Winter Excitement in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Winter Excitement in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Many make the mistake of thinking there is nothing to see and do during the winter in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but they are so wrong!   There are lots of things to see and do, and many of the activities are unique to winter, and of course snow!

Winter months are a great time to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains due to the better better views, reduced costs, and there being far less people here.  Winter here in the Blue Ridge is a great time for a quick weekend getaway or an even longer vacation getaway.

Winter in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers SO much to see and do, including:

See the sections below for more detail on each one these fun Winter activities!

Our Top Guides for Winter Excitement!

Winter Blue Ridge Mountains

Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Christmas at Biltmore

Photo provided by The Biltmore Company

Icy and Frozen Waterfalls

Winter is a wonderful and often amazing time to visit Blue Ridge Mountain Waterfalls, for a couple of reasons:

  • Foliage is gone, so you have better views and easier access to waterfalls
  • Less crowds
  • During colder spells, waterfalls often partially or fully freeze over
Frozen Courthouse Falls

Our waterfall guides below will help you find the perfect winter fall to visit.  We have complete guides to more than 40 waterfalls, we have personally visited and photographed.

Winter Hiking

One of the best ways to see the beauty of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains is to get out there in them, even in the winter!  In fact, hiking during the winter provides views you don't normally get to see.  Hiking in the snow is not only beautiful, but incredibly peaceful and serene as well.   

We're avid hikers, and enjoy getting out on the trail as often as we can, even in the winter.  We have complete guides for every single trail we've hiked, on our Hiking Trails Page and for the top winter hikes, you can visit our Top Winter Hiking Trails Guide.

We also have guides for waterfall trails, scenic views, and they are organized by difficulty (easy to hard).  So pack up the hiking essentials, dress warm and in layers, and pick the perfect winter hike for you!

Skiing and Snow Tubing

Some of the best skiing in the US, and certainly in the East Coast is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  There are more than 10 different resorts, offering lots of trails, great views, snow tubing, ice skating, snow mobiles, and much more.

Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, TN

Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, TN

Scenic Drives

Scenic drives, during the winter months, when foliage is long gone from the trees, can offer some of the most spectacular views available.   You'll also get unique opportunities to see snow, ice formations, and hoar frost (water vapor that is quickly frozen on vegetation).

The Blue Ridge Parkway is of course the ultimate scenic drive, but many portions of it are often closed during the winter.

There are also numerous other scenic drives all through the states of Virgina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee that offer beautiful views and relaxing drives.  Two of our favorites are Highway 215 and Highway 276 in North Carolina.


Biltmore is an incredible place to visit and stay at all times during the year, but even during the winter.  Seeing Biltmore's grounds and home covered in snow is a real treat, especially when decorated for Christmas during November and December.

Winter at Biltmore

Photo provided by The Biltmore Company

While anytime during the winter is a great time to visit Biltmore, Biltmore during Christmas is magical, especially during one of the Candlelight Christmas Evenings.  Biltmore house and much of the estate is decorated for Christmas, with trees, wreaths, lights, and more.

Christmas at Biltmore

Photo provided by The Biltmore Company

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

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