of the most famous Christmas celebrations in the nation are held at
historic houses and districts decked out in their holiday finery.
Biltmore and the Carolina
Christmas, 1895, George Vanderbilt opened his magnificent home to guests
for the first time, setting a standard for holiday splendor. Today,
you can be one of those guests during Christmas at Biltmore
Estate, from early November through New Years.
house is decorated with Christmas trees in every room, including a 34-foot
Frazier fir in the Banquet Hall. Wreaths and garlands abound. Candlelight
Evening tours are most popular and reservations are essential.
many Carolina families, this is a Christmas tradition. Make reservations
early online at www.biltmore.com
or by calling 800.289.1895.
you're at it, plan to dine at one of the Biltmore's outstanding restaurants.
Their mouth-watering menus can be browsed online. Special packages
that include meals are available on-line.
you're in the area, you can select your own Christmas tree, from Sugar
Plum Farms. If you can't visit, Biltmore will ship you an estate-quality
tree or wreath.
the first weekend in December, Biltmore Village dresses up in
Victorian garb for the annual Dickens
Festival. The Village is located just outside the estate and
no admission is required.
Light Up Your
Holidays in Asheville
in November with the annual Holiday
Parade, Asheville's vibrant downtown turns on with a half-million
twinkling decorations and a full lineup of holiday events. Highlights
include holiday plays at the Flatrock
Playhouse, Santa rappelling down Chimney
Rock in preparation for his Big Day, and Winter Wonderland
at the Grove
complete schedule of events is posted at www.exploreasheville.com
where you'll also find holiday
recipes and holiday
decorating tips from the Biltmore, Grove Park, and other area
Park Inn Resort & Spa also hosts legendary holiday celebrations.
Decorations include 25 unique trees and some 200 gingerbread houses,
entries in the Inn's annual National Gingerbread House Competition
(early Nov.). Other events include a Wine & Food Festival (late
Nov.), weekday holiday concerts, phenomenal Thanksgiving and Christmas
buffets, and special parties hosted by Major Bear, the Inn's
mascot. Visit www.groveparkinn.com
for making your own Gingerbread House from the Grove Park Inn
north, the village of Blowing
Rock (www.blowingrock.com) presents an Old Fashioned Christmas
throughout December. Several ski areas nearby, including Sugar
Mountain and Appalachian,
host special New Year's celebrations complete with fireworks.
in Square Dancing Today, 2003
Photo credits: Photos courtesy
of Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
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