The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend in Asheville is so much fun with lots of do. Here are our Top 10 things to do. Of course, eating is number one!
1. Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2012) Asheville Restaurants: While many restaurants are closed, there are still many great choices for a Thanksgiving brunch, lunch or dinner. Click on the names to go to their web sites.
Biltmore Estate Restaurants
Requires estate admission ticket or 12-month pass to dine. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.
• Deerpark 11 AM-4 PM: Special Thanksgiving buffet, reservations required (and books up fast). $42/person.
• Bistro (at Winery) 11 AM-9 PM: Elaborate four-course prix fixe menu, plus limited a la carte. Phone: 828-225-6230. Reservations highly recommended.
• Stable Café (by House) 11 AM-4 PM: A la carte menu with blend of most popular lunch menu items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Best option if you tour Biltmore on Thanksgiving and don't have a reservation.
• Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village) 11 AM-11 PM: Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course menu. Phone: 828-225-1320
Grove Park Inn Restaurants (Dining reservations:
• Blue Ridge Dining Room: Breakfast 6:30-10 AM breakfast buffet.
Lunch 11 AM-8 PM Thanksgiving Grand Buffet
• Sunset Terrace: 11 AM-9 PM a la carte menu and Thanksgiving entrée special
• Horizons: 11 AM-9 PM Thanksgiving pre fixe menu
Read more about Grove Park Inn and the Gingerbread House Competition Display
Grand Bohemian Hotel: (Biltmore Village) Brazilian Thanksgiving in Red Stag Grill, $49/person, $25/child 12-7 / Kids 6 and under free. Chef Hayes has created a menu that will bring you back to the old world featuring grilled spears of Provencal turkey, slow roasted leg of lamb, and Applewood smoked ham, all served tableside by roaming culinary carvers. Each table will receive a choice of soup or salad, three family style traditional sides, cranberry compote, turkey gravy, rolls and dessert. Plus, they have a grand Thanksgiving Bohemian Ballroom Buffet for $45/person plus tax and gratuity, $25 for children 7-12 years old/ Kids 6 and under free. Read more about the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
Biltmore Park (South Asheville)
Roux, A traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving innovative menu with selections from roasted all-natural NC turkey to baked ham and sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel. Buffet on Thanksgiving Day from 1 to 5:30 PM. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations required.
Downtown Asheville Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving
Grovewoood Café (near Grove Park Inn)
Hot Springs Restaurant
Mountain Magnolia Inn Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner served from 1-7pm. Five-course prix fixe $50 or a la carte. Children under 12, $25 and under 6 free. Executive Chef Chris Brown serving some traditional favorites as well as new creations, all organic and locally sourced when possible. Dine by fireside in the 1868 Country Inn. Call 1-800-914-9306 for reservations.
Hendersonville / Flat Rock Restaurant
Season's at Highland Lake Inn annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet Spectacular, 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM with live music. 828-696-9094. $40.95/person
2. Holiday Packages / Places to Stay: See our holiday vacation packages page for the latest holiday vacation packages, deals and specials. Also see our list of the bests hotels, bed and breakfast inns and cabin rentals in Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Make reservations early since we will have lots of visitors in town for the big Thanksgiving Weekend.
3. Biltmore Estate: Biltmore Estate is open on Thanksgiving Day. Normally it is not very busy, so it's a great day to visit to see America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Restaurants are open (make dining reservations in advance). The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are very busy on the estate. When you purchase tickets, inquire to see if your self-guided tour of Biltmore House requires a reservation (required on very busy days). See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.
4. Shop Downtown Asheville: Most all downtown stores are closed on Thanksgiving. But there's plenty of holiday shopping on Friday and Saturday to find those special gifts. Browse through more than 200 shops, 30 art galleries and a dozen antique stores - all locally owned. Tour the fascinating Thomas Wolfe Home for only a buck on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. See our Downtown Asheville Guide. For more great local shops with unique gifts, explore the quaint downtowns of nearby Brevard, Hendersonville and Waynesville.
5. 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! The special Happy Jollidays Tour runs on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Friday, Saturday and Sunday after (but closed on Thanksgiving Day). Read more about LaZoom Tours.
6. 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. Overnight guests and restaurant guests at the resort can view the display at anytime. If you're not a guest, visit on Mondays-Thursdays. It's free to tour the display and see the other elaborate decorations at the grand hotel. See our Gingerbread House Competition Guide.
7. Holiday Shopping: Located across from the entrance to Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 unique shops. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages and buildings. Asheville is a mecca for artists, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. In addition to the galleries downtown and Biltmore Village, head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide. 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. Most all stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
8. 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 in the National Forests are open every day. And don't forget to find some of our spectacular waterfalls (most waterfalls are open on Thanksgiving Day, including DuPont State State Forest and Gorges State Park). Area ski resorts will open by the weekend if we get a lot of cold weather before Thanksgiving.
Zip Line Canopy Tours: Navitat Canopy Adventures (in the mountains just 20 minutes north of Asheville) is open for zipping on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Friday-Sunday after. And you can ride the zip lines through 150-year old trees at the Asheville Zipline Canopy Tours and enjoy views of the mountains and downtown - open Friday (Green Friday raises money for conservation groups), Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
9. Pick your Christmas Tree: North Carolina is the number two state in the country for growing Christmas Trees! Go to a "choose and cut" Tree Farm to pick the perfect one for your home on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. All are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Many farms offer hayrides and other holiday-related events. See our Asheville Christmas Tree Farms Guide.
10. National Parks: Both Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. For road closures and conditions on the Blue Ridge Parkway, along with weather reports, call the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398. The Parkway Visitors Center and Folk Art Center are closed on Thanksgiving Day. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smokies is open on Thanksgiving Day.
More Holiday Events
See our Top 10 Holiday Outings for more holiday events!