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By annaheekang
January 19, 2016
Biltmore House was once the largest private home in the U.S.
Biltmore House was once the largest private home in the U.S.
Alamy

See the 2016 Travel Calendar at a Glance

Why now
The distant peaks might be dusted with snow, but January in Asheville is relatively mild, with highs reaching the 50s and 60s. It’s perfect weather for gallery hopping, not to mention restaurant sampling. Asheville Restaurant Week is Jan. 19 to 28,when more than 30 standout eateries offer discounted prix-fixe menus: $15 for a two-course lunch and $30 for a three-course dinner.
Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest
Getty Images
What to do
Walk off the post-holiday blues with a hike around Looking Glass Falls, packed in summer but arguably more impressive come winter. When the edges of the 60-foot waterfall freeze, the rock takes on the mirrorlike quality that gave the natural beauty its name. Finish the outing with a steaming hot cocoa at French Broad Chocolates, named one of the best hot chocolates in the country by Travel + Leisure ($4.50). Biltmore House, once the largest private home in America, is also easier to tour without the summertime crowds. Highlights include the Winter Garden and the tropical Palm House, located in the heated, 7,000-square-foot conservatory, ($60 entrance fee).
How to save
Rooms at the Biltmore’s brand-new Village Hotel start at $129 a night this month but jump to $225 a night come summer. If you’d rather be within walking distance of Asheville’s downtown microbreweries, quirky coffee shops, and galleries, opt for the all-suites Windsor Boutique Hotel (rooms start at $299 this time of year, down from $389 in high season).
Local's tip
The parkland around the city houses a notably diverse ecosystem. It’s also home to the Center for Honeybee Research. Try a free tasting at the Asheville Bee Charmer.

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