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 $8 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 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 walk-through light display throughout the Arboretum will be open both Christmas Eve and Day, 5:30-10:30 PM. Buy tickets in advance to save on price and secure your spot. 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 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 2022.
- Biltmore Estate Restaurants: Estate restaurants will have holiday-inspired menus to celebrate the season! 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).
- Lakeside Dining Room at Greystone Inn: 2022 Christmas Eve dinner, $65/person. Christmas Day Brunch- A la carte 8 AM-3 PM. Call for reservations: 828-966 4700.
- Isa’s French Bistro: 2022 offerings include a 3-Course Prix Fixe menu with entrees including Brasstown Beef Filet, Seared Scallops, and Vegan Sausage A La King from 12 PM-10 PM. The Prix Fixe Menu will be offered at $82/person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25/person. A children’s menu will be available. As seating is limited, reserve your table online or call 828-575-9636.
- Hemingway’s Cuba 2022 features a Brunch from 7 AM-2 PM; Small Plates & Bar open from 2 PM-4:30 PM; and 3-Course Prix Fixe Dinner from 4:30 PM-9 PM. Prix Fixe Dinner is $64/person and includes Crab Empanadas or Cuban Black Bean Stew for Starters; Herb Roasted Pork Loin or Langosta Enchilada for Main Entrée, with a Cake de Ron for Sharing for Dessert. Reserve your table now online or call 828-417-6866.
- Red Stag Grill will feature their signature A la Carte 4-Course Christmas Eve Holiday Menu w/ complimentary glass of seasonal mimosa or champagne. (Dec 24, 5-9 PM) $95/adult, regular kid's menu available. For Christmas Day they offer their Signature Brunch from11:30 AM-2:30 PM, for $80/adult, kids menu. And Christmas Dinner from 5-9 PM featuring their A la Carte 4-Course Holiday Menu for $95/adult with children's menu. Book online or call 828-398-5600.
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.
- The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village: 3:30, 7 and 10:30 PM
- Basilica of St Lawrence Catholic in downtown Asheville: 5 and 11:30 PM
- Central United Methodist in downtown Asheville: 5 & 11 PM
- First Baptist Church in downtown Asheville: 6 PM
Christmas Day & Week Things to Do
Christmas at Biltmore
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… read more
New Year's Eve
Head to downtown Asheville for many dining and entertainment choices or go to celebrations throughout WNC. Special events on Jan 1st too. See our top New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Returning to the gardens this year, the popular show will return to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include… read more
National Gingerbread House Competition
Sip hot cocoa and stroll through the amazing gingerbread house displays at The National Gingerbread Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville!
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine… read more
Christmas Wonderland Lights @ Tryon
Drive through an extravangant, 2-mile Christmas light show, synchronized to music at the Tryon International Equestrian Center - open every night of the week.
Explore Downtown Asheville
During the day, downtown Asheville bustles with shoppers browsing more than 200 galleries, antique shops and local boutiques. Each evening, enjoy street entertainers, restaurants, breweries,… read more
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in our top Christmas Town Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
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,… read more
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 innovative… read more
Ski & Snowboard
Hit the slopes for plenty of winter of fun. Since we have the highest mountains in eastern America, you will find plenty of snow, either natural or man-made, for sking and snowboarding.
Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries, and pubs. Visit Pack Square Park, dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or… read more