November 11, 2022
There’s no doubt, the Asheville mountains sparkle under the lights of the winter holidays. The splendor brings in travelers from every direction.
All that extra hustle and bustle means that the city’s streets, restaurants, and attractions all get busy, too. The good news is, you can still make your winter trip to Asheville easy. All you have to do is a bit of planning ahead. Just follow our guide to planning your holiday vacation in Asheville.
When deciding where to stay, consider your location and the holiday traffic. Also, if you’re not familiar with driving in the mountains then you should know, a destination that’s ten miles away may mean a thirty-minute commute.
Our advice: write your wishlist for your Asheville trip. Try to find accommodations near the attractions you want to visit. For example, Cedar Crest Inn is conveniently close to the Biltmore Estate. Then make sure you map out the driving time between your destinations. Whether you’re driving yourself or relying on local transportation – your entire experience will be improved if you aren’t fighting traffic.
Be warned, Uber services are not as robust in Asheville as they were pre-pandemic. Our innkeepers would recommend renting a private car, especially if you plan to visit Biltmore so you don’t have to cough up extra money for shuttles. Otherwise, you may look at formal transport services from Harry’s Car Service (828.774.8178), or use Asheville’s rideshare system, AVL Ride.
Want to cut out transportation questions altogether? Stay at an Asheville bed and breakfast within walking distance to downtown. Any of the inns in Montford or Chestnut Hill neighborhoods would be a great choice.
You don’t have to worry about breakfast, but you should definitely make your dinner reservations in advance.
Hunger is one of the biggest causes of emotionally distraught groups. Avoid the risk altogether by planning your meals before leaving for vacation. A good plan means you don’t have to worry about long wait times or the classic “Where do you want to eat” debate. Go ahead and make dinner and lunch reservations before it becomes an issue.
If you’re looking for a quick guide to help you make a plan, check out this blog, “Ultimate Foodie Couple’s Getaway to Asheville.”
Plan to dress for all seasons and wear comfy shoes.
Weather in the area is mercurial at best, and we can sometimes experience 1-3 different seasons all in one day. If you’re planning to be out and about make sure you are prepared for the weather, as well as equipped with sturdy and supportive shoes. Asheville is not the place for those stilettos, no matter how beautiful they may be.
If you plan to visit Biltmore, buy your passes as soon as possible. During the holiday season, travelers can choose between daytime passes or the more exclusive Candlelight Tour. Like Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, some Asheville inns actually offer discounted passes and insight. Be sure to ask when booking your stay.
Pro-tip: Candlelight Tours are only available until January 8th and the most popular times get booked well in advance, so plan to be flexible when it comes to booking your visit.
The same is true for other specialized local experiences. Whether you want to tour craft breweries or book a mobile massage and private yoga class, these types of experiences are highly popular and fill up quickly.
For those looking to fill their trip with long cruises on the Blue Ridge Parkway, make sure to check for real-time closures on their website first. Road closures can happen at any time and are especially common in winter. Thankfully, they keep the website up-to-date. If the drive you were planning isn’t an option, your innkeeper can recommend great hikes as an alternative.
Many of the inns in Asheville have partnerships with local experience companies so make sure to ask for suggestions. Those staying at Wright Inn will definitely want to consider Grayline Trolley tours, a hop-on, hop-off tour that stops right out front every half hour.
Which brings us to…
Ask your innkeeper!
Whether you’re looking for dining recommendations or advice on the best hikes and attractions, you have a built-in expert on your side. That’s part of the beauty of staying at an Asheville bed and breakfast.
Make the most out of this holiday season without letting it get you down. Use this guide to make sure your winter visit to Asheville is especially stress-free.
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