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Top 12 Asheville Winter & Valentine Romantic Outings 2014

Also see: Winter Hikes | Downtown Asheville Snow Photos | Top 10 Girlfriend Getaways | Top 20 Romantic Outings | Top 10 Art Outings | Top 10 Mancations | Top 10 Free Outings | Top 10 for Rainy Day | Wintry Waterfall Photos | Snow Pics | Top Spring Events | Top Summer Events | Top Fall Events

The fall and holiday crowds are gone. The winter months of January, February and March are the most serene of the year in Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. So it's the perfect time for a North Carolina mountain romantic getaway, including a Valentine weekend. Surprising to some, it rarely snows in Asheville. The city is protected by the surrounding mountains, so snow is often kept about 20 miles away on the higher mountain peaks. Here are our Top 12 Asheville winter outings this year:

Romantic B&B Getaway
Stay in Style: Find the best
small B&Bs, large B&Bs, cabins and hotels.

Biltmore House
Winter at Biltmore: Great deals and less crowds.

NC Mountain Waterfall
Winter Hikes

1. Winter Getaway Packages: Since the winter months are the slowest months of the year for inns, hotels and cabin rentals, you will find the best deals of the year. See a big variety of Winter Packages and Specials. Rates will be higher on Valentine's Weekend, so bring your Valentine before or after the big day to save more! Win a getaway - drawing is May 31!

2. Biltmore Specials: Enjoy the grand estate without the big crowds and get great deals on tickets and accommodations at the Inn on Biltmore. Photo at right is the fascinating Rooftop Tour. Read more about winter outings at Biltmore.

3. Ski & Snowboard: Beech Mountain is the highest ski area in eastern USA. Take advantage of great offers January-March. See more NC ski resorts.

4. Downtown Asheville: Browse through more than 200 shops, 30 art galleries and a dozen antique stores - all locally owned. And take a culinary tour at your choice of the 50 local restaurants. Tour the fascinating Thomas Wolfe Home. See our Downtown Asheville Guide.

5. Destination Spas: Be it a simple weekend of relaxation, a romantic couple’s getaway in the mountains or a chance to improve your health, Asheville is the ultimate destination for spas and wellness. Stay at an Asheville area destination spa and well some well-deserved pampering from your busy life. Warm up in the 100-degree mineral waters in Hot Springs.

6. Winter Events! (See below)

7. Winter Hiking & Waterfalls: For the best views of the year, take a winter hike. With leafless trees, cool temperatures, less crowds and frequent bright blue skies, it may become your favorite time of the year to hit the trail. See our winter hiking guide for our top picks. And don't forget to find some of our spectacular waterfalls, including the roadside Looking Glass Falls. See photos of rime ice, snow and icy waterfalls.

8. Beer Crawl: Asheville (a.k.a. Beer City U.S.A) has an amazing selection of bars, brewpubs, microbreweries, and restaurants for a city of its size. In fact, Asheville (per capita) has one of the highest rates of craft brew consumption in the Southeast. Sample some excellent brews, enjoy some great food, and meet some very interesting people along the way. Here are our top picks for beer the Asheville area. If wine is more to your liking, see our guide to Asheville Wine Bars. Or find the best downtown Asheville coffee shops and bakeries.

9. Live Music & Dance: Each evening, Asheville comes alive and offers a mulitude of places to go for a big variety of live music any day of the week - some jazz to plenty of bluegrass. See some of our favorite music venues. Join the locals at weekly contra dances on Monday and Thursday. Regulars love to help beginners. Lessons and an evening of great memories are $12/couple.

10. Biltmore Village: Ready for more shopping? Located across from the entrance to Biltmore Estate, the Village is home to more than 40 unique shops and 10 cafes and restaurants. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages and buildings. Tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks and period architecture make it a delight to stroll through and explore. And this is the best area for antiques. See our Biltmore Village Guide.

11. Art & Craft: With more than 100 galleries and even more artist studios, you will need plenty of time for exploring. In addition to the galleries downtown and Biltmore Village, head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide and info about the big Grove Park Arts and Crafts Conference in February.

12. Stay in Style: See our complete list of small B&Bs, large B&Bs, cabins and hotels in the area.


Top Asheville NC Mountain Winter Events

Lego at NC Arboretum
Through February 2 at the NC Arboretum, see the special exhibit of giant lego sculptures in the garden!

Polar Plunge
January 1, 2014: Start the year with a fun adventure by jumping into chilly Lake Lure to help raise money for the local fire department. Or just watch the fun with some hot chocolate! Read more about the Polar Plunge.

