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If you are longing to leave the confines of the city for a relaxing mountain getaway, there is no better destination than Asheville, NC. Thanksgiving in the mountains of Western North Carolina offers unparalleled fall beauty with the autumn colors just peaking, warm days and cool nights. Asheville is the perfect city for a North Carolina holiday vacation. Whether coming from the city of Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte or Durham, Asheville is less than a four-hour drive away, but still provides visitors with the feeling of being in a different world. Asheville offers many different styles of lodging - from boutique hotels and luxury resort condominiums to luxurious hotel suites with concierge services that will make your visit worry free. A Magical Holiday Mountain Getaway A mountain holiday visit to Asheville would not be complete without a stop at the Biltmore Estate. Starting on November 3, the Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the Estate are one of the areas largest attractions. This is truly a magical experience. As day turns to night, the Biltmore becomes illuminated by candlelight, Christmas trees and the Estates’ grand fireplace. Holiday sounds fill the halls of the nation’s largest, privately-owned home; the festival runs through Dec 31. Enjoying a rustic, yet elegant Thanksgiving dinner has also come to be a southern tradition. Many of the area’s restaurants are open for Thanksgiving and choices include: The Ambassador Grill at the Richmond Hill Inn; the Boat House at Lake Julian; the Grovewood Café; and Horizons and Sunset Terrace at The Grove Park Inn. Dining at the Biltmore Estate is also a special treat, but reservations are highly recommended. While space is limited there are plenty of options. Concierge Services Can Enhance a Holiday Vacation

If you don’t want to leave your cozy hotel or condominium accommodations behind, several locales have concierge services. For example, ask them to call Laurey’s Catering located on Biltmore Avenue; it’s a great alternative to dining out. A traditional Southern Thanksgiving feast can be ordered the Friday before Thanksgiving and picked up on the Wednesday before the holiday. What better way to have a truly romantic mountain getaway? Asheville, NC: Cold Weather Activities With a full belly and a desire to work off some calories, post-Thanksgiving activities in and around Asheville are as diverse as the area’s accommodations. Grab a favorite sweater and stroll down one of Asheville’s many side streets; the crisp mountain air will undo the stress of city living in an instant. Downtown is unique because of its entrepreneurial spirit and Asheville stores and restaurants are individually owned. Antique shops, coffeehouses, eclectic boutiques and book stores abound in this romantic getaway Blue Ridge mountain city. For those who wish to explore the mountains just outside of Asheville, the area’s ski resorts open in the month of November. Winter activities include: cross country and downhill skiing, snowboarding and a family vacation favorite - tubing. Western North Carolina also boasts the earliest opening of any eastern ski resorts. Within 30 miles of Asheville are two poplar ski resorts: Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley; and the Wolf Laurel Ski Resort north of the city. If willing to travel a little further, within a 90-mile radius of Asheville, you can be to one of several ski resorts that include: Appalachian, Beech Mountain, Hawksnest, Ober-Gatlinburg, Sapphire Valley and Sugar Mountain. So if you are seeking a quiet, smoky mountain getaway or an adventurous holiday ski weekend, the city of Asheville has something for everyone. Written by James Gibson, courtesy of Isnare.com

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