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Week after Christmas

Tampa, Florida
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32 posts
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Week after Christmas

Our family is looking for a fun place to spend the week after Christmas. Being from Florida, we would love to see snow but don't know how realistic this is in NC. Manmade is ok. Any suggestions?

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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1. Re: Week after Christmas

You may to check the ski areas of North Carolina.

www.appskimtn.com

www.skibeech.com

www.skisugar.com

www.mountainsofnc.com

www.blowingrock.com…

N Carolina USA
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2. Re: Week after Christmas

Most of the NC Ski areas have manmade snow; however the weather can be a challenge as the average temperature can be near or above freezing. As a result, it's often icy. If you just want to see snow and not ski, then this may not be a problem. Some of the areas also offer tubing and other activities.

However, the good news is that the ski areas in western NC are in beautiful locations! Sugar Mountain near Banner Elk is the largest - there are several nice B&B's, cabins & rental homes available - Several small towns are nearby and worth a visit. The city of Boone is also the home of UNC Asheville. About an hour or so away is the larger city of Asheville -- great food, shopping and the Biltmore are there.

florida
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3. Re: Week after Christmas

I would go to Maggie Valley NC. There is the man made snow at the ski lodge. Better yet you would have a great chance to see real snow in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The higher elevations should have snow at this time.

Maggie Valley is real close to Asheville. Many small towns in the area to explore.

Try vrbo.com to get a cabin. Get one with a view and a fireplace.

NC
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4. Re: Week after Christmas

I agree with the Boone/Blowing Rock area - that's the highest elevation in the NC mtns for ski resorts and the best chance to see snow. Lots to see and do in the area as well.

One correction - UNC-Asheville is in Asheville. The university in Boone is Appalacian State University.

Edited: 24 October 2010, 13:15
Marietta, Georgia
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5. Re: Week after Christmas

I would also recommend the Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain area. Banner Elk is between Sugar and Beech. We prefer Beech Mountain...I think it has more of a ski resort feel than Sugar.

Natural snow is hit or miss; I would estimate the chance of seeing snow on the ground at least once for that week at 50%.

Charlotte, North...
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for North Carolina
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6. Re: Week after Christmas

Yes, there's no guarantee, but you are much more likely to find snow in the Northern NC mountains (ski resorts that queeni_traveler and Art622 listed) near Boone and Blowing Rock, than in the southern NC mountains. Maggie Valley (in southern NC mountains)averages 12.2 inches of snowfall per year, and Sugar Mt./Banner Elk ski areas near Boone/Blowing Rock average close to 80 inches natural snowfall per year; last year the area had over 100 inches of snowfall. Hand in hand with more snowfall are also much colder temperatures which enable ski resorts in Northern NC mountains to make man-made snow much more often and successfully than areas further south. Unless we have a freak warm spell around the Christmas holidays, there will be at minimum, a good amount of man-made snow at those above listed Northern NC ski resorts; Christmas/New Years are a big weeks for the northern NC ski resorts. Yes, there have been a few very warm Christmas' when the northern NC mountians didn't have any any snow (natural or man-made) in my almost 50 year life, but not many.

Also, to assist in correcting errors on this topic, as Bud stated Appalachian State University, a national ranked Master's level University of nearly 17,000 students is in Boone, NC. UNC-Asheville is in Asheville, NC and is a small, 3700 student, liberal arts college. Asheville, NC is a 2 HOUR drive south of Boone, NC, and their climates differ from each other.

There are also plenty of great restaurants, arts, shopping, etc. in the Boone/Blowing Rock area.

florida
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7. Re: Week after Christmas

If you have children Blowing Rock/Boone/Sugar Mt. are not places you want to visit in the dead of winter, in my opinion. It is 10 degrees colder than Maggie Valley at that time of year.

The Great Smokey Mountains are 30 minutes from Maggie Valley. You will see snow there in higher elevations at Christmas. You also have Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Tenn. 70 minutes away. Tons of stuff there for you and the kiddos to do. Asheville is only 30 minutes away with great restaurants and things to do. Maggie Valley is close to hundreds of waterfalls and many small towns to explore.