Big Band & Swing Dance Weekend at Grove Park Inn
January 17-18, 2014: Bring your dancing shoes and hit the floor for a weekend of great Big Band & Swing Dance music at Grove Park Inn. This is a “don’t miss” weekend for those who value and treasure the Big Band era of music and dance! Event activities for package holders include dance instruction, an exclusive afternoon tea dance, and two nights full of amazing performances by the NC Revelers and The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. Other weekend offerings include guided historical tours of the hotel, chair massages, and live music throughout the resort. Click here to visit their Web site.

Asheville Restaurant Week
January 21-27, 2014: Special fixed-price menus and meal deals at participating restaurants:
Dinner: $30 Three-Course Meal for One Person: 131 Main, All Souls Pizza, The Blackbird Restaurant, The Bull & Beggar, Carmel's Kitchen & Bar, Chestnut, Chorizo Latin Fare, Corner Kitchen, Cucina 24, Cúrate, Fig Bistro, The Junction, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Market Place Restaurant & Lounge, Modesto Trattoria, Posana Café, Red Stag Grill, Rhubarb, Ruth's CHRIS Steak House, Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder, Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Table, Vincenzo's Ristorante & Bistro
Dinner: $30 Meal for Two People: Chai Pani, Green Tea Sushi & Japanese Restaurant Pizza Pura, Vincenzo's Ristorante & Bistro
Dinner $20 Meal for Two People: The Local Taco, White Duck Taco Shop
Brunch/Lunch: $15 Two-Course for One Person: 131 Main, All Souls Pizza, Another Broken Egg, The Blackbird Restaurant, Chestnut, Chorizo Latin Fare, Corner Kitchen, Cúrate, Edison, Craft Ales & Kitchen, Modesto Trattoria, Rhubarb, Table, White Duck Taco Shop

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival
January 23-26, 2014: This avant-garde festival pushes the boundaries of artistic endeavor through a variety of media: dance, words spoken and unspoken, visual, theatre, picha kucha and others. See our Asheville Fringe Arts Festival Guide.

All That Jazz Weekend at Grove Park Inn
January 24-26, 2014: The Grove Park Inn jazz lovers’ weekend has earned national recognition as one of the premiere jazz festivals of the Southeast. Evening and afternoon concerts in the Grand Ballroom along with fun activities and live music throughout the rest of the resort make this a weekend that will satisfy even the most discriminating jazz enthusiast. Concerts by Billy the Kid and the Outlaws featuring Rockell Scott and Grammy-nominated saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Gerald Albright. Click here to visit their Web site.

Winter Warmer Beer Festival
January 25, 2014: Features specialty brews from the Asheville area as well as breweries from other states. Local chefs offering food pairings. Live music. Get advance tickets since it usually sells out. For tickets, go to their Web site.

Be the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous
January 27-May 18, 2014: Special exhibit at the NC Arboretum. Read more.

Celtic Adventure Weekend at Grove Park Inn
January 31-February 2, 2014: Passion, artistry and skill collide during this dream weekend for lovers of all things Celtic. Celebrate the Scottish-Irish heritage of Western North Carolina with the finest in music with a concert with Seven Nations and Gaelic Storm. Click here to visit their Web site.

Broadway Musical: Cabaret
February 7-March 2, 2014: Asheville Community Theatre in downtown presents Cabaret. The scene is the Kit Kat Club, a night club in Berlin, as the 1920 ′s are drawing to a close and the Nazis are beginning their rise to power in Germany. Cliff, a young American writer, visits the sleazy Kit Kat Club and meets an English singer, Sally Bowles. Cliff and Sally fall in love, but when the political climate changes, they are forced to make choices that will forever impact their lives. Go to their Web site.

Valentine's Star Gazing & Tour
February 14: Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) special Valentine's star gazing event includes an evening of storytelling involving love stories associated with the night sky, followed by a tour of the campus and a trip to the PARI Exhibit Gallery and observing session. Begins at 7 PM. Reservations are required and will be accepted until 3 PM on the 14th. $20 per adult, $15 for seniors/military. Read more about PARI.

Asheville Bluegrass First Class Festival
February 14-16, 2014: This annual festival features plenty of bluegrass music and jamming. See our Asheville Bluegrass First Class Festival Guide.

