There are so many great events and happenings for Thanksgiving in Asheville! Here are some great things to do and places to go to get the most out of this Holiday season!
The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend (November 22-25, 2018) in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains is a feast of fun. Here are our top things to do. Of course, eating is number one!
Thanksgiving Day (Nov 22, 2018) Restaurants & Buffets
While many Asheville area restaurants are closed, there are still many great local choices for a brunch, lunch or dinner on Turkey Day. Click on the names to go to their websites. Prices & hours often change a little, so check with the restaurant.
- Biltmore Estate Restaurants. Requires estate admission ticket or 12-month pass to dine.
- Deerpark 11 AM-5 PM: Extravagant Thanksgiving buffet, $56/adult, $19/youth 10-16, reservations required (and books up fastest).
- Bistro (at Winery) 11:30 AM-9 PM: Gourmet three-course prix fixe menu, $55/person.
- Stable Café (by House) 11 AM-4 PM: Menu with most popular lunch items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Phone: 828-225-6370.
- Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village) 11 AM-9 PM: Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course menu $40/adult. Phone: 828-225-1320.
- Go to the Biltmore Website for online reservations.
- Grand Bohemian Hotel: (Biltmore Village) Two choices: The Red Stag Grill presents an elegant, four-course a la carte menu, 11:30 AM-9 PM, $79 adult & $25/children 2-12. The grand Kessler Ballroom has an elegant buffet, reservations times 12-3 PM, $70/adult & $25/children. They will book up several weeks in advance. Call 828-398-5600.
- Roux: (South Asheville) Traditional Thanksgiving buffet including delicious selections of roasted all-natural NC turkey with orange-cranberry relish, baked ham with maple-bourbon glaze. 1–7 PM. Adults $38/person, $17/child 12 and under. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations at 828-209-2715.
- DoubleTree Hotel's Thanksgiving Buffet features seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Biltmore Village. 1:30-6 PM. Adults $42; Children $16 (12 & under). Reservations at 828-274-1800
- The Blackbird: Modern Southern 3-course menu at $65/adult, $15/children under 12, 11 AM-8 PM, downtown.
- The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, plated meal with seatings at 11:30, 2 and 4:30 PM. Reservations required. $49.95/adults, $20/children.
- Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, downtown, 3-course prix fixe menu $50/person with choice of heritage breed turkey, beef, pork or fish. They serve 2-7 PM and the bar will be open until midnight. Reservations only so book early 828-505-8560.
- Isa’s Bistro, 12-5 PM, 3-course prix fixe menu $55, downtown.
- Strada Italiano, 11 AM-8 PM, Italian family recipes a la carte, reservations and walk-ins. Social Lounge next door open 3 PM-Midnight, downtown
- Carmels, a la carte Southern-inspired menu, Grove Arcade downtown, 12 Noon-8 PM
- Pack's Tavern, Thanksgiving Buffet upstairs and downstairs with turkey, ham, trimmings and plenty of beer choices. Located on Pack Square Park downtown, 11 AM-8 PM. $37.99/adults, $17.99/children under 12. Good option for large groups. Reservations and walk-ins welcome. Call 828-225-6944.
- Cornerstone (102 Tunnel Road, Asheville). They will have several specials with a choice of sides. 7:30 AM-9 PM. No reservations accepted.
Get Outdoors: Take a late fall hike and enjoy views through with leafless trees, cool temperatures, and few fellow hikers. See our hiking guide for top picks. All trails and waterfalls in the National Forests and Parks are open every day.
National Parks: Both Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smokies is open on Thanksgiving Day.
We have some ideas whether you’re spending the weekend alone, hosting family and friends or landing in town for a quick getaway.
On Thanksgiving Day
Watch a movie. It’s a tradition for many to ease into a movie theater chair and watch a new flick on Thanksgiving. This might be a fun year to try out a smaller theater such as the Fine Arts Theatre or Grail Moviehouse, both in downtown Asheville, or a $3 movie at Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Merrimon Avenue (it’s closed on Thanksgiving Day, but showing movies throughout the weekend).
Delight in the lights.Winter Lights at the N.C. Arboretum will be open every night, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, through Dec. 31 from 6-10 p.m. You’ll need to buy tickets online — they aren't available at the gate. You also have to select a specific entry time. Once inside, enjoy more than half a million lights and delightful displays.
