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 2021.
- 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: 2021 Christmas Eve dinner, 5-9 PM, $65/person. Christmas Day Brunch- A la carte 8 AM-3 PM. Call for reservations: 828-966 4700.
- Isa’s French Bistro: 2021 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-8 PM. The Prix Fixe Menu will be offered at $69/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 will be serving regular breakfast 7 AM-10 AM. For 2021 Christmas Dinner, in addition to their regular full menu, they will offer Christmas Special entrees of Slow Roasted Pork Loin stuffed with chorizo/sazon, roasted brussels sprouts, and calabaza or Lubina Estilo Cubano, the Cuban style seabass special from 12 PM-8 PM. 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.