Charlotte, North...
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for North Carolina
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8. Re: Week after Christmas

The 10 degree temperature difference is what makes the Northern NC mountains the only place in NC for reliable snow conditions. People who flock there during the winter are there because of the colder temperatures and snow....a large number of them are from Florida.

Even friends of ours who live in Asheville go to Boone and Banner Elk for snow.

For the recommendation for snow in GSMNP...... Please check out GSMNP own website which states "winter in the Smokies is generally moderate....." it also gives average snowfall for the highest GSMNP elevations in December as only 8 inches. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/weather.htm

About Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge....please research. This area is the worst "tourist trap" area in all the NC/TN mountains.....not an area my family enjoyed at all.

I have nothing against Asheville and Maggie Valley, I like those areas and enjoy spending time there; I also love the GSMNP in summer and fall for hiking; and the Biltmore House in Asheville is a beautiful place to visit at Christmas with all it's gorgeous decorations; however this area is not the place to go if you are looking for a winter Snow vacation.

There are plenty of nice, family friendly things to do in the northern NC mountains, plus usually cold enough temperatures for snow.

I write from first hand experience, I spent 5 winters in Boone.....Boone and the surrounding area where the ski resorts are located usually had some snow on the ground from late November through early March.....it's a great place to visit for a winter-wonderland snow vacation; as it's fun to bundle up and go outside and play in the snow on a vacation, ...but gets old living that way 4 months each year.... I never want to live long-term in that climate again!.lol.

To try to put this choice into perspective, IMHO going to Asheville/Maggie Valley area instead Boone/Blowing Rock area for snow would be like someone wanting to go to Florida to snorkel coral reefs and deciding to go to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon's little man-made reef snorkel pool, instead of going to the live reefs offshore the Florida Keys.

florida
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9. Re: Week after Christmas

It takes one day to see and enjoy snow in North Carolina. I doubt the original poster would find much to do in the Blowing Rock/Boone area the other 6 days when it is 35 degrees out and the wind blowing. Give me a break. The kids would be bored after the first day there in the winter.

Maggie Valley/Asheville/ GSMNP have tons more to offer. Lets let the original poster decide!

Charlotte, North...
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for North Carolina
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10. Re: Week after Christmas

I've yet to met the kid who thinks one day in snow is enough; especially kids from Florida. Back when I was a student at ASU in Boone, the kids from Florida would skip class and stay up all night for days to play in the season's first snow and snows thereafter....building snowmen, sledding hills in town, throwing snowballs, etc.. They weren't bored, they were fascinated and having a great time. Yeah, I've never heard of kids being bored with snow after one day......this would be the exception, not the norm.

I've tried to be helpful on this topic and not make the decision of what this OP is really wanting. Having lived my entire life in North Carolina, I've visited all areas of the state, not just one. It's a great state, there's much to enjoy, all seasons of the year. In addition to my opinions, I've given facts and recommended that the OP do research to determine if ideas suggested would be what their family would enjoy.....that's what TA is about.

Winter snow season is big business in the Northern NC mountains; many people return for their winter/Christmas vacation year after year. The area is full of people and things to do in the "dead of winter". Even if you don't wish to snow ski, (if you do wish to ski, there are great "ski schools" at every ski resort) there are a number of great ways to enjoy the snow, and also other fun activities which keep families entertained for a week or more. There are ice skating rinks, tubing runs, sledding hills, even open areas for building snowmen and/or having a good old snowball fight! Other sites and activities which are main attractions during other times of the year are still open and able to be enjoyed too. Here's a few... Grandfather Mountain is a great place to spend the day: http://www.grandfather.com/ Gem mining is something our family has enjoyed: http://www.facetsoffoscoe.com/ And the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis is best (IMHO) during the winter months when they have the old wood stove heating up the place. vallecrucis.com/sites-to-see/… My kids enjoy a visit to the Mast General Store year after year. If the snow is only on the ski slopes, there are many wonderful hiking trails and waterfalls to see in the area. The towns of Boone and Blowing Rock offer cute unique shops and great places to eat. A family would find just as much (if not more) to enjoy in the Northern NC mountains, as in the southern NC mountains...in addition, they would most likely find snow, which is what they asked about in the first place. :)

Best Wishes to all and with whatever vacations you take.