inn at Biltmore; and the Grove Park Inn. Guests are sure to be spoiled at any of these impressive locales.
Concierge Services Play an Important Role
When choosing a place to stay, keep in mind that you want time to play and to relax. Concierge services can help you to plan a memorable stay and also free you up to do important things like Christmas shopping! For example, concierge services at the Residences at Biltmore will not only make dinner reservations, they can also schedule some time for a yoga session by the fireplace. What a great way to unwind!
Holliday Happenings in Asheville, North Carolina
Whether you are visiting Asheville to check people off your gift list, or are simply seeking some holiday fun, Asheville offers many choices. The National Gingerbread House Display takes place at the Grove Park Inn and runs until January 6; contestants from across the country bring their architectural masterpieces in to be judged and a stroll through the display is sure to sweep you up in the holiday spirit.
Christmas at Biltmore is an extravagant celebration of the season inside the infamous Biltmore House. It provides miles of garland, holiday music, and dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Candlelight tours can also be scheduled where the house is illuminated by candles, firelight, and Christmas tree lights. Many luxury hotels in Asheville will have information on these tours and may also offer guest discounts. Concierge services can help to plan these events as well.
A Victorian Christmas Celebration takes place at the Smith-McDowell House where people can reflect on simpler times and celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. The home is authentically decorated with fresh trees, garland and a collection of more than 300 ornaments and toys from the Victorian age; it’s fun for the whole family.
Looking for something a little more offbeat? Check out the Aluminum Tree Museum in Brevard, a short drive from Asheville. It is the world’s only museum that is dedicated to the preservation and public display of vintage aluminum trees.
Take in a play or concert. The “Santaland Diaries” is a local theatre favorite and has become somewhat of a Christmas-cult classic. It follows the adventures of an elf in Macy’s during the hectic holiday season.
Musical events are also held throughout the city at favorite locales such as the Orange Peel, the Grey Eagle, the Diana Wortham Theatre and the Asheville Civic Center. Again, concierge services at any of the luxury hotels in Asheville can help with reserving tickets and planning these events.
For adventure-seekers, there are many choices available. Check out Santa while he rappels a 315-foot monolith called Chimney Rock located in Chimney Rock Park. Or, what about a winter solstice night hike? On December 22, the Environmental and Conservation Organization commemorates the longest night of the year with a quarter-mile hike to Hooker Falls, a famous waterfall located in a 10,000-acre park.
And, while in Asheville, don’t forget to enjoy some of the many fantastic restaurants and retail shops downtown. They are sure to make your holiday season bright.
Liisa Sullivan, president Write Away, Inc., specializes in lifestyle, medical and food and beverage writing. She lives in Weaverville, NC.