Who’s ready to forget about 2020 and celebrate the holidays? We are!!! And, we hope you are too. With so many people shopping online, local businesses have been left scrambling to make ends meet. Well, we are here to encourage and remind all of you to think outside the Amazon box and find those more unique gifts and experiences found right here in Asheville, NC. That’s right, we want you to get out there, with your mask on and shop the local retail stores, restaurants, and attractions because we want you to honor Small Business Saturday all month long!
Online Gift Ideas
Ready to practice gift-giving in a safe, easy manner? Restaurant gift cards always put a smile on someone’s face and are readily available on the popular Asheville Strong website for those of you determined to buy online. Or, stick with the trend of purchasing gift cards for experiences such as a tour, spa, or outdoor fun – most businesses offer them online as well.
However you decide to shop this holiday season, we highly encourage you to shop for LOCAL gifts to give to your family, sweetheart, friends, and children. So, here is our annual 2020 Local Holiday Gift Guide where you will find all those exclusive ideas to serve as a reminder to seek out those extra thoughtful gifts.
Plēb Urban Winery
The River Arts District has been the home of Plēb Urban Winery for over 2 years, bringing Asheville delicious small batch craft wine made with grapes sourced from our surrounding mountains. Plēb believes in balance and limits their use of certain modern winemaking tools, resulting in transparent quality wine. This year, be sure to gift the wine connoisseur on your holiday list some of their one of kind wine, a visit to their winery or perhaps a membership to their wine club!
High Climate Tea Company
2020 has got us all thinking more about our health. Thankfully, there is a tea shop and lounge right here in downtown Asheville bringing us personally sourced, naturally grown, traditional Chinese tea and everything you need to brew at home. High Climate Tea offers loose leaf tea, teaware and ceramics. You can also gift a tea flight tasting for the new tea drinker in your life.
Ware AVL has gifts to thrive by. This sustainable lifestyle store carries ethical, low-waste products for humans and homes. We are adding their products to our own wishlists for sure! This year, we recommend giving the gift of a perfect morning ritual with these useful products from Ware. Since many more of us are making our tea and coffee at home, why not do it in a sustainable low-waste style?
Duncan & York Modern Market
Looking for those especially unusual gifts for your children, girlfriends, and family members? Look no further than Duncan & York Modern Market. One of our favorite stores in downtown Asheville, this adorable little shop offers items you didn’t even know existed. Everything from baby + toddler favorites to specialized cards, local-made stocking stuffer goods, jewelry, and specialty items. Not sure what you’re looking for? We guarantee you’ll find it at Duncan & York.
Moonlight Makers 🌙
In 2020, we could all benefit from a giant dose of puns with a side of hilarious! Not familiar with Moonlight Makers? Well, you should be. Welcome to Asheville’s most creative, witty, and punniest t-shirt screen print shop in all of North Carolina. These two ladies have been making people laugh with their super unique puns since 2015. Shop the Moonlight Makers shop in downtown Asheville or on Amazon for everything from screen printed masks, t-shirts of all shapes & sizes, and other stocking stuffer goods. You can even have them screen print something special just for that extraordinary person in your life.
Not up for the downtown Asheville crowds? Head north to Weaverville where the parking is effortless, the crowds are minimal and the art + jewelry galleries are astonishing! We recommend Miya Gallery right in the heart of Main Street, Weaverville. Miya Gallery offers a wide range of assortment exclusive jewelry, one of a kind designs, and mindblowing style. Miya also carries other local artwork only found in Weaverville.
Hummingbird Candle Company
New to Asheville this year, you can now get the full candle-making experience right here at Hummingbird Candle Company. What is this cute candle store all about? At Hummingbird Candle Co., you can book a girl’s night out, a family night out, or even a sweetheart date night to enjoy and appreciate the candle-making process followed by taking home your own magical creations.
Are you just wanting to shop? You can do that, too! At Hummingbird, you will find lovely candles, diffusers, and fragrant room sprays for your gift-giving this year. But, most of all, shopping at Hummingbird Candle Co., means you’re supporting a North Carolina grown business, women supporting women through self-care and community. And, they have Gift Certificates, too! A great gift for young girls.
