It’s easy to cozy up and stay inside on the couch during the darker and colder winter months — but avoid hibernating at home this year and use this time to experience North Carolina, because there’s still a lot to see and do. From ski resorts full of outdoor activities and winter sports to upscale inns and luxury spas, here are nine awesome places to visit this winter:
1. Beech Mountain Ski Resort
At Beech Mountain, you can hit the slopes at the highest ski area in Eastern America. Not your speed? Then you can enjoy the warmth and cold brews at Beech Mountain Brewing Company — one of the only craft breweries operated by a ski resort.
Address: 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain, NC 28604
2. Blowing Rock
The charming town of Blowing Rock is always an incredible place to visit throughout the entire year, but it's especially exciting during the month of January when it's taken over by WinterFest a three-day festival that's dedicated to all things winter. Plus, local legend says you can see snow fall upside down at the Blowing Rock. Worth a shot right?
3. Omni Grove Park Inn
Okay, so this one involves a little cozying up, but it's by the roaring fireplaces in the stunning lobby of the Omni Grove Park Inn. It's also a great place for a dip in an indoor pool. For an added bonus, the inn's famous gingerbread display is up through the beginning of January.
Address: 290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804
4. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
If outdoor activities and winter sports are your thing, you can take your pick from plenty of them at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort with skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing or ice skating. There's EVEN snowshoeing!
Address: 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Sugar Mountain, NC 28604
The Biltmore Estate is always over-the-top beautiful, but add a blanket of snow and a million twinkling lights and you've got picture perfect. After touring the incredible Biltmore House, warm up in Antler Village with a tasting at the estate winery. Plus, lower ticket prices are typically available during winter months.
Address: 1 Lodge St., Asheville, NC 28803
6. Hawksnest Snowtubing Park
For a day full of family-friendly fun take a trip Hawksnest Tubing Park, where you'll find 30 different tubing lanes and two moving carpet lifts that'll easily take you back to the top. Lanes range in terrain and length with some as long as 1,000 ft.
Address: 2058 Skyland Dr., Seven Devils, NC 28604
7. Old Edwards Inn and Spa
Escape the snow and ice at an upscale retreat in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Old Edwards Inn and Spa. The Old Edwards spa offers treatments sure to beat the winter blues like a vitamin-A facial, or fight off a winter cold with an immunity boosting aromatherapy massage.
Address: 445 Main St., Highlands, NC 28741
8. Hot Springs Resort and Spa
Relax and unwind in a soothing mineral bath at Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Each bath features natural mineral water straight from the famous North Carolina hot springs. Cherokee legends say the water from the hot springs has healing powers — and who wouldn't want to test that out?
Address: 315 Bridge St., Hot Springs, NC 28743
9. Appalachian Ski Mountain
Skiers and snowboarders can stay out all day on the slopes and then hit the hay at a cozy chalet at Appalachian Ski Resort. Don't know how to ski? The resort offers professional instruction at the French Swiss Ski College. First time snowboarders can take advantage of lessons at the Burton Learn How to Ride Center.
Address: 940 Ski Mountain Rd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605