If you’ve got a few days off or just want to get away, a Thanksgiving vacation in Asheville makes for a perfect fall, holiday escape. Whether you choose to visit on your own, with a loved one, a friend, or the whole family, Asheville offers so many things to do. Fly or drive and find a cozy place to rent that will only enhance your stay. 

Dine in or out for your Thanksgiving vacation in Asheville

Since you’re on a fall getaway, cooking is probably not top of mind. And we respect that! That’s why we’ve come up with a few ideas that will keep you out of the kitchen and give you more time to soak in the season. If you choose to dine in at your rental place, there are several places in Asheville where you can order a sumptuous turkey dinner to go. They include:  

Moose Cafe: This farm-to-fork restaurant is an Asheville classic.

Black Bear BBQ: Get something smoked from this soulful kitchen that delivers dishes for those culinary adventurers. 

Post 25 Kitchen and Lounge. They offer a variety of platters that are sure to make you smile. 

Or – To help you plan, see more up-to-date information about local restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving, go to the Asheville Independent Restaurants website or social media.

Many Asheville supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Ingles also offer Thanksgiving orders to go. And since this is Asheville, vegans and vegetarians will find plenty of options they can enjoy too. And, if you’re interested in grabbing a few Thanksgiving pies from local bakeries, consider placing an order at City Bakery or The Baked Pie Company. 

If you prefer to dine out, we’ve got you covered there too: 

Bargello: Located in the Kimpton Hotel Arras, this stunning restaurant offers a family prix fixe menu. 

Isa’s Bistro: Locally sourced and inspired, this Asheville restaurant is a local and tourist destination too. 

Pack’s Tavern: A local family-owned restaurant located in a renovated historic building. It’s warm and friendly service keeps people coming back time and time again. 

Red Stag Grill: Enjoy European flavors with a Carolina twist. 

The Blackbird Restaurant: Vibrant cuisine in a lively atmosphere. 

Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. Explore Asheville is a good resource for updates on where to dine in or out in Asheville on Thanksgiving Day. 

Take a Thanksgiving Day Walk Around Asheville 

After you’ve filled up on turkey, stuffing and pie, what better way to work off those Thanksgiving holiday calories than taking to the great outdoors? Fall is an amazing time to be in Asheville’s mountains and there are so many great places to get out and walk without having to go too far off the beaten track.  

  • Bent Creek: Just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, you’ll feel like you are miles and miles away. The trails vary from easy to more advanced. Mountain bikers are welcome on many of the trails too.  
  • Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary: This lovely lake provides an ideal habitat for resting, feeding and nesting. And if you want to get a few more steps in, you can walk around the lake – it’s about a 2-mile loop. 
  • Wilma Dykeman Greenway: A local fave, this delightful greenway runs along the French Broad River. Walkers, bikers and rollerbladers can pop into a host of breweries, wineries, or galleries along the way. 
  • Riverside Cemetery: This historic cemetery is located in the Montford neighborhood. There are even walking tours that you can sign up for. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more robust, head to the Blue Ridge Parkway (but check the map for possible weather closings first). There’s a multitude of hikes to do from Frying Pan Mountain and Mt. Pisgah to Crabtree Falls and Graveyard Fields. Dupont State Forest is also home to the magnificent Triple Falls. 

Activities to do Thanksgiving Weekend in Asheville

You can choose to do a lot or a little. It’s up to you. Here are some holiday-inspired activities to get you started:

  • Kick off the holiday season at the popular North Carolina Arboretum. Its open-air winter lights show is dazzling fun for the whole family. 
  • Have a hot cider at the Great Hall Bar at the Grove Park Inn. 
  • Bundle up and head to Antidote’s Rooftop bar. There’s an outdoor fireplace and lots of heat lamps to keep you warm. 
  • Buy Your Christmas Tree: Obviously, this one is for those of you who are driving. Visit a “choose and cut” tree farm. Many farms offer hayrides and other activities too. 
  • Visit Biltmore Estate: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this iconic estate. Located on nearly 8,000 acres, this is a top-notch fall destination that includes a magnificent house, art exhibition, award-winning winery and copious dining and shopping venues. There are also 20+ miles of nature trails to explore. 

So, are you ready to ditch the apron and grocery list? Treat yourself to an Asheville fall getaway. Cedar Cliff Village is a good place to check out if you’re looking to rent a place for your stay. It’s minutes from