On Black Friday
Go shopping. The day after Thanksgiving becomes a frenzy at big box stores with Black Friday specials, but it’s more meaningful and fun to buy unique items from local artists and craftspeople. Spend some time strolling around the galleries and unique shops in downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and in the River Arts District.
Watch crafters in action. Stop in at the Folk Art Center at Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see demonstrations Nov. 23-26 featuring Michael Hughey’s calligraphy and broom making by Marlow Gates. The Folk Art Center features jewelry, pottery, woven items, paintings and other items crafted by members of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. It’s closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Over the Weekend
Get outdoors. Lace up your hiking boots and make it a point to check out a new trail. There’s certainly an abundance of choices — from the Urban Trail in downtown Asheville to the loop trail around Beaver Lake in North Asheville to more strenuous adventures on the Blue Ridge Parkway. One word of advice: check out the Parkway Closure Map before heading out (bit.ly/2iMnSWt). You can also head down I-40 toward Old Fort and hike to the popular 100-foot Catawba Falls. It’s 3 miles roundtrip and moderate.
Find the perfect tree. North Carolina’s High Country is ripe with Christmas tree farms. It’s a fun family tradition to start or continue as you choose and cut your own tree. Make a plan before you go and check out the list of tree farms at http://www.ncchristmastrees.com/. While in the area, consider a stop at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock for its Christmas event. It will be open from 5-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s a chance to meet with Santa in his own gingerbread house, take a train ride, listen to carols and gaze and thousands of Christmas lights.
Take a ride on the Polar Express. The kids will love taking a magical journey to the North Pole. In reality, they will never leave North Carolina. Riders on the Polar Express leave from and return to the Bryson City Depot on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. It’s an hour-and-fifteen-minute trip and includes a visit from Santa and a special gift for each child — their very own silver sleigh bell. Check pricing at https://www.gsmr.com/.
Asheville welcomes you for the Thanksgiving holiday! It's an exciting time to be in town as many of Asheville's favorite holiday traditions have begun.
If you'll be here in the mountains on Thanksgiving Day, you may be asking, "Where can I have a Thanksgiving meal in Asheville?"
We have worked with the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and others to help answer that question for you with this list of local eateries that will be open on Thanksgiving Day.
As with any holiday, we highly recommend calling the restaurant before finalizing your plans to check availability, menus and whether reservations are required. Click on the name of the restaurant for contact information.
Asheville Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2018):
- Crown Plaza Resort: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Doubletree Biltmore Hotel Ducker Tea Room: 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Deerpark Restaurant (Biltmore): 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Requires estate admission)
- Grand Bohemian Hotel: Noon – 3:00 p.m. (Seatings at noon, 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
- Pack’s Tavern: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Roux: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Writer’s Bistro: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- The Inn on Biltmore: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Requires estate admission)
Enjoy multi-course meals crafted especially for the Thanksgiving holiday. Reservations are required and seats are limited so call ahead.
- The Blackbird: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Butcher Bar Black Mountain: Two seating times: 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Isa’s Bistro: Noon – 5:00 p.m.
- Post 25: Noon – 9:00 p.m.
- Red Stag Grill: 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro: Waiting list and first come/first served seating at the bar still available.
SPECIAL THANKSGIVING MENUS
Enjoy your choice of traditional Thanksgiving favorites or items from the regular menu. You may want to call ahead to see if reservations are available.
- Carmels Kitchen & Bar: Noon – 8:00 p.m.
- Cedric’s Tavern (Biltmore): 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Requires estate admission)
- Cornerstone: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- J&S Cafeteria: 11:00 am – 8:00 p.m.
- Moose Café: 10:30 – 4:00 p.m.
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse: 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Strada Italiano: 11:00 am – 8:00 p.m.
Here are other places that plan to be open serving regular menu items, breakfast, desserts, cocktails, or late night eats.
- Aux Bar: Noon – 2:00 a.m.
- The Bier Garden: 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
- Biscuit Head, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Brasilia Churrasco Steakhouse: 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Capella on 9: 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
- Glass Onion: 1 – 6:45 p.m.
- Hemingways’ Cuba: 4:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- Little Jumbo: 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- Old Europe Pastries: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Sovereign Remedies: 8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
- Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts: 8:00 a.m. – Noon