Christmas in Asheville: Restaurants & More

Christmas Day & Weekend: Restaurants & More

Are you visiting the Asheville area on Christmas Day or weekend? There are so many things to do. Celebrate with your family or friends and make memories for many years to come. As with most cities, most businesses close on Christmas Day - but we do have a list of restaurants open below. 

December 23, 2016 Update: Sorry, we won't have a white Christmas in the North Carolina mountains - except for manmade snow up on the ski slopes. But it will be great weather to get outdoors to enjoy our gift of nature and gorgeous scenery. 

Biltmore Estate
Yes, Biltmore House is open for daytime tours on both Christmas Eve and Day, but no candlelight evening tours on those days. Buy your tickets in advance (save $10 if at least 7 days ahead). See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

Downtown Asheville
Enjoy free parking in downtown for three days at Christmas (Dec 24, 25 and 26). Most shops and galleries are open the day before and after Christmas. See our downtown Asheville Guide.

Winter Lights at NC Arboretum
As we mentioned above, the big light display in the gardens of the Arboretum will be open both Christmas Eve and Day, 6-10 PM. Cafe has a buffet both days. Buy tickets in advance (no tickets at gate) - they often sell out this week. Go to our Winter Lights Guide for more.

Ski
Looking for snow? This year, our only white Christmas locations will be our ski slopes with manmade snow. But with recent cold weather, you'll find plenty of snow for skiing, snowboarding and tubing. They will be open every day. See our Top Ski Resorts near Asheville.

Take a Hike!
Since the weather will feel more like spring, many will head outdoors for a walk or hike. Most trails in the national forest and parks will be open - but visitor centers will be closed. State parks, including Mt. Mitchell, Lake James and Gorges, are closed on Christmas Day. See our Top 75 Hikes and our Top 20 Winter Hikes.

Waterfalls
Most all of the waterfalls in our national and state forests (including DuPont Forest) will be accessible on Christmas Day, and they are free to enjoy. See our Top 60 Waterfalls. See our Top 20 Winter Waterfalls photo tour. (Chimney Rock & Gorges State Park will be closed on Christmas Day.)

Blue Ridge Parkway
Much of the Blue Ridge Parkway will be open. The section just north of Asheville to Mt Mitchell is closed due to repairs. To head north beyond Mt. Mitchell, take NC Highway 80 from Marion to reach the Parkway. All visitor centers (and most restroom stops) are closed. But all hiking trails and overlooks are open, even on Christmas Day. Read more.

Restaurants Open for Christmas
What better way to enjoy times with loved ones than to gather for food and drinks? Be sure to make reservations, especially if you have a group. While most all restaurants and breweries are open Christmas week, only a few are open on December 25th. Many are open on Christmas Eve, but will close early. Here are our top picks:

  • Omni Grove Park Inn RestaurantsChristmas Eve (until 8 PM) & Day (12-8 PM) legendary buffet in the Blue Ridge Dining Room. Plus the festive Christmas Day Buffet in the Grand Ballroom is 11 AM-7:30 PM. Either buffet is $59/person. Vue 1913 features a 3-course menu ($65/person) 5-9:30 PM on Christmas Day. Edison Craft Ales & Kitchen open on the 25th 11 AM-4 PM with a seasonal menu. Reservations are a must.
  • Biltmore Estate RestaurantsThe big Christmas Eve and Day buffet at Deerpark is $54/person. 11 AM-5 PM both days. Call 828-225-6260 to reserve. Other restaurants, including Bistro and Stable Café, will be open regular hours. Bistro reservations: 828-225-6230. You'll need either an admission ticket or season pass to get inside the estate for the restaurants.
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel / Red Stag Grill contemporary European comfort food Christmas Day Four-Course Brunch, 11 AM-3 PM, $69/person. Christmas Eve & Day Four-Course Dinner 5-9 PM, $85/person.
  • Strada Italiano: Christmas Eve regular menu plus Feast of the Seven Fishes, downtown, 11 AM-9 PM.
  • The Blackbird: Limited menu on Christmas Eve, 11 AM-8 PM, downtown.
  • Edna's Coffee Shop: Open Christmas Day 7 AM-4 PM in north Asheville with great coffee, sweets, soups and sandwiches.
  • Isa's BistroOpen Christmas Day 3-8 PM with 3-course menu $55/person, downtown Asheville. 
  • Season’s at Highland Lake InnChristmas Day buffet featuring salt-crusted NY strip, molasses and brown sugar glazed ham, smoked Norwegian salmon and more. Flat Rock. 11 AM-5 PM. $40.95/adult. Reservations required. Christmas Eve buffet 5-8 PM.
  • Mountain Magnolia Inn: Dine in this historic inn at Hot Springs. Special menu on Friday, Christmas Eve & Day 5:30-9 PM. Reservations required. 
  • Well-Bred Bakery: Open 9 AM-3 PM Christmas Day. Pastries and sandwiches. 26 North Main St, Weaverville.

Hotels & Bed and Breakfasts
If you stay in a hotel or B&B, most will offer breakfast on Christmas morning. So that's a great way to start the big day! Find the perfect place to stay.

Christmas Day & Week Things to Do

Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
November 03, 2017 to January 07, 2018
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
November 17, 2017 to December 31, 2017
Stroll through impressive light displays in the Arboretum gardens, especially designed to compliment the plants and trees in this beautiful setting. We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
November 23, 2017 to January 02, 2018
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in downtown Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
Asheville Outlets
Asheville Outlets
Shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful, new outdoor shopping village. It's located on I-26, just six miles from Biltmore and seven miles from downtown Asheville. It's pet friendly with many events and sales throughout the year.
Foodie Heaven
Find Foodie Favorites
Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or enjoy time honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally owned restaurants, many use local food and offer outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to a host of local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.
Downtown Asheville
Downtown Asheville Top 20
Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries and pubs. Dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or enjoy street performers. See our Top 20 things to do!
National Gingerbread House Competition
National Gingerbread House Competition
November 26, 2017 to January 04, 2018
See the winning gingerbread houses and creations on display at The Omni Grove Park Inn, elaborately decorated for the season. Public viewing Sunday-Thursday. See our guide for all the details.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern U.S., they offer 15 slopes on 95 acres of skiable area. There are plenty of runs for every skill level, and with a vertical drop of 830 feet and more than 80 inches of annual snowfall. Mountaintop bar. See our Beech Mtn Winter Guide with packages and events. Snow tubing and ice skating too!
LaZoom Tours
LaZoom Tours
Take the most fun city tour ever in a bright purple bus full of laughter! Through captivating stories, comedy skits, and an enthralling musical soundscape, experience Asheville's history, current culture and counterculture with their 90 minute interactive bus tours that depart from downtown. Haunted and beer tours too!
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
December 31, 2017
Head downtown Asheville for many choices for dining and music or dancing afterwards. See our New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.

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