The cold is here. It’ll be a long few months of freezing temperatures, early sunsets, and icy roads before the groundhog sees his shadow.
However, longtime Asheville residents will tell you that’s no reason to hibernate. In fact, it’s the time where many of us come out of hibernation after a long tourist season. Sure, the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed and nobody’s lining up to kayak the French Broad, but there are plenty of reasons to be out and about for winter in Asheville.
Downtown Asheville with No Reservations
Many Asheville residents avoid Downtown at all costs during the busy season. It’s not that we don’t love having visitors from all over the world in our little mountain town—we just don’t really like trying to find parking. Cue laughter from all of the LA and New York readers, but it’s true!
So, let’s say you’re one of us true Ashevillians, and the idea of circling the block haunts your dreams. Try rolling into town on a Wednesday in mid-December. Like magic, no traffic! You’ll finally be able to get that table at Zambra!
Sure, it’s a little chillier, but once you master the art of layering, you’ll love hopping from place to place on the quiet streets. As an added bonus, the Christmas lights downtown are absolutely beautiful. You won’t have to wait around to see them, either, since it’s getting dark at 5:45.
Bring the Outdoors Indoors
Asheville is an adventure sports mecca in the warm months. Rock climbers are one group who have it particularly good around here, with plenty of great trad and sport climbing routes and boulders within an hour or two of town. Most of those routes go unused once the temperature gets below 40, though.
Any good climber knows you have to keep those muscles in shape year round or you’ll lose them. Fortunately, Asheville has Climbmax, an indoor rock climbing gym with two locations: their flagship location at Smoky Mountain Adventure Center on the French Broad, and a smaller facility downtown that’s mostly dedicated to boulder problems.
The SMAC location has dozens of boulder, top rope, and lead routes that are swapped out by their staff on a regular basis. Climbmax has routes for every skill level, from simple climbs designed for beginners to problems that will puzzle even the most seasoned climber. If you’re new to the sport, they host classes all winter long that will help you learn the ropes and be ready to take those skills outside when the ground thaws. They even have guides that will head out with you once you’re ready to try it on the real rocks.
Exploring the Great Outdoors, Outdoors
Some outdoor activities don’t transfer inside as well as rock climbing. For those, you’re going to just have to brave the cold.
And hey—we’re in the south! It’s not that cold, right?
While the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed for the winter, that isn’t the be all, end all of hiking trails in Asheville. Biltmore members will still be able to use the Estate hiking trails all winter. If you’re looking for some longer trails, head into DuPont State Forest. Many of their trails are still accessible during the winter, and you’ll see some absolutely incredible scenery. In fact, many of the mountain views are better in the winter, when you don’t have all those pesky leaves blocking the view.
If you’re looking for the more traditional winter wonderland, look no further than Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Mars Hill, North Carolina. It’s just a 45-minute drive from the heart of Asheville to this playground for skiers and snowboarders. Wolf Ridge is the place to go for winter sports in Western North Carolina, with four lifts, 14 trails, and a ski school to help beginners get their sea legs (ski legs?). Make it a staycation by renting one of their on-site townhomes, with room for up to 14 people in one unit.
Homes for Sale in Asheville, NC
Asheville is the perfect place to live in every season. Once the snow melts you’ll have a spring and summer of blossoming plants ahead of you, then it’s into the most beautiful autumn in the world, and back to the winter wonderland again.
If you’re looking to call our mountain paradise home, finding a home for sale in Asheville is the best first step. Keller Williams Asheville has an interactive map updated with the latest listings of homes for sale in Asheville and the surrounding communities. Whether you’re in the market for a historic home in the Montford area or a new construction in one of the nearby subdivisions, Keller Williams can help you find the perfect home for your needs.
If you’re ready to start making your dream of living in Asheville a reality, get in touch with one of our real estate experts today.
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