North Carolina Arboretum
One of our favorite gifts to give this holiday season is an experience or a membership to the very important North Carolina Arboretum. The arboretum is a fascinating botanical experience and a great place to escape the everyday mundane stress. Not only are you there to learn about the outdoor beauty that surrounds us here in Western North Carolina, your supporting great efforts for education and conservation of our forests and how we can save and nurture them. Need a gift for someone local to Asheville? We suggest surprising them an annual membership to the NC Arboretum.
Don’t forget about the incredible Winter Lights! This year drive-thru the Winter Lights enchanted forest happening at the NC Arboretum November 20, 2020 – January 10, 2021. Due to 2020 safety protocols in place, the NC Arboretum is going the extra mile converting their walkable annual Winter Lights to be viewable from the comfort of your vehicle.
Go drive the 1-mile of festive lights with your friends and family in a safe environment. As you cruise through the magnificent artistic effects, notice how these incredible light displays enhance the botanical features of the gardens.
Please Note! YOU MUST PURCHASE TICKETS IN ADVANCE. Open 5:30pm – 10:30pm. Gates close at 10 pm. Here is the link for tickets.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm
As we are all aware, 2020 has taken its toll on so many different industries, one of them being our local farms. We think local farm gifts are extra special for anyone far and or near Asheville. Meat + farm products from everyone’s favorite farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm means not only are you supporting our local farmers and their productions, but you’re also giving the gift of clean, healthy nutritious food.
Hickory Nut Gap continues to raise the bar on meat quality, flavor, and overall healthiness. Our 100% grass-fed beef and heritage breed, pasture-raised pork products will make unforgettable holiday gifts for that special chef or meat lover in your life. HNG Farm offers direct shipping on gift items as well as a convenient curbside pickup in a safe and friendly environment at their local farm in Fairview, NC.
Wake Foot Sanctuary
Who isn’t a gift to Wake Foot Sanctuary perfect for? A busy mom, a co-worker, newly-wed, a couple who hasn’t been on a date in a while. Whoever you are shopping for, we guarantee a pampering at Wake will bring a smile to their face. Our favorite part of this spa is how you can just soak your feet or go all out and get a soak and massage. You can also enjoy tea or champagne, cookies or chocolate. Read all about our recent experience here. Not sure what experience would be best? A gift card will let them decide!
Asheville Salt Cave
Feeling a little salty this year? Aren’t we all! There’s a remedy for that right here in Asheville at Asheville Salt Cave. What’s so great about a salt cave? Deep relaxation, health benefits from pink Himalayan salt, zero gravity chairs, and meditation. The Asheville Salt Cave is one of the most rejuvenating, uniquely refreshing experiences you will find anywhere. This micro-climate has been carefully maintained to its most natural state giving your maximum exposure to all the vitally important minerals for your body.
As you sit in this calming, state of the art cave, you’re breathing in and soaking up all of its fine qualities freeing you of aches, stress, and plain ole ickiness. The health benefits of visiting a salt cave on a regular basis range from assisting with migraines, skin, and lung issues. We recommend gifting this extra-special spa adventure that anyone would love!
Gift that special someone a basket of salty products, many of them locally handmade, along with a gift certificate for a unique experience at Asheville Salt Cave. Services range from salt cave sessions and hammam steam room sessions, to massage therapy, couples massages, and hot salt stone massages.
Old Europe Pastry Café
Who doesn’t love traditional old-style European desserts & pastry? Having been a sweet staple in downtown Asheville for over 25 years, Old Europe Pastry Café continues to be our favorite bakery for everything delicious. Offering a huge variety of cakes, Linzer, tarts, eclairs, truffles, tiramisu, macaroons, the list goes on and on… Old Europe Café is perfect for catering that holiday party or surprising family on Christmas Day with that decadent dessert. Wanting to sweeten up date night? We recommend stopping in for coffee and a slice of pure bliss post-dinner in downtown Asheville.
Since 2015, a local distillery has been crafting award-winning spirits and taking them one step further. Formerly H&H Distillery, Cultivated Cocktails Distillery blends legacy with innovation, art with science. They age their spirits with care, choice oaks and unique flavors. They work with the highest quality ingredients to produce spirits that are sought after across the United States. They bring a modern twist to a vintage art form.
What they also have is an amazing store with a cocktail menu, take-home cocktail kits and every accessory and ingredient the bartender in your life could ever need. Be sure to explore their online store or their storefront to get all the things you need to serve up a cocktail you’ll guests will never forget.
Raise a glass to health and bees with this locally made, handcrafted sparkling probiotic drink! Shanti Elixirs is Jun, a sparkling probiotic drink made with green tea and honey. Whether shopping for an existing Shanti fan or a health conscious foodie, Shanti has DIY brew kits and curated gift sets to make your holiday shopping easy and fun!
Wehrloom Honey + Asheville Meadery
Have you heard the buzz? Asheville has a new honey maker and meadery producer located right here on the South Slope downtown Asheville! Located directly behind the Greenman Mansion, Wehrloom Honey is serving up delicious mead in all kinds of unique flavors. Not familiar with mead? Wehrloom Honey Mead is cultivated from their own line of special honey’s which are then fermented into alcoholic beverages along with various fruits + spices. You will find that not only are you able to go sip and mingle in their adorable little nook, but you can also shop their full line of natural skincare products, Wehrloom honey flavors, and other fun items.
Bebette’s: A New Orleans Coffeehouse
Located in Grove Arcade you can find a one of a kind New Orleans inspired coffee shop serving up made to order beignets, sandwiches and delicious coffee and tea lattes. A gift card to Bebette’s is sure to leave a smile on anyone’s face!
Previously a mobile boutique, Hazel Twenty opened their downtown Asheville location in 2018 and offers more than just clothes. They are a true lifestyle boutique with everything from undergarments to lighting fixtures and furniture. Lexi and her team are more than happy to help you pick out the perfect gift for the trendsetter on your list. And don’t forget, Maise Twenty is right downstairs offering children’s clothes for the littles on your list.
New to Asheville, Grind is combining coffee with business and comfort in a community gathering place in the River Arts District where sophistication meets soul. They have an exciting event calendar offering eats from The Rhu, live music, and more. They have fun swag available for purchase online and gift cards for coffee lovers!
If there is one thing we have learned during 2020, it is the value local businesses bring to our communities. Located in West Asheville, Bagatelle Books is a local, independent bookstore specializing in used and rare books. If you have been searching for that extra special gift, you may just find it here! Not to mention, they are adjoined with a café and a florist. It’s a true one-stop-shop!
Looking to impress that wine lover in your life? Look no further than Bottle Riot Wine Bar where you will find bottles of wine made from minimal intervention, sustainable productions, natural wines, female winemaker vintages and difficult to find European brewed beers. Purchase a bottle(s) of wine or simply a gift card to allow that person to go enjoy the full rustic yet sumptuous experience for themselves. Located in the Wedge Brewing building in the popular River Arts District, Bottle Riot continues to push the limits of what it means to have an edgy spirit combined with top-shelf wines which are perfect for that deeply romantic date night.
Baked Pie Company
No matter what side of town you live on, a trip to Baked Pie Company should be on everyone’s dessert bucket list. With new pies being added each week, the list of pies is extensive and filled with traditional pie flavors mixed with delicious unique flavors. We recommend enjoying a pie flight to help you nail down your favorites. It’s a chore, but hey, someone has to do it, right? Whether you choose to give a cream-filled pie or a baked crust pie, surprising your neighbor or family this holiday season will take you to the top of everyone’s nice list. With two locations serving Asheville, you can easily cross this gift off your list!
Ben Greene-Colonnese Fine Art Glass
Upgrade that bottle of wine gift with handblown wine glasses! Ben Greene-Colonnese is a highly-skilled glass artist who designs and creates rich, multicolored whisky tumblers and stemless wine glasses that are radiant in color and fun for sipping your favorite drink. Always a unique addition to anyone’s eclectic drinkware and kitchen collection, these gorgeous glasses are the perfect addition to that bottle of wine or whisky gift this holiday season. Shop Ben Greene on Etsy (with free shipping) or to schedule a visit to his studio by appointment in Candler. Email [email protected] or (910-489-4099)
Navitat Canopy Adventures
Want to be the trendiest gift giver ever? Surprise your family and friends with a gift card for the fastest local experience of our time! We love Navitat because they offer such a fascinating way of bringing the forests into our hearts. Not only will you experience the most incredible zip lining fun ever, but you’ll also learn to appreciate the living trees that surround us every day that are so vital to our existence.
Everyone should swing through the trees with Navitat at least once in their lifetime so we love the idea of gifting Navitat gift cards this year! They’re easy to purchase and easy to give. Guaranteed to bring thrills to someone’s 2021.
Honey + The Hive
Honey & the Hive is our local bee boutique and beekeeping store locating in Weaverville offering a wide variety of quality beekeeping equipment, Southern Appalachian honey and beeswax, handmade jewelry, candles, salves and so much more! They have great gifts for beekeepers, honey lovers and everyone in between.
Serotonin Ferments lovingly crafts probiotic-rich + delicious food. With long fermentation, each small batch truly enhances the flavor and health of local organic produce. What a perfect explosion of flavor for your favorite foodie or health-conscious eater.
South Slope Cheese
Pass us the cheese, please! With no shortage of local cheeses produced here in the South, there’s no better place to pick through massive amounts of artisan dairy products than South Slope Cheese Co. Searching for that easy, convenient one-stop-shop for the wine and cheese lover in your life? South Slope Cheese offers multiple categories of cheese; everything from hard cheeses, blue cheeses, soft, vegan, goat or cow, and sheep, they have it all! And the majority of them come from our southern region.
But, before you dash out of the shop, Emily and Kurt will recommend the perfect bottle of wine to pair your cheese gift. And, don’t forget this little cheese shop is perfect to find all your choice entertaining hors d’oeuvre favorites.
Hominy Farm is a local, sustainable homestead and bread bakery focused on wood fired sourdough breads, local ingredients and nutritionally abundant cuisine. Not only are their grains locally sourced and milled, but they also use natural leavening techniques and aspire to inspire the next generation of healthy eater and home bakers.
Rustic Grape Virtual Wine Tastings
Fox N Otter Adventure Escapes
Put your thinking caps on, ya’ll! Fox-N-Otter Adventure Escapes is the ideal outing for our times. Rated number one on Trip Advisor’s ‘things-to-do’ list and a new, second location that is bigger and better than the first, Fox-N-Otter offers an exciting, fresh way for the whole family to get out and make memories together. You’ll also find out who is the fox and the otter of the family. Which one are you? Find out by making reservations for your next adventure escape or give the gift of fun to your favorite family. Maybe your neighbors need a day escape experience? Surprise them with an entertaining trip to Fox-N-Otter!
Bodega on Broadway
Need an easy, convenient one-stop-shop for all things local? At Bodega on Broadway, you will discover great stocking stuffers, gift basket goodies, wine, beer and so much more! And while you’re there, grab yourself a café lunch or South Slope Coffee to-go!
Here are Even More Great Ideas…
Think we’re done inspiring your holiday gift ideas? Nope. Check out these great places:
Mr. K’s Used Bookstore
blu29 Denim & Decor
LaZoom Comedy Tours
Palm + Pine
Asheville Wellness Tours
Black Mountain Cider + Mead
Asheville Fly Fishing Company
Asheville Hot Air Balloon Tours
Black Dome Mountain Sports
Old World Levain (OWL) Bakery
Woolworth Art Walk
Crave Dessert Bar
Now that you have all the ideas, get out there and shop safely, with masks on and support LOCAL businesses!!!
💕Love, Asheville Date Night Guide