As the holidays start to come to an end, winter really sets in. The cold temps and slushy weather can get really boring really quickly, but luckily, if you’re anywhere near Asheville, NC, there are a few ways you can break up the doldrums. Warm up and have some fun in downtown Asheville this winter with these five fun, active ways to explore the city and get out of the house:
If you like food (and really, who doesn’t), then you absolutely cannot miss Asheville’s Restaurant Week. Unlike most restaurant weeks across the country, Asheville’s specifically focuses on farm-to-table offerings that support local businesses and farmers. From January 17-26 this year, you’ll be able to check out any participating restaurant for a $15 fixed price two-course lunch option, $35 three-course dinner, or $30 dinner for two. Check the Explore Asheville site regularly for a list of participating restaurants, and to make reservations at your top choices. Asheville is regularly rated as one of the top 10 food destinations in the country, so wherever you go, you won’t be disappointed.
Shake off those winter blues and head to the Winter Warmer Beer Fest this winter! One of Asheville’s largest beer festivals (and we do have a lot), this year’s 10th anniversary event is bound to be even bigger. You’ll be able to sample from all kinds of local craft brewers; a simple general admission ticket gets you a souvenir mug, a full catered meal, countless samples during the festival itself, and all the live music you can listen to while you’re here! The Winter Warmer Beer Fest takes place on January 21st this year, so make sure to get your tickets now, because they did sell out last year
What better way to warm up during the holiday season than with a toasty train ride through the Smoky Mountains? The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers all kinds of excursions, in both steam and diesel engine trains. Longtime favorite route Tuckasegee River Excursion takes passengers on a 32-mile relaxing ride through the North Carolina countryside. You’ll get an hour and a half to explore Dillsboro too, with more than 50 restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and locally owned shops before you head back to the Bryson City Depot. And for any fans of Harrison Ford’s Fugitive, make sure to look out the window as you roll by the set of that very movie.
If cruising through the countryside doesn’t offer quite enough adventure, then check out the railroad’s brand new Moonshine Experience! As you roll through bootlegging country, this adult-only excursion allows you to sample a wide variety of classic Carolina Moonshine options as you learn about the history of moonshine in the Carolina hills. This ride also comes with a full meal of Carolina style bbq pulled pork, with all the fixin’s. When you’re done with dinner, try some of the unique moonshine cocktail concoctions, and leave with a bag full of souvenirs!
Sometimes, the best way to warm up in the winter is to get outside. The Wolf Ridge Ski Resort lets you do just that with more than 15 ski runs ranging from Green to Black Diamond. As you explore the bigger runs, the kids can check out the Wolf Ridge Tube Run, where they can sled down the hill in giant inner tubes. If you’d like to make it a vacation, you can stay in one of Wolf Ridge’s townhome or cabin rentals for a true ski lodge experience. Cabins offer private hot tubs, game tables, grills, and fireplaces, while townhomes give you extra space for your large group. If you just want to stay overnight, the resort also offers smaller rooms for shorter stays. Break up the dreary winter with a ski trip perfect for the whole family!
There’s nowhere more luxurious to explore in Asheville than the Biltmore Estate. If you get there early enough this winter, you’ll be able to see the Biltmore, a four-acre home covering more than 175,000 square feet, all decked out in holiday finery. But even if you miss the holiday decorations, the Biltmore is always an impressive sight. You can check out the interior of the home with a tour if you’re trying to stay warm, or you can explore the massive gardens outside if you’re up for a brisk winter walk. End your winter excursion with a seat at the winery, and taste a few of their award-winning vintages. For the kids, make sure to venture over to the Farm in Antler Hill Village, where they can pet working livestock and explore the play areas, rock climbing formation, and a host of other activities perfect for the whole family.
And if you are looking for the perfect piece of mountain land to build your permanent Asheville home Couch Mountain has the homesite for you. A sustainable mountain living community, Couch Mountain offers residents a community greenhouse, gardens and apiaries to help support the pollinators. In additional residents are encouraged to do their own backyard farming with personal gardens, individual apiaries and hens to produce fresh eggs for your family. Located minutes from downtown Asheville adjacent to the preserved land of Warren Wilson College, you’ll have all of the privacy of rural mountain living, with the Blue Ridge Mountain just outside your window. Explore community trails and the peace of Couch Mountain, with the convenience of a cultural HUB such as Asheville only moments away. For more information about homesites and the Couch Mountain community visit our website or request more information online now!