Chris Craig's Blog

Here Are 3 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit in Asheville (Which Don’t Include Gingerbread)

While we love gingerbread houses at The Grove Park Inn, Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum, and other Asheville holiday traditions, sometimes we need a break from all the crowds. If you’re looking for some non-traditional Asheville Christmas activities, we’ve put together a list of things to do at home, around town, and outside of the city limits that’ll get you in the holiday spirit.

1. Spend a cozy night in with Asheville goods

This holiday season, skip the crowds downtown and opt for a casual night in with your friends! The festivities don’t have to stop at your doorstep—with a combination of local Asheville goods, you can bring the holiday spirit into your home.

What to Eat

For food, have your guests bring different local elements to create a charcuterie board: seasonal, handcrafted cheese from Looking Glass Creamery, artisan crackers from Roots & Branches, meats from Hickory Nut Gap Farm, and signature small-batch mustard from Lusty Monk. To simplify the process, Asheville Goods also curates local items to savor and share.

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What to Drink

What’s charcuterie without a glass or two of plēb urban winery’s locally made wine or a seasonal Asheville beer? Some local favorites include Cold Mountain or Thunderstruck from Highland Brewing Company, Ninjabread Man from Asheville Brewing Company, and Christmas Jam Session Ale from Sierra Nevada.

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What to Do

Once you’ve got the food and drink taken care of, break out the Asheville-Opoly and challenge your friends to see who’s who in the Paris of the South. The limited-edition 1981 board game All About Town – Asheville is also a great option, but if you aren’t able to get your own, you can head to Well Played to use theirs. If you’d rather play a card game, gather around the table and break out the Green Man Brewery playing cards for a round of poker or rummy.

At the end of the night, treat your friends to dessert in a mug. French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s Chocolate Sip topped off with house-made marshmallows is a local cold-weather favorite. The only thing better than a chocolate bar? A chocolate bar you can drink. You’ll get a taste of Pack Square without having to leave the comfort of your home.


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2. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind tour of Asheville

If you’ve been in Asheville long enough, you’re likely familiar with the large purple buses roaming the streets. LaZoom isn’t just for the tourists, though, and it can be a fun way to “rediscover” our city while showing your out-of-town guests just what Asheville is all about. During the holiday season, LaZoom’s top-rated City Comedy Tour gets festive—the 90-minute guided tour of historical Asheville will get you and your guests in the holiday spirit in no time at all!


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3. Explore the wild side of WNC

When you need a break from the commotion of the holiday, why not step outside of the city limits and relax with your family and friends? My go-to choice for getting out of town is taking my 2017 VanDOit to a nearby campground. The Adventure Van WNC seats 2-7 passengers and sleeps up to 4 passengers, and you have the option to rent it for your adventure too!


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This van will provide you with a warm and cozy spot to observe wildlife while the campgrounds are quiet. Some places open year-round include Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park, Asheville East KOA, French Broad River Campground, and Scenic RV Resort.

What is your favorite way to get in the holiday spirit around Asheville? Let us know in the comments!

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