The Holidays are Back in Asheville

Oct 27, 2021
689 words (3 min read)

Here come the holidays! As the fall leaf season in the Smoky Mountains begins winding down, Asheville starts getting ready for the holiday season. This month is full of pre-holiday gatherings, goings-on, and grand events.

Holidays in Asheville are especially memorable, and The Residences at Biltmore is a perfect place to spend that quality time. We have 2- and 3-bedroom suites with room enough for the whole family; plus, we’re just up the road from Biltmore Estate - one of the most beautiful places in the country to visit at this time of year. With so much to do, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite happenings and compiled them here and on our blog to get you ready for your Asheville getaway.


The holidays are a big deal at Biltmore, both on the grounds of the massive estate and in the house itself. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to visit the largest private home in the country, this is it!

Billed as Christmas at Biltmore, November 5 is the magic date, as the annual Candlelight Evenings begin. Guests can choose to visit the house during the day and see it adorned with festive garland, numerous Christmas trees and decorations, and a general spirit of the holidays in every room. Or, choose to visit the house during the evening hours, when the fireplaces throughout the estate are lit, the trees are trimmed with lights, pathways are glowing with luminaries, and winter floral displays top the tables as well as the grounds. It’s a truly delightful sight, and should not be missed. Reservations for evening visits are necessary, and can be made on the Biltmore website.

Don’t miss the multi-sensory Van Gogh Alive display while you’re there. Part of the estate’s Legends of Art & Innovation exhibit, it is the first of three immersive artist shows Biltmore plans to hold over the next year. Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a “powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s paintings.” The exhibit runs from Nov. 5 to March 5, 2022.

Winter Tree Carnival

Outdoor venue Rabbit Rabbit is hosting its first-annual Winter Tree Carnival beginning on Nov. 15. It features trees decorated by local businesses, and all proceeds from admission go to benefit the Manna Food Bank. In addition to festive and fun trees, the venue will host holiday movies, shopping pop-ups, holiday-inspired drinks, and plenty of family-friendly activities. If you make it to opening night, you’ll also get to enjoy Asheville Brewing Company’s annual Ninjabread Man Holiday Porter release.

Winter Lights

The walking tour of Winter Lights returns to the North Carolina Arboretum gardens this year, after a vehicle drive-through display last year. The light show,__ which features one million lights__, celebrates Forest and Garden Whimsy from Nov. 19 through Jan. 1. Highlights of the show include the Quilt Garden and a 50-foot lighted tree, as well as numerous other lighted displays. Reserve your time and pay at the link.

Vintage Market Days

Vintage Market Days® of Asheville presents "Fall Harvest" Nov. 12-14 at the WNC Ag Center. The annual market features upscale vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, decor, furnishings, jewelry, and more. With more than 115 national vendors, the market is a unique kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

Polar Express Train

If you’re bringing the whole family to town, make sure to reserve your spot on the Polar Express Train. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes the train to the North Pole to visit Santa. Enjoy hot chocolate and other treats as you listen to music from the movie soundtrack, and sing carols on the ride back to the train depot. All the details you need can be found at the GSMR website.

Asheville Holiday Parade

The parade is back on Nov. 20, beginning at 11 a.m. on Biltmore Ave. This year promises to be one of the biggest Asheville parades in some time, as floats, musicians, local groups, and more flow through downtown, celebrating all of the holidays of the season.



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