Asheville Spring Updates


What’s new for 2017 in Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains? There are even more things to do during your vacation.

The biggest event of the year will be a total solar eclipse on August 21st with total darkness for a couple of minutes of darkness in far western tip of North Carolina (in towns like Cashiers, Cherokee and Robbinsville).

For the first time ever, you can take a very fun helicopter tour above Asheville and Biltmore – beginning in March 2017.

At Biltmore, see a new exhibition from February 10 through July 4th with 40 elaborate period costumes from well-known movies. The most visited winery in the country received a makeover with a bigger tasting room.

Downtown Asheville continues to grow with many new restaurants and breweries and several major hotels under construction. The drum circle returns on Friday nights. Many festivals are planned for 2017. Be sure to check out the several new rooftop views and watch the mountain sunsets.

The Tryon International Equestrian Center continues to expand and will host many weeks of Olympic-caliber horse jumping competitions. In addition, find a variety of restaurants and shops. Saturday Night Lights is free to enjoy. In 2018, they will host the FEI World Equestrian Games.

A new trail in the Hickory Nut Gorge area will open April 1. The 3-mile hike to Little Bearwallow Mountain takes you by a 100-foot waterfall and to Wildcat Rock for panoramic views.

PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) near Brevard is a former NASA Communications Center that is now a world-class space and science research campus. This year, they are adding more events and tours to welcome all visitors.

The River Arts District in Asheville is getting many road upgrades and more artists and businesses are moving in.

Go to our Asheville Travel Guide for info about all of these – with a handy search feature to help you plan your trip.


Christmas at Biltmore House 2015

Biltmore House Christmas

The biggest event of the year in Asheville has begun! Christmas at Biltmore runs through January 10, 2016. Biltmore’s design team has woven this year’s theme – “A Gilded Age Christmas” – throughout every element created for the season across the estate, incorporating grand and elegant details that are rooted in authentic Vanderbilt Christmas stories.

The towering 35-foot Christmas tree in the Banquet Hall is a nod to a tradition started by George Vanderbilt on Christmas Eve in 1895 when he opened his 250-room home to friends and family for the first time. As tradition dictates, the tree is decorated with 500 ornaments and wrapped packages tucked into its branches.

During the magical Candlelight Christmas Evenings, thousands of ornaments and over-the-top wreaths and garlands sparkle with the reflections of candlelight and cozy fires in the home’s fireplaces. Despite the home’s enormous size, sounds of choirs and musicians create an intimate atmosphere. Outside, a 55-foot Norway spruce tree, lit by 45,000 tiny white lights and surrounded by hundreds of hand-lit luminaries, welcomes guests for evening tours.

See photos of this year’s Christmas decorations inside Biltmore House.

Christmas at Biltmore 2015 Events

  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, daily: Christmas at Biltmore daytime experience
  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 2: Candlelight Christmas Evenings
  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, daily: A Gardener’s Place Holiday Seminars. “Decorate with Christmas Wreaths” is offered at noon and “Create Holiday Tablescapes” is offered at 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, daily: The Conservatory’s annual poinsettia and tropical plant display.
  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, daily: Complimentary wine tasting at the Winery. The “Red Wine and Chocolate” seminar is offered, as well as the “Biltmore Bubbles” tour. Additional price and reservations required.
  • Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, evenings: Live music in Cedric’s Tavern in Antler Hill Village.
  • Nov. 7 through Dec. 20, Saturdays and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m., and on Friday, Nov. 27: Visits with Santa in Antler Hill Village.
  • Nov. 7 through Jan. 10, Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m., and on Friday, Nov. 27: Roving Holiday Carolers in Antler Hill Village.
  • Dec. 17, 18 and 19: Inn on Biltmore Estate’s Annual Gingerbread House Tea. Guests assemble gingerbread homes with the help of a pastry chef while enjoying afternoon tea. Additional price and reservations required.
  • Ongoing: Festive holiday meals prepared by award-winning chefs will be served in all of the estate’s restaurants.

Guests looking to extend their holiday stay at Biltmore will have several options. For a retreat with personalized service, the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four-star accommodations with sweeping views in a private hilltop setting. Special holiday packages starting with Thanksgiving will be available during Christmas at Biltmore.

Biltmore’s newest lodging offering, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, opens December 1, 2015. Designed for the guest looking for a casual overnight stay, the hotel is located in Antler Hill Village. It is steps away from shopping, dining, the Winery, live music and outdoor activities. Special holiday packages will be available during Christmas at Biltmore.

See the complete Christmas at Biltmore Guide that includes ticket special offers, along with Asheville vacation packages.

Biltmore Will Soon Be Blooming

Biltmore Tulips

Thousands of tulips in the Walled Garden

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
~ Ruth Stout

You couldn’t pick a better place to greet spring than in the magnificent gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The first day of spring, March 20, will kick off the annual Biltmore Blooms festivities, which will run through May 25, 2015.

Biltmore Blooms will kick off with the blooming of the cheery daffodils at the entrance gate. Thousands of vibrant tulips, this year in hues of purple, pink, white, and orange, will follow quickly behind the daffodils. Azaleas, rhododendron, roses, and other colorful annuals and perennials will erupt across the Estate throughout the remainder of the season. Orchids will be the center of attention between March 20 and April 12, when visitors will be invited to enter the glass-domed Winter Garden to take in the hundreds of brilliant orchids on display.

In addition to the array of beautiful flowers, Biltmore will be hosting the “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times” exhibition.  Forty-five costumes worn by the actors on Downton Abbey will be featured throughout the House. “Dressing Downton” will run through May 25.

Specials offered for spring include:

  • March 20 – May 21: youth tickets are half the price of adult tickets
  • Purchase your tickets at least a week in advance and receive $10 off
  • Mother’s Day, May 10: Bring your mom to Biltmore – she gets in FREE

Other special spring experiences:

  • “Orchid Talks” — held each weekday at 11am, estate gardening experts will be on hand to discuss Biltmore’s history with orchids, as well as provide more information about the plants displayed in the orchid room.
  • “Ask a Gardener” — visitors will have the chance to speak to the Estate’s plant experts in the Walled Garden.
  • Gardening and Floral Demonstrations — “Exquisite Orchids for Beginners” is offered each day at 1:00pm, followed by “Nurturing Treasured Houseplants” at 2:00pm.
  • Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday, April 5 — held on the front lawn for children ages 2-9. There will be three hunts, at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm, with registration beginning two hours before and closing fifteen minutes before each hunt. There will be a variety of entertainment to enjoy in addition to hunting Easter eggs,, such as music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts, and photos with the Easter Bunny.
  • Easter Sunday Brunch will be served at Deerpark and the Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate.
  • Cedric’s English Sunday Brunch will be served at Cedric’s Tavern in Antler Hill Village each Sunday from 11:30am – 5:00pm through May 24.
  • Have a taste of the Limited Release Spring Seasonal Wine offered each day at the Biltmore Winery.

For more information, go to Travel Guide.