The 15 Best Winter Activities in North Carolina!

The holiday season is greeted with chilly weather throughout North Carolina. Whether you’re looking to get a warm belly of beer at a local brew festival or sled and ski your way through the winter season, North Carolina has you covered. Here are the 15 best ways to get the most out of your North Carolina winter.

1. Dry Falls, Highlands, NC

Dry Falls’ 80-foot waterfalls can freeze over during the winter, creating a whimsical, winter wonderland. For views straight out of Disney favorites like “Frozen,” head over to Highlands to take in this majestic sight. 

2. Stay cozy in a log cabin

Banner Elk, North Carolina, offers secluded log cabins surrounded by woods for a getaway nestled in the mountains. There is nothing quite like the views offered here, most of which you can take in from the comfort and warmth of your cabin.

3. Try out snow tubing

The Black Bear Snow Tubing slope is more than 500 feet long and is next to a heated lodge, so both tubers and non-tubers can be comfortable. And to top it all off, the high-quality snow equipment helps to produce real snow! (Not any of that synthetic stuff).

4. Winter Warmer Beer Festival, Asheville, NC

Asheville’s annual Winter Warmer Beer Festival unites dozens of breweries to showcase their best beers for the season. This is an exciting social event where guests can sip on the tastiest beers. But make sure to get your tickets in advance! They sell out fast.

5. Blue Bear Mountain Camp, Todd, NC

Blue Bear Mountain Camp accommodates campers in tents, RVs, tepees, and cabins. And with amenities like private bath houses with showers and fresh natural spring water, you can remain relatively comfortable in the wilderness.

6. Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley, NC

Cataloochee Ski Area hosts skiing and snowboarding lessons for people of all ages. Cataloochee’s motto is “where family fun begins,” and that rings true as the ski area accommodates skiers of all levels of experience.

7. Gingerbread House Competition, Asheville, NC

Each year, the Omni Grove Park Inn is home to Asheville’s National Gingerbread House Competition, providing shelter from the cold to thousands of gingerbread creations. Come out and admire these tasty creations.

8. Raleigh IcePlex, Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh IcePlex is the only Olympic-sized sheet of ice in the state, leaving plenty of room for professionals and amateurs to skate. From hockey offerings for adults and children to “Learn to Skate” programs, the Raleigh IcePlex caters to just about everyone. 

9. Blowing Rock Winterfest, Blowing Rock, NC

Feasts, fashion shows, dog shows, ice sculptures, and crafts are only some of the many festivities at the annual Blowing Rock Winterfest, all which embody the theme of the season.

10. Sledding at Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain is a hill for classic wintertime fun: sledding, music, and hot chocolate. The mountain is open for sledding daily from December through mid-March and kids under 12 get access for free! 

11. Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest, Raleigh, NC

Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest serves as a centerpiece for downtown visitors lasting two months and featuring an ice rink and live music. Thousands of people flock here each winter to experience things like a Gingerbread House competition to a visit from Santa Claus himself! 

12. Hawksnest Zip Line, Seven Devils, NC

Hawksnest’s is one of the longest zip lines in the country, giving a picturesque view of the winter landscape from above. Currently, the space features 20 lines: two of them being over 2,000 feet-long and another two of 1,500 feet! To find an unorthodox winter thrill, check out Hawksnest.

13. Travel back in time

Learn about the 18th and 19th centuries in historic Old Salem and visit the “Strangest Home in America,” Körner’s Folly. Its website invites guests to “discover the cherished traditions that have been passed down for more than 250 years.” 

14. Catch a Carolina Hurricanes game

PNC Arena is home to the Carolina Hurricanes, who have earned a dedicated fan base in the state and beyond. Catch star players like Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal in all their glory this season. 

15. Winter Beer Release and Bake Off, Hillsborough, NC

Hillsborough, North Carolina’s annual Winter Beer Release and Bake Off celebrates the return of local winter beer and hosts a bake off with a twist: all baked goods must contain winter beer.

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