Are you visiting the Asheville area on Christmas Day or week? 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.
Yes, Biltmore House is open for daytime tours on both Christmas Eve and Day (closes at 2 PM on the 25th), but no candlelight evening tours on those days. Buy your tickets well in advance (save $10 if at least 7 days ahead) since they will have many sold-out days this week. Dining info below. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.
Enjoy free parking in downtown for three days at Christmas (Dec 23, 24, 25). Most shops and galleries are open the day before and after Christmas. See our downtown Asheville Guide.
Winter Lights at NC Arboretum
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.
Looking for snow? Typically, our only white Christmas locations are our ski slopes with manmade snow. 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 20 Winter Hikes.
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 20 Winter Waterfalls photo tour. (Chimney Rock & Gorges State Park will be closed on Christmas Day.)
Blue Ridge Parkway
Typically, higher sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed for ice and snow. But if the weather is warm, it could be fully open.
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 well in advance, 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 (see our Restaurants Directory), but close by late afternoon.
Here are our top picks for 2019. Our 2020 options will be updated in September:
- Omni Grove Park Inn Restaurants: Blue Ridge Dining Room: Christmas Eve (12-8 PM) & Day (12-8 PM) legendary buffet with mountain views, $65-70/adult & $30/child 6-12. Grand Ballroom: Christmas Day Buffet10:45 AM-6:45 PM, $70/adult & $30/child 6-12. Vue 1913 features a 3-course menu ($90/person) 2-9:30 PM on Christmas Day. Edison Craft Ales & Kitchen open on the 25th 11 AM-11 PM with a seasonal menu, $55/adult. Make reservations well in advance on their website. They will book up weeks in advance.
- Biltmore Estate Restaurants: The big Christmas Eve and Day buffet at Deerpark, 11 AM-5 PM both days, call 828-225-6260 to reserve. Bistro and Stable Café 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. Book well in advance on the Biltmore website! Be sure to also book your house tour well in advance (see our Christmas at Biltmore Guide).
- Grand Bohemian Hotel / Red Stag Grill contemporary European comfort food 2019 Christmas Day Four-Course Brunch in Ballroom, 11:30 AM-2:30 PM, $70/person. Christmas Eve 5-10 PM & Christmas Day 4-9 PM Four-Course Dinner, $89/person. Biltmore Village. Open Table reservation book open Oct 1st.
- Season’s at Highland Lake Inn: Outstanding 2019 Christmas Day buffet featuring many choices. Flat Rock (near Hendersonville). 11 AM-5 PM. $52/adult, $26/child ages 6-11. Christmas Eve buffet 5-8 PM, $48/adult, $24/child. Reservations required for both options. Live music. Call 828-696-9094 to reserve your table.
- Strada Italiano: Christmas Eve regular menu plus Feast of the Seven Fishes, downtown, 11 AM-9 PM. Call or visit website for reservations.
- Lakeside Dining Room at Greystone Inn: Christmas Eve dinner, 5-9 PM, $65/person. Christmas Day Brunch- A la carte 8 AM-3 PM. Call for reservations: 828-966 4700.
Hotels & Bed and Breakfasts
If you stay in a hotel or B&B, most will serve breakfast on Christmas morning. So that's a great way to start the big day! Find the perfect place to stay.
Christmas Eve Services
Many churches in Asheville have Christmas Eve services. Here are a few of our favorites: