Where to see the best Christmas light displays in Asheville and the Western North Carolina mountains? Here are our favorite places for 2017 - including many new and expanded shows.
1. Winter Lights: Walk through 500,000+ lights that cover the garden areas of the North Carolina Arboretum in south Asheville. It's bigger than ever in 2017 and offers much more than lights. It kicks off on November 17th. Many nights sell-out, so get tickets well in advance. Read all about it.
2. Forest City: The biggest public, free Christmas light display glows with 1 million lights covering trees and draped across Main Street in this small town about 60 miles from Asheville. It's worth the drive! It begins on Thanksgiving night. Weekends bring wagon rides and horse-drawn carriages. Read more.
3. Downtown Asheville: Find even more lights in downtown Asheville in 2017 - including the new giant snowflake at Pack Square. Sit on the benches under the trees with dripping icicles. See things to do Downtown.
4. Biltmore House Candlelight Tour: An evening tour inside this famous castle glows with candles and lights of 50+ Christmas trees. On the front lawn is the biggest tree of them all, a 55-foot Norway spruce with 45,000 lights and surrounded by many smaller trees. Walk between the trees to be surrounded by lights. It's a great selfie spot. Read about Christmas at Biltmore tours.
5. Antler Hill Village: New for 2017 is an outdoor light show covering trees and buildings of Antler Hill Village on Biltmore Estate. Home to the popular Winery, it's a great place to visit after your house tour. It's included with the estate admission. Read more about it.
6: Montford Historic District: Our favorite neighborhood to look for decorated houses is just north of downtown Asheville. Drive Montford Avenue past several grand bed and breakfast inns (like Inn on Montford above). Read more about Montford.
7. Lake Julian Festival of Lights: A longtime local's favorite holiday tradition is this drive-through light show in a county park in south Asheville. It begins on December 1st with a walk-through night. Read all about it.
Also see our Top 12 Christmas Towns for the best Main Street displays. More to come!
Note: The popular drive-through Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at the Western NC Agricultural Center during the past few years will NOT return in 2017. They hope to be back in 2018.