The New Year's arrival in Asheville is so much fun with lots of do. Here are our Top 10 things to do, including the best New Year's Eve parties and celebrations.
1. Celebrate the Arrival of 2015: Check out these fun options to celebrate on New Year's Eve.
- Downtown Asheville: While there is no public outdoor event to welcome the new year, there will be plenty of indoor venues to celebrate - including many restaurants, clubs, pubs, live music venues, etc. If the weather is nice, the streets will be buzzing with lots of activity and fun street entertainers.
- Grove Park Inn: All of their restaurants are open. Blue Ridge Dining Room will feature the big New Year's Eve Buffet and a New Year's Day Buffet. Vue 1913 will have a New Year's Eve limited menu. Edison, craft ales + kitchen is featuring their regular menu as well as a 3-course menu. At Elaine's Dueling Piano Bar, there's a $10 cover charge. And check out the National Gingerbread House Competition™ Display.
- Inn on Biltmore Estate: Ring in the new year in style! The New Year’s Eve Gala Package included two night’s luxury accommodations in a suite, black tie gala & dinner, breakfast, admission tickets, midnight fireworks and more, from $4200. The New Year’s Eve Celebration includes two nights, breakfast, admission tickets, wine, dinner, midnight champagne toast, midnight firework and more starting at $1750.
- Harrah's Cherokee Casino will have live entertainment at multiple locations.
- Mountain Magnolia Inn: This historic inn in Hot Springs has a great New Year's Package that includes one, two nights or three nights with a special dinner for two, live entertainment, dancing and sing-along, appetizers, party favor and a sparkling toast.
- Beer Pubs: Plenty of pubs and bars to celebrate with local brews! Many are within walking distance in downtown Asheville.
- Highland Lake Inn in Hendersonville has a special celebration at Season's restaurant, $70/person includes a 3-course dinner, amuse bouche, midnight Champagne toast with music and dancing to the sounds of The Bruce Lang Trio.
- Pack’s Tavern New Year’s Eve Buffet and Countdown to 2015 in downtown Asheville with a buffet 6:30-9 PM and party until 2 AM. $50/person includes both dinner and party.
- Grove House New Year's Eve Bash with three clubs (Club Eleven, Scandals & Boiler Room) for one price. Dancing on three floors, 5 DJs, balloon drops, party favors, heavy hors d'oeuvres. Very diverse crowd since it's Asheville's largest gay / LGBT club. 8 PM-3 AM. $25/person. 11 Grove Street in downtown.
- Orange Peel: RJD2 in concert, $25/advance and $30 day of show.
- Masquerade Furball Gala: A fun benefit for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue with a music, dancing, open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and silent auction. Masks required! At "Celine & Company" in downtown Asheville. $75/person. 9 PM until 1 AM. Get tickets at www.bwar.org.
- Social Lounge & Tapas Bar: Silver & Gold Masquerade Ball, $5 cover, complimentary hor d'oeuvres and champagne toast. 29 Broadway downtown.
- Strada: Celebrate An Authentic Italian Tradition with The Feast of the Seven Fishes on New Year's Eve, 1 PM until late, $35/person. Downtown at 27 Broadway.
- The Market Place Restaurant: New Year’s Eve bash, with an amazing a la carte menu by Chef William Dissen, and live music from 5 PM–2 AM by DJ Ra Mak. Downtown at 20 Wall Street.
- Rhubarb: Farm to fork dining on Pack Square downtown with late night celebration until 1 AM with “Swig and Swagger” in R-Bar with dessert and cocktail pairings based on five classic holiday films,
- Lex 18: Reserved dining, party packages, toasts & swing dancing in an elegant, prohibition era restaurant and bar with celebrations through the night and into the New Year’s early morning hours (until 4 AM) in downtown Asheville.
