Christmas may have officially come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the holiday spirit has to end. Because the holidays are such a busy time, my family often did (and continues to do!) “touristy” Christmas stuff the week after Christmas. While there are definitely still crowds, the pace of life is a little slower. You’re not thinking about all of the holiday errands that need to be ran, and you can be fully present.
If you’re looking for a fun, holiday day trip to take between now and new years, let me recommend Asheville, North Carolina.
I don’t live far from Asheville, and it’s also a stop on the way to the lake house in South Carolina. However, I don’t go nearly enough. There is so much to do there that I sometimes get a little overwhelmed. However, I had a really great, relaxing visit there a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to take you along with me!
We started our day out with brunch at Corner Kitchen. I discovered Corner Kitchen in college when we used to take day trips to Asheville to shop at Lilly Pulitzer, and it’s always my first recommendation when someone asks where to eat in Asheville! It’s affordable, the portions are large, and the drinks are delicious. I had the Latin American style breakfast plate and a revolver mimosa… so good. I get something different every time I go, and it never lets me down.
Corner Kitchen helpful hint – Reservations are your friend!
After having lunch at Corner Kitchen, we explored the shops at Biltmore Village. I love shopping at Biltmore Village because it has some of my favorite chain stores – Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew, Lululemon, Brooks Brothers, Williams Sonoma – and also fun boutiques like Monkees.
Biltmore Village helpful hint – If you’re planning to visit Biltmore Village, there is a free parking garage under the J.Crew/Williams Sonoma/Soma stores. There’s also a parking area right next to these stores; it’s not expensive, but bring cash.
Less than a mile from Biltmore Village is… you guessed it… Biltmore! This was my second time visiting Biltmore, and all of the Christmas decor added a touch of magic. It was absolutely beautiful!
We got there a little early, so we explored the grounds, including the Conservatory. It was full of gorgeous plants, including orchids, succulents and cacti, and the most vibrant poinsettias I’ve ever seen.
When it was time to check in, we began our tour of the actual estate. The home is giant, so expect to spend at least an hour winding through the different rooms. My personal favorite part of the tour is closer to the end. The first half is a very formal space, but the second half gets into their kitchen, laundry room, indoor pool (!!!) and other more functional spaces.
Christmas at Biltmore is happening through January 7, so if you’re feeling major FOMO, there’s still time to enjoy the beautiful holiday decor.
Biltmore helpful hints – Wear comfortable shoes. Even if you choose to ride a shuttle from the parking lot to the front of the home, there’s still a lot of walking inside.
Flash photography isn’t permitted in the home.
It’s surprisingly warm in the home, so you may want to dress in layers. I would also recommend taking a smaller handbag.
Be prepared to wait. It gets a little congested in certain parts of the home because of the layout and staged photo locations. (It also gets congested because people buy audio tour speaker things and block everything to listen to them. If that’s not your scene, grab one of the booklets on your way in. It shares a lot of history about the home, even down to the art.)
Order your tickets in advance and know that there’s not really a bad time to go. On my first visit, our only option was the evening-ish option. However, we ended up touring the home during golden hour, and it was absolutely stunning.
After our tour of the grounds, we visited the Biltmore Winery. It’s about a two mile drive, but it’s conveniently located on the path that you take to exit, so why not stop in for your free wine tasting?! I really enjoyed the wine, especially the malbec. We left with a bottle of Christmas at Biltmore Red.
Biltmore Winery is in a charming little village that also includes the Fashionable Romance exhibit. (The last time I visited Biltmore was actually specifically to see this exhibit! My mom and I wanted to see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s veil.) If you’re interested in wedding fashion at all, it’s definitely worth checking out… especially since it is included in the price of your ticket!
Biltmore Winery helpful hints – Bring cash for a tip.
If you’re in a group larger than two people, you will probably have to wait a few minutes after getting to the front of the line.
All in all, it was a great little holiday one-day getaway! It doesn’t get better than delicious food, beautiful holiday decor, good wine, and being in the company of wonderful people, especially around the holidays.
I hope y’all had a very Merry Christmas! I want to hear from you – what was the highlight of your holiday season so far?