Kick off the New Year 2016 with the fun only found in Asheville! Here are our top things to do, including the best New Year's Eve parties and things to do all weekend.
New Year's Eve Parties & Events
- 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.
- Asheville Restaurants: Many are open late on New Year's Eve and feature a lively bar. Make reservations ASAP!
- Beer Pubs: Plenty of pubs, breweries and bars to celebrate with local brews! Many are within walking distance in downtown Asheville.
- Wine & Cocktails: Hang out with your sweetie at a downtown Asheville wine or cocktail bar.
- The Omni 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. At Elaine's Dueling Piano Bar, there's no cover but a $10 parking charge. A very special 3-course dinner in Vue 1913 ($90/person) or a 3-course menu at Edison $55/person. New Year’s overnight package includes a New Year's Eve Classic Dinner & Show with Dean & Marilyn, tickets to the NYE Times Square Party at the hotel, and complimentary overnight valet or garage self-parking. $1128/2 nights, And check out the National Gingerbread House Competition™ Display.
- Inn on Biltmore Estate: Ring in the new year in style with their grand two-night package.
- Harrah's Cherokee Casino has live entertainment at multiple locations.
- Pack’s Tavern New Year’s Eve Buffet and Countdown 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, four bars, 5 DJs, balloon drops, party favors, heavy hors d'oeuvres. Very mixed and diverse crowd. Best progressive dance club downtown. 8 PM-3 AM. $25/person ($20/person advance tickets). 11 Grove Street
- Mountain Magnolia Inn: This historic inn in Hot Springs has a great New Year's Celebration with a 3-course dinner for two, dancing, live music, champagne toast and New Year's Day brunch.
- Social Lounge: 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: A la carte menu by Chef William Dissen, and live music from 5 PM until. Downtown at 20 Wall Street.
- Rhubarb: Farm to fork dining on Pack Square downtown with late night celebration.
- Tressa's Jazz & Blues: Live music and dancing starting at 9:30 PM. Doors open 7 PM, the soul buffet in the upstairs lounge starts at 7:30 PM. Midnight champagne toast and balloon drop. 28 Broadway in downtown.
- Keg Drop at Thirsty Monk at Biltmore Park: Watch the lighted, golden keg descend at midnight. Then, they will tap a fresh keg of Highland Brewing Cold Mountain Winter Ale. Free to attend. 2 Town Square Blvd, Asheville
- More to come!
- See more events on our Daily Calendar.
Winter Lights at NC Arboretum: Stroll through the wonderland in the gardens. Open both New Year's Eve and New Year's nights. Read all about Winter Lights.
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.
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.
First Day Hikes: The North Carolina's state parks system will offer free guided First Day Hikes on January 1, the perfect chance to begin the New Year with exercise and a reconnection with nature. Here are the hikes near Asheville:
- First Day Hike at Chimney Rock Park: First time at Chimney Rock! Meet at 8 AM at the front gate (road doesn't open for traffic until 10 AM) and hike up to the top, led by State Parks Superintendent James Ledgerwood. Free hike includes admission for the full day!
- First Day Hike at Mt Mitchell State Park: Join a ranger for a walk along the Balsam Nature Trail, 0.75 miles. Remember it's usually 15-20 degrees cooler on the summit than in Asheville. Meet in the upper summit parking area at 1 PM. Free. (Parkway is closed south of Mt. Mitchell. From Asheville, reach the park via NC 80 from Marion, then south on the Parkway.)
- First Day Hikes at Gorges State Park, 9 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM led by rangers. Free. Arrive early to get details at Visitor Center.
- First Day Hike at South Mountains State Park: Hike with a ranger to the 80-foot High Shoals waterfall. The 2.75-mile hike will last about 1.5 hours. Offered at 10 AM and 2 PM.
- First Day Hike at Lake James State Park: Join Ranger Clay Veasey on the Paddy’s Creek Trail for a 2-mile hike at 10 AM.
Shop: There's plenty of shopping options to find after holiday deals. Browse shops in Downtown Asheville (free parking on New Year's Day). The Asheville Outlets are open 10 AM-6 PM on both December 31 and January 1. For more great local shops with unique gifts, explore the cool small towns in our mountains.
LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours: What a fun outing with friends and family! Take the zany tour on the big purple bus. Make reservations in advance. Read more about LaZoom Tours.
Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn: For a real treat, see the amazing display of gingerbread houses from the National Gingerbread House Competition. 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. See our Gingerbread House Competition Guide.
New Year’s Polar Plunge: Take the plunge into chilly water at Lake Lure on January 1 and freeze for a reason – to support local charities. Read more about the Polar Plunge.