Valentine's Day Hot Chocolate Bar at the NC Arborteum
February 15: Warm up with a steamy cup of hot chocolate from the NC Arboretum gourmet hot chocolate bar, and sample decadent truffles and flavored chocolates from Gibson Confections as you settle in for a dulcimer performance by Don Pedi. 1 PM. $25/person. Reservations are required, call 828-665-2492.

The Peanuts Valentine Express & Sweetheart Train
February 15: Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy as they travel along the Tuckasegee River to Dillsboro, where there will be a 1.5-hour layover to browse the shops. While this scenic train ride is great for families and children, they have a great option for couples in Adult First Class with a delicious lunch served by a private car attendant. Read more about the Great Smoky Railroad.

February 15, 2014: Held at Burnsville's Town Center, RiddleFest is a day of musical education and activities honoring Yancey County native Lesley Riddle, a talented African-American musician who traveled the Southeast with legendary A.P. Carter from 1929-1934 documenting and recording the earliest forms of country music. This year's event focuses on capturing mountain life via story and song. At 1 PM, Michael Reno Harrell demonstrates how to take family memories and turn them into stories and songs revealing life in the southern Appalachians. Laura Boosinger of Madison County will look at the ballad as a musical form used to transmit community values from one generation to the next. Free. Concert at 7 PM.

Arts & Crafts Conference at Grove Park Inn
February 21-23, 2014: Arts and Crafts enthusiasts, including new collectors, veterans, curators, craftspersons, authors, builders, architects, designers, editors, and bungalow owners gather for workshops, tours, crafts show and more. See our Arts & Crafts Conference Guide.

Black Mountain Marathon & Mt. Mitchell Challenge
February 22, 2014 (Races are full, plan for 2015!): The event for the elite athlete or weekend warrior! Begin at dawn in Black Mountain and run up the mountains. With a starting altitude of 2,360', the elevation gain for this 40-mile run is 4,324 feet on a demanding course run over rugged mountain terrain under potentially life-threatening winter weather conditions to reach the Mt. Mitchell 6,684' summit. For more, go to their Web site.

Asheville Small Plate Crawl
February 25-27, 2014: Sample the best of our culinary scene at the Asheville Small Plate Crawl!

Mardi Gras Parade
March 2, 2014: Asheville's Mardi Gras Parade is presented by the Mystic Mountain Krewe, an all-volunteer community based organization made up of New Orleans ex-pats, and aficionados of that culture! Read all about the Mardi Gras Celebration!

Comedy Classic Weekend at Grove Park Inn
March 7-9, 2014: It’s a weekend of a thousand laughs, as the Grove Park Inn hosts two nights of sidesplitting comedy. Hosted by Sid Davis, Friday night features comedians Nate Bargatze, Carmen Lynch, Bengt Washburn, Mike E. Winfield and Gary Gulman. The laughter continues on Saturday night with performances by Andrew Norelli, Patti Vasquez, Pete Lee and John Heffron. Click here to visit their Web site.

SoCon Basketball Tournament
March 7-10, 2014: Catch an exciting game at the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament in Asheville. After the conclusion of Friday's (7th) games, SoCon Overtime will take place at the Grove Arcade 6-9 PM, featuring local restaurants, breweries and musicians. Admission is free. Purchase special tokens for food and drink. Read more.

Organic Growers School Spring Conference
March 8-9, 2014: This one-of-a-kind event at UNC-Asheville that brings people of all walks of life together for a weekend of learning and networking. Pick from 70 classes and hands on workshops on a variety of topics, from starting your first vegetable garden, baking bread, and saving on home energy costs, to raising your own goat herd. Get down-to-earth, practical advice on growing and sustainable living, while remaining affordable and accessible to anyone wanting to participate. Go to their web site.

Fire on the Rock Competition Dining
March 10-31, 2014: Savor a six-course menu by two chefs and judge them as they compete for this fun statewide competition. All dinners at Biltmore Estate. See our Competition Dining Guide.

Biltmore Blooms festival of flowers
March 20-May 23, 2014: Stunning floral displays across the estate as spring unfolds. See our Biltmore Blooms festival of flowers Guide.

Orchid Show and Sale
March 29-30, 2014: This popular show at the NC Arboretum features hundreds of orchids, education classes, plant and supply vendors. See our Orchid Show Guide.

Looking Ahead: Top Spring Events | Top Summer Events | Top Fall Events

College Street SnowPritchard Park
See Downtown Asheville Snow Photos
(We seldom get a big winter snow since the city is protected by the mountains.)


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Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2014 File Investments, Inc - All Rights Reserved