November 30, 2014 by Susan Murray
Christmas starts in Asheville the weekend before Thanksgiving when the Biltmore’s Santa beats Macy’s to the punch and closes the Annual Asheville Holiday Parade. Asheville is known for a lot of things, an early and beautiful spring, wonderful outdoor activities in summer, and the longest Autumn leaf season in the United States, but did you know that the Winter Holiday Season is just as special with lots of unique things to do and see? The town and its homes, from the grandest to the least significant, are decorated and festooned with lights.
One way to gather ideas for decorating your home is to visit some of the historic houses of Asheville. The Annual Montford Tour of Homes takes place this year on December 13, from 1-5PM. The Montford Historic District is unique in the United States for the sheer number of historic homes, all built within a thirty year period (1890-1920), situated in a discrete area. While the houses were built within a short period they are by no means all the same. Architectural styles include Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Queen Anne, Neoclassical, Colonial Revival and more. Homeowners are justifiably proud of their carefully restored and maintained homes and love to show them decorated for the season. Ticket holders can tour both private homes and some of Asheville’s finest Bed and Breakfasts (including this one!) For more information please visit their website: http://montfordtour.com/
On a grander scale there is the Biltmore. Here they take Christmas seriously! From the first Christmas in 1895 when George Vanderbilt opened his home for the first time to his friends and family the holidays have always been a special time at the estate. Planning for the next year’s decoration starts almost as soon as the previous years decorations are taken down. Early in November a huge live tree is brought into the house to grace the dining room. So tall that it takes a system of ropes and pulleys to get it up, the tree towers above visitors. It is resplendent with lights and ornaments! But this tree is only one of more than 100 trees throughout the house. Every corner of every room seems to be celebrating the holiday. One of the most special and loved traditions is that of the Candlelight Evening. Guests return to the house in the evening to enjoy music and storytelling amidst the sparkling lights and glowing fireplaces. At the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we have put together a special Biltmore Christmas Package including a two-day pass to the house and grounds of the Estate as well as an Evening Candlelight visit. For details please visit our website: http://www.carolinabb.com/specials/
To finish your tour of Asheville’s Holiday Homes you will need to take yourself to the Grove Park Inn to view the winners of the 2014 National Gingerbread Competition. I have to be honest that you will not see a lot of gingerbread houses (although there will be some), the competitors have branched out into sculpture of all kinds but the theme is the Holiday Season and you will enjoy seeing gingerbread creations from bakers of all ages from the very young to the very old.
Plan to visit Asheville soon to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Holidays!
Posted in Carolina Bed and Breakfast, Christmas in Asheville | Tagged Biltmore Christmas Package, Candlelight Evening, Gingerbread Houses, Grove Park Inn, Holiday Home, Montford Tour of Homes | Leave a comment