Where to see the best Christmas light displays in Asheville and the Western North Carolina mountains? Here are our favorite places - including many new and expanded shows.
1. Winter Lights Returning to the gardens this year, the popular The North Carolina Arboretum's Winter Lights show will welcome members and guests back to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include the 50ft lighted tree, Quilt Garden, many of your favorite lighted designs, and new ones for 2022! This is the Arboretum's largest annual fundraiser, benefitting its mission-driven programming. RomanticAsheville.com is delighted to be a sponsor of this event. You must buy tickets 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 horse-drawn carriages. Read more.
3. Bryson City: New for 2022, drive-thru the Smoky Mountain Christmas Light Spectacular! Before your trip, browse galleries, shops and find a variety of restaurants and two breweries. The town is decked out with garland and holiday lights, with a 50 ft Christmas tree in the town square. Also find nearby ice skating, fresh cut Xmas trees, and more. At the Visitor Center (255 Main St) kids can enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while they write letters to Santa. Don't miss the Chocolate Shoppe! Go to their website for holiday happenings.
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 photo spot. Read about Christmas at Biltmore tours.
5. Antler Hill Village: Biltmore has expanded the outdoor light show covering trees and buildings at 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: Christmas Wonderland: A 2-mile drive-through light extravaganza at the Tryon International Equestrian Center campus, including Winterfest Village with Santa, carousel and carriage rides, kid activities, s'mores, live music and performances. Read more about it.
7: 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.
Also, see our Top 11 Christmas Towns for the best Main Street displays. More to come!