- Tressa's Jazz & Blues: Great jazz club with a big New Year's Eve Bash with the Asheville All Stars on stage at 10 PM spearheaded by Ruby Mayfield & Westsound. Doors will open at 7 PM, the buffet in the upstairs lounge starts at 8 PM. Ring in 2015 with a complimentary champagne toast and balloon drop on the dance floor. 28 Broadway in downtown. More info.
- Top of the Monk: New Year's Eve - Paris in the Twenties: Ring in the New Year next to our lighted Eiffel Tower on the rooftop patio of Top of the Monk (at the popular Thirsty Monk Pub). French cocktails will be served, and French attire is encouraged, 6 PM-2 AM. Downstairs, they'll have Oskar Blues Pint Night featuring a keg of the 'Burnt Beer'd Brown Ale' collaboration beer. 92 Patton Avenue downtown
- Thirsty Monk South at Biltmore Park: 2nd Annual New Year's Pint Night and Keg Drop Celebration Look for a fantastic lineup of beers from one of Asheville's most well-known breweries and complimentary pint glasses for the festivities. Enjoy toast of Highland's Cold Mountain as the 2-story keg drops at the stroke of midnight. 2 Town Square Blvd, Asheville
- Twisted Laurel: The funk band Free Flow gets the party started with live music upstairs and Lyric R&B, funk, soul band takes over at 10 PM. $10 door fee covers a champagne toast at midnight. 8 PM-2 AM. Downtown at 130 College St.
- Asheville Restaurants: Many are open late on New Year's Eve and feature a lively bar to celebrate the New Year. Make reservations ASAP!
- Wine & Cocktails: Hang out with your sweetie at a downtown Asheville wine or cocktail bar.
- New Year's Day 5K, Resolution Run or Walk through downtown. Proceeds from both events go directly to benefit the animals (600 now) in Brother Wolf's Adoption Center and in foster care.
2. Vacation Packages: See our holiday vacation packages page for the latest deals and specials.
3. New Year’s Polar Plunge: Take the plunge into chilly water at Lake Lure and freeze for a reason – to support local charities. Read more about the Polar Plunge.
4. Winter Lights at NC Arboretum: Stroll through the wonderland in the gardens. Open both New Year's Eve and New Year's nights.
5. Pampering in Style: Get pampered in one of the fabulous bed and breakfast inns in and around Asheville. Find the perfect one for you: Asheville Large Bed & Breakfasts | Asheville Small Bed & Breakfasts . Or get away in a cozy cabin, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. See our Cabins Guide for many options.
6. Biltmore Estate: Biltmore Estate is open on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery! Restaurants are open (make dining reservations in advance). See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.
7. Get Outdoors: Start work on that New Year's resolution to lose a few pounds and get in better shape! Take a winter hike and enjoy views through with leafless trees, cool temperatures, and few fellow hikers. See our hiking guide for top picks. All trails in the National Forests are open every day. And don't forget to find some of our spectacular waterfalls (most waterfalls are open on New Years Day, including DuPont State State Forest and Gorges State Park). Area ski resorts will be open all weekend. See First Day Guided Hikes below!
8. Shop: There's plenty shopping options to find those special after holiday deals. Most locally-owned stores will be closed on New Year's Day. Browse through more than 200 shops, 30 art galleries and a dozen antique stores in Downtown Asheville. For more great local shops with unique gifts, explore the quaint downtowns of nearby Brevard, Hendersonville and Waynesville. Located across from the entrance to Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 unique shops. Explore the River Arts District. The best area in Asheville to find antiques is the Biltmore Antiques District with 13 stores within a mile and a half of the Biltmore Estate. Included is the local long-time favorite, the Antique Tobacco Barn. See our Antique Shopping Guide.
9. LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours: What a fun outing with friends and family! Take the zany tour on the big purple bus. During their newest tour, you'll meet a real fruitcake, a traveling snowman and a turkey that simply defies explanation! Make reservations in advance! Read more about LaZoom Tours.
10. Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn: For a real treat, see the amazing display of gingerbread houses from the National Gingerbread House Competition at the famous Grove Park Inn Resort. (Read about their New Year's Eve celebrations above.) Overnight guests and restaurant guests at the resort can view the display at anytime. If you're not a guest, visit on Sunday-Thursday. It's free to tour the display and see the other elaborate decorations at the grand hotel. See our Gingerbread House Competition Guide.
See our Top 50 Holidays Guide for more events!
First Day Guided Hikes
Start 2015 off with the right step! State parks across the nation are offering First Day Hikes as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and year round recreation at America's State Parks. Here are some options near Asheville in western North Carolina. State Parks are a "close to home" resource and an important part of our national fabric, enhancing our quality of life. Also see our Favorite Winter Hikes.
Gorges State Park
Join Park Superintendent Pagano at the Bearwallow Picnic Shelter at 2:30 PM for short, moderate hike to the Bearwallow Falls Overlook platform. This will be a Great location for photos and discuss the Parks many waterfalls. Free admission.
Start time: 2:30 PM at Bearwallow Picnic Shelter
Grandfather Mountain State Park
Join Ranger Sicard to hike the first mile of the Profile Trail. During the hike, participants will be using sights, sounds, and touch for a unique hiking experience. They will be out for 2.5 hours and may be off the trail. Please dress appropriately for the weather and conditions. Under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Please no pets. Please contact the office with any questions: (828) 963-9522. Free
Start time: 11:30 AM at Profile Trail Parking Lot. If Lot is closed due to weather conditions meet at Lowe's Foods parking lot (near intersection of 105 & 184).
Lake James State Park
What better way to start off the New Year than with a hike at Lake James State Park? Kick the year off on the right foot and join Park Ranger Clay Veasey as he leads a hike along the Paddy's Creek Trail in search of edible plants. Please bring appropriate clothing for the weather and be prepared to walk approximately 2 miles. Free
Start time: 10 AM at Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse Breezeway
Mount Mitchell State Park
Start the New Year with a brisk winter hike! Join a ranger for a winter walk along the Balsam Nature Trail. Total hike is approximately .75 miles. Please dress appropriately with hats, scarves, gloves, boots. Temperatures can be quite cold up here in the winter especially if the wind is howling.
Please check the park website for accessibility prior to coming, or contact the Park Office at 828-675-4611. Free
Start time: 11 AM at Summit Parking Lot
South Mountains State Park
Start the New Year with some fresh air! This hike includes the 80 ft. High Shoals waterfall. This moderate 2.75 mile hike will last approximately 1.5 hours. Please bring water, appropriate clothing and footwear. Space is limited. Please call the park office for more information and to pre-register for this hike. 828-433-4772. Free
Start time: 10 AM at Jacob Fork Parking Area
Chimney Rock State Park
Kick off 2015 with a naturalist-led hike on the Hickory Nut Falls trail, discovering what makes winter in Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park such a great time to explore. This is a moderately difficult hike. Wear good, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. Bring water and energy bars/trail mix, etc. Free with park admission.
Start time: 1 PM at Chimney Rock (top parking area)
Chimney Rock State Park
Kick off 2015 with a ranger-led hike discovering what makes winter in Chimney Rock State Park such a great time to explore. This is a moderately difficult hike. Wear good, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. Bring water and energy bars/trail mix, etc. Join a park ranger at Rumbling Bald Climbing Access and hike the Rumbling Bald Trail. This trail is 1 mile long round-trip and leads to the bottom of Rumbling Bald and the east side boulder fields. Along the way they will discuss how the park uses ecological information to reroute old trails and plan new trails. Guests from Chimney Rock attraction can catch a shuttle to Rumbling Bald at the tunnel entrance, leaving at 2:30 PM and returning at 4:30 PM. Free
Start time: 3 PM at Rumbling Bald Climbing Access area