Christmas tree farms offer choose, cut, stay packages
Posted November 16, 2016
Updated November 17, 2016
North Carolina is the second largest producer of Christmas trees in the United States - a fact that won't surprise many people who've drive around parts of western North Carolina.
And those country roads are getting more traffic about now as people from across the southeast travel there to choose and cut their own Christmas tree. Farms across western North Carolina open up to the public and feature not just acres of Christmas trees, but opportunities to meet with Santa, sip some hot chocolate and take part in other seasonal activities. Many team up with local hotels and bed and breakfasts for overnight packages.
I've written about these before, but thought I'd update the list as I know these Christmas tree trips are popular with so many families around here. I'll share Christmas tree farms closer to home next week.
Here are farms and hotels offering packages this year. Share in the comments if your favorite isn't on the list.
Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farm
A 130-acre tract includes hiking trails, a stocked trout stream, a Fraser fir farm and seven hand-hewed log cabins that date back 150 to 200 years and sleep two to 10 people. The Cataloochee Ski Area is nearby.
Tom Sawyer Tree Farm
Lake Glenville (near Highlands)
At Tom Sawyer Tree Farm, you can pick your own tree, explore the elf village, meet and greet with Santa, take a horse drawn carriage ride and stop at a post office for the children to mail letters to Santa. Four local hotels are offering "tree farm and elf village" overnight packages.
RRR Laurel Knob Tree Farm
Just north of Boone, RRR operates two separate tree farms where tractor-pulled wagons carry shoppers across the fields to pick out the perfect Fraser fir. The chosen tree is tagged, and then the buyer can cut it himself or have someone from the farm do the honors. Overnight visitors can also choose from a variety of lodging packages, which include a voucher for a tree up to 7 feet tall.
Sugar Plum Farms
A hayride to the fields, Fraser firs, ducks and dogs, visits from Santa and more are part of the experience at Sugar Plum Farms. The list of accommodation partners for choose-and-cut packages include the Vance Toe River Lodge (less than 2½ miles away) and the Pine Bridge Inn in Spruce Pine (it occupies a former schoolhouse).
The inn offers a package that includes a 7-foot tree from Circle C Tree Farms, free breakfast and cocoa and cookies on arrival.
And, in Boone, nine local hotels and inns are offering stay and cut packages at various farms. Watauga County Tourism Development Authority has a handy website with links to all of the hotels and the tree farms in the area.