|NC Mountains and Foothills Open for Visiting!|
|Despite recent wildfires in our region, the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina offer thousands of square miles of scenic beauty, and winter views are often more breathtaking with no leaves obstructing the sights. |
Both Chimney Rock State Park and South Mountains State Park are open, and the Party Rock fire near Chimney Rock is 100% contained. For more information, read this from the NC State Parks Department.
Recent significant rainfall has helped to subdue fires in the western counties, including remote areas of the Nantahala National Forest. For complete information on all fires in the region, visit the Incident Information System website, http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/34/. You can also email the Joint Information Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, call them at 828-575-2840 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), or visit http://ncjic.blogspot.com.
We thank the firefighters from across the country who converged on our national forests and local communities to protect our mountains and communities.
Parkway Visitor Center Is Open
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, located near Milepost 384 in Asheville, is open 362 days a year from 9 am to 5 pm. It will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day but open all other days during the holiday season. This is a great place to start your visit to the region, with Parkway and Heritage Area staff at two information desks available to answer questions.
Throughout the year, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Regional Information Desk provides materials for over 150 locations throughout all of Western North Carolina. The Center offers museum-quality exhibits, a 24-minute high definition movie, a gift shop, and the I-Wall interactive map of the entire Parkway. Call 828-298-5330 to speak with one of our helpful staff.
Blue Ridge Heritage Trail
One way to enhance your visit is to look for the 69 interpretive wayside exhibits along the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail. You can pick up a driving map at the Parkway Visitor Center and other visitor centers in the region. Interactive kiosks in the five NC Welcome Centers at Interstate entrances to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and in Black Mountain's Visitor Center give an overview of all the sites on the trail, and QR codes on the kiosks and on each sign will take you to the comprehensive website: BlueRidgeHeritageTrail.com.
|Small Town Charm and Holiday Fun|
|Throughout the holiday season, visitors to the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina will be enchanted with the holiday spirit that pervades the many small towns and villages in the region. Town lightings, parades, and holiday shopping events await you! Come experience the spirit of the mountains! |
On Saturday, Dec. 3:
- Enjoy music, rides in a horse driven carriage, folks in time- period costumes from an earlier age and more at Franklin's Winter Wonderland. Especially fun are the living displays in downtown windows of people enjoying traditions of times past, including playing music and singing, creating handcrafted gifts, reading and telling stories.
- Santa on the Chimney, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, 11 am on Dec. 3 and 10. Watch Santa practice for his big night.
- Christmas with the Celts concert, Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.
- Candy Cane Market & Lighting of the Square, Hayesville.
- Stecoah Valley Center Breakfast with Santa & Christmas in the Mountains.
- Christmas Candlelight Tours, Vance Birthplace, Weaverville.
- Christmas Happenings at the Orchard at Altapass, Dec. 3-4.
- Candlelight Tours at the Historic Carson House, Marion, Dec. 3-4.
- Christmas Parades Galore! See list below!
Click on the links below for details on more Holiday Fun Events in December:
- Dec. 3 in Black Mountain, Sylva, Sawmills, Hendersonville, Boone, Wilkesboro/North Wilkesboro, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Highlands, Murphy, Andrews, Bryson City, Hot Springs, Burnsville, and Bakersville.
- Dec. 5 in Waynesville.
- Dec. 10 in Hayesville, Robbinsville, Cherokee, Marshall.
- Dec. 11 in Elkin/Jonesville.
- Dec. 15 in Morganton.
Learn more about all there is to see and do year-round at RomanticAsheville.com, High Country Host, Blue Ridge Mountain Host, and Smoky Mountain Host.
- Winterfest at Tryon Resort.
- A Celtic Christmas and A Christmas Carol, Flat Rock Playhouse.
Winter’s Tune: Music to Warm an Appalachian Night, Broyhill Chapel at Mars Hill University, Dec. 9, 7 p.m. Performers include Joe Penland, Brooke & George Buckner, Ashley Heath, Andy Buckner, Pierce Edens, Nikki Reid and Hannah Furgiuele.
- Home for the Holidays in Hendersonville, including the Santa House.
- Saluda Hometown Christmas, Dec. 9.
- Cherokee Lights & Legends, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 31, Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds.
|Mountain Music On Stage for the Holidays|
The 14th annual Swannanoa Soltice performances will be held on Sunday, December 18, at 2 and 7 pm at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, NC.
This year's performances are headlined by award-winning recording artists and multi-instrumentalists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock and will feature many Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC artists, including:
The show will be hosted by Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College and founder of The Swannanoa Gathering. This popular event often sells out. Click here to purchase tickets.
- David Holt, Grammy Award-winning musician, storyteller, historian and television host
- Phil Jamison, nationally acclaimed flatfoot dancer
- Ellie Grace, dancer and multi-instrumentalist
- E.J. Jones, Highland bagpiper, and his band
Snowbound at Asheville Community Theatre
A mountain play with mountain music! Set in Madison County, this world premiere play features original bluegrass music performed live onstage by members of Buncombe Turnpike and Sons of Ralph.
It’s Christmas Eve in 1955 at a small town train depot where snowy weather has caused some delays. Over the evening, strangers become friends, friends become family, and the warmth of human connection is deepened through stories and songs.
Click here to purchase tickets.
|Get Your NC Blue Ridge Waterfalls Calendar Now!|
Purchase a 3-pack from our online Heritage Retail Shop between now and December 20 and receive free shipping! Calendars ordered by December 20 can be delivered in time for Christmas.
A perfect holiday gift for your friends and family, and for yourself!
If you've visited the North Carolina mountains and foothills and wished there was a way to remember the scenic beauty of this area year-round, you'll love this special edition calendar!
Photographed and produced by Mark File, owner of RomanticAsheville.com, this beautiful calendar showcases seasonal images of twelve magnificent waterfalls in our region. Plus there are suggestions for 365 things to do in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, one for every day of the year!
We are grateful to RomanticAsheville.com who is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the calendars ($10 each) to benefit the work of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.*
We also thank our friends who have generously offered to be distribution points for the calendars. Calendars are now available at:
*The mission of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership is to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to sustain our heritage and stimulate improved economic opportunity in our region.