Thanksgiving 2021: Asheville Restaurants and Things to Do

Thanksgiving 2021: Asheville Restaurants & Things To Do

The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend 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! Since it's one of our busiest weekends of the year, be sure to make lodging and dining reservations well in advance!

Also, see our Top Holiday Outings. For Christmas Day Restaurants open in Asheville, see our Christmas Guide.

Thanksgiving Day (Nov 25, 2021) Restaurants & Buffets

While many Asheville area restaurants are closed, there are still many great local choices for brunch, lunch, or dinner on Turkey Day. Prices & hours often change a little, so check with the restaurant. 

  • Season's at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, 2021 Thanksgiving Buffet 10:30 AM-6 PM, $58/adults, $29/child ages 6-11, 5, and under free. Local's favorite. Reservations required. 1-800-758-8130. They are also offering Thanksgiving meals to-go.
  • Pack's Tavern 2021 Thanksgiving Buffet upstairs and downstairs with turkey, ham, trimmings, dessert, and plenty of beer choices. Located on Pack Square Park downtown, 11 AM-8 PM. $49.99/adults, $24.99/children under 10. A good option for large groups. Reservations (the last reservation time is 6 pm) and walk-ins welcome. Call 828-225-6944.
  • Greystone Inn: 2021: Dine waterside on Lake Toxaway near Brevard at this luxury resort. 3-course dinner with 3 options each, $60/person, 12-8 PM. For reservations call 828-966-4700.
  • The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, 2021 Thanksgiving plated meal with seatings 11 AM- 4 PM. $69/adults, $29/children. Free for children 5 & under. To-go orders are available for $49/person. Reservations are strongly encouraged.  
  • Fork Lore: (South Asheville) 2021 Traditional Thanksgiving family-style meal including Yeast Rolls, Carolina Fall Harvest Salad, Citrus, and Herb Brined Turkey, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Candied Pecan Streusel, Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Chantilly, and more! 12–7 PM. Adults $34/person, $18/children 5-15, children 4 and under are free. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations at 828-209-2715.
  • Isa’s French Bistro: Serving 2021 Thanksgiving Dinner from 12 PM-8 PM. Elegant three-course prix fixe menu with entrée selections of Herb Brined Koch Family Farms Turkey Breast, Antarctic Salmon, Vegan Sausage Ragout, and Steak Frites. $69 Adult, $25 Wine Pairing, $19.95 Child’s Turkey Plate. To make reservations, please call 828-575-9636 or Reserve Online.
  • Hemingway’s Cuba will be serving 2021 Thanksgiving Day breakfast 7 AM-10 PM. For Thanksgiving Dinner, in addition to their regular full menu, they will offer a Thanksgiving Special of Herb Brined Turkey Breast special with mojo green beans, fried sweet plantains, mashed potatoes, and sazon gravy. $26 Adult, $15 for children. 12 PM-8 PM. Reserve Online or call 828-417-6866. 
  • Carmel's An a la carte Southern-inspired menu, Grove Arcade downtown, 12 Noon-8 PM
  • RendezVous will will do 3 seatings at 12 PM, 2:30 PM, and 5 PM.  Call 828-348-0909 to make your reservation.
  • Red Stag Grill will feature their signature A la Carte 4-Course Thanksgiving menu with a complimentary glass of seasonal mimosa or champagne. 11:30 AM-9 PM, $95/adult, $35/children 6-12, (free under 5). They will also offer a Family-Style Thanksgiving Feast to-go for $65/person. Book online or call 828-398-5600.

Thanksgiving & 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!

Biltmore: The Biltmore House is open for tours on Thanksgiving Day. All estate restaurants (see above) are open. It's a busy weekend on the estate, so get tickets well ahead. They usually sell-out for the entire weekend. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

Pick your Christmas Tree: 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 activities. See our Asheville Christmas Tree Farms Guide.

Asheville Outlets: The 70-store Asheville Outlets Center will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 PM until 2 AM, Friday & Saturday 9-9 and Sunday 11-6. Free pics with Santa. Read more.

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. Free parking on streets and city parking decks on Thanksgiving Day and Friday. See our Downtown Asheville Guide.

More Shopping: Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 shops in historic cottages and buildings. Asheville is a mecca for artists, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide. Also see our Antique Shopping Guide

Small Towns: If you prefer the quaint small towns and friendly "Mayberry" Main Streets, explore our cool small towns throughout our mountains.

Get Outdoors: #optoutside! 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.

  • Green Friday at Adventure Center of Asheville (near downtown): Ages 4+ zip at KidZip or climb at Treetops Park. Ages 10+ ride Zipline Canopy Tours as well as advanced challenges in the Treetops Park. 50% of all revenue donated for environmental causes in WNC.
  • Some ski resorts will open if weather is cold enough.

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.

More Happenings: See our Top Holiday Outings for more things to do!

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Asheville Area

Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Friday, November 5, 2021 to Sunday, January 9, 2022
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
Thursday, November 26, 2020 to Sunday, January 3, 2021
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in our top Christmas Town Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Friday, November 19, 2021 to Saturday, January 1, 2022
Returning to the gardens this year, the popular show will return to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include the 50ft lighted tree, Quilt Garden, many of your favorite lighted designs, and new ones for 2021! We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 12, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Drive About Art Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, November 26, 2021 to Saturday, November 27, 2021
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake. 10 AM-5 PM.
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Friday, November 26, 2021 to Saturday, January 1, 2022
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including hayrides, tours, ice skating, and fantastic shopping.
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Saturday, November 9, 2019 to Saturday, December 21, 2019
This quirky exhibit in downtown Brevard features dozens of vintage aluminum Christmas trees and ornaments inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum. A fun trip back in time. Wed-Sat. Free admission.
Carolina Christmas
Victorian Christmas at Smith-McDowell House
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 to Saturday, January 4, 2020
Tour Asheville's oldest home at the Smith McDowell House, decked out with decorations from the Victorian period. Located just a few miles from Biltmore and downtown. Open Wed-Sat, 10AM-4PM.
Flat Rock Playhouse
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas
Friday, November 26, 2021 to Sunday, December 19, 2021
Experience this dazzling holiday celebration! This all-new show comes to life with a cast of Flat Rock favorites, bringing magic and merriment to the stage- capturing the spirit of the holidays with seasonal classics and new adaptations and medleys.
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