Take a Day to Stop at the Biltmore House

Asheville, North Carolina is home to a wonder of a home that was built by George Vanderbilt. The home sits on 8,000 acres that have been stunningly transformed into an unforgettable experience. Your first view of the home is mostly taken up by the size and grandeur of the estate. Vanderbilt had the estate set up so that it blended into the surrounding countryside and mountains. The result is a fantastic journey into the past that is as amazing on the outside as it is on the inside.

As you go on a self-guided tour through its numerous rooms, you will see paintings done by some of the most influential artists in history, a chess set owned by Napoleon, gorgeous woodwork and items from all over the world. The structure itself is fascinating in its technology and innovation for the time. Trained docents are available at strategic points to answer any questions that you might have about the home, and you can also rent a player that will explain the home’s history to you as you go through it.

One of the best times to visit is during the holiday season, as the home is decorated to the hilt for Christmas. A huge Christmas tree sits in the grand entrance hall and you are greeted by the sounds of carolers dressed in period clothing. You can stay at an inn that has been built on the site, sample wine produced at the estate winery and sample food grown right on the property as well.

The experience requires at least a good day, or more if you have the time. There is a lot to take in with the gorgeous art, interior furnishings, indoor garden and just the house and grounds as a whole. There is no better way, though, to take a break during the holidays and unwind than at this gorgeous estate. They offer reasonable packages for couples and families, which makes it affordable to go.

Christmas at Silver Dollar City

Each year in Branson, Missouri, Silver Dollar City is home to an old fashioned Christmas experience for the entire family to enjoy. This time of year, the park opens its gates to visitors that find an enjoyable way to spend a cold winter evening. You can enter the park and stop at the ice cream shop or a local vendor wagon to get yourself a steaming cup of hot chocolate. At timed intervals throughout the evening, a huge, lighted tree in the center of the square goes off in time to various Christmas songs, illuminating the sky with blues, reds, greens and a variety of other colors. People gather in droves to watch the spectacle, framed in the other gorgeous lights that are strung throughout the park.

Another popular attraction here is the evening Christmas parade, as lighted floats and staff in costume and lights march by. Christmas music plays in time with the parade, giving everyone a feeling of holiday cheer. The train ride also goes out, decked out in holiday lights. You ride through the woods, meet a pair of ornery train robbers and listen to holiday tunes along the way. Silver Dollar City is also home to every kind of shop that you can imagine. These include: candle shops, wood carvering, blacksmith, galleries and a general store, filled with beautiful, handcrafted items to take home with you.

The park also had a variety of eating establishments to help curb your hunger. Buffets, hamburgers and Italian are just a few examples that you can choose from. Then you can catch a unique version of Dicken’s Christmas Carol, complete with all the trimmings of past times. Silver Dollar City is the perfect way to spend the holiday season, enjoying family, good times and creating memories to last a lifetime.