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Rock Climbing Santa Claus

  • November 20, 2020

  Santa returns to Chimney Rock State Park this year for a Christmas Eve practice run. On Dec. 5 and 12, Santa will rappel down the 315-foot Chimney Rock, a 535-million-year-old monolith, to prepare for clambering down chimneys around the world. Festivities will be held outdoors, and guests can stop into the Sky Lounge for hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. Also, local poet Eddie Cabbage will

Take an Illuminated Drive Through Olmsted-Inspired Grounds

  • November 20, 2020

  Take a dreamy ride through the enchanted forests of The North Carolina Arboretum, where the grounds were inspired by designs from the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Winter Lights (Nov. 20 through Jan. 10, 2021) has evolved its 2020 visitor experience to ensure the safety of its guests. Guests will drive through a sparkling, mile-long stretch of lights designed to showcase

Celebrate a Milestone Christmas with Gilded Age Traditions at Biltmore

  • November 20, 2020

  The Vanderbilt family opened the doors of Biltmore House for the first time on Christmas Eve in 1895. Take a step back in time to where it all began and celebrate Biltmore’s 125 th anniversary with “An 1895 Christmas,” which takes inspiration from oral histories, newspaper articles, letters and menu books in the estate’s archives for décor that echoes the very

Gingerbread House Competition on (Virtual) Display + Online Classes with the Masters

  • November 20, 2020

  Since 1992, the Omni Grove Park Inn’s National Gingerbread House Competition has grown into one of the nation’s most celebrated holiday competition events. This year, the event is prioritizing safety by hosting a virtual contest. While there won’t be a physical display of the winners this year, gingerbread fans will enjoy whimsical creations like sugar-spun landscapes and

Gourmet To-Go + Coolest/Nerdiest Night-In Upgrade Idea

  • November 17, 2020

  For those wanting a night in, Asheville businesses are also offering gourmet meal kits and quirky rental options. New to-go options perfect for travelers with safety and flexibility in mind: Ashley Capps, a 2019 James Beard semifinalist for “Outstanding Pastry Chef,” has started New Stock, a weekly, curated box-meal pickup and delivery service, perfect for an extended rental

Food Scene | Expanded Measures for Outdoor Dining This Winter + Openings

  • November 17, 2020

  Winter is generally a time to book reservations that can be hard to come by spring through fall. This year, restaurants are facing the uncertainty of the pandemic and working with community leaders to sustain and extend outdoor dining options. A handful of new endeavors are also popping up. The “Asheville Shares Space” initiative that includes temporary “parklets”

Winter Accommodation Packages + Rentals with Gourmet Kitchens

  • November 17, 2020

  The off-season offers the best travel rates of the year with the added bonus of having natural attractions and cultural offerings all to yourself. Cozy travel packages include wellness opportunities and other winter adventures. Find more at ExploreAsheville.com/deals. Perfect for a rejuvenating getaway, the Peak Relaxation Package at the Foundry Hotel Asheville includes a welcome cocktail

Secret Season for Music

  • November 17, 2020

  Deep-seated bluegrass roots harmonize with new talent and innovative sounds in Asheville. In winter, many nationally traveling local bands come home to the region to play shows and pop in to jam sessions. While things look different this year, some venues are expanding their offerings outdoors to keep the soul of the city beating. The South Slope district’s brand-new outdoor event

Winter Wellness & Brisk Outdoor Adventures

  • November 17, 2020

  Heal your soul in Asheville’s century-old wellness culture by tapping into offerings like mountainside hot tubs, a subterranean spa with hydrotherapy waterfalls, a Chinese medicine tearoom, salt caves, forest bathing and sound-healing sessions. Looking for inspiration? Stroll through Asheville’s arts district or take a winter hike to a panoramic mountain view. Multiple trailhead


  • August 25, 2020

  For those interested in local culture with a mountain backdrop, the Asheville area has a number of walkable neighborhoods and districts worth exploring. Bring your mask for sidewalk safety and explore these new neighborhood POIs on foot.    Asheville’s colorful art and warehouse district along the French Broad River, the River Arts District, is coming into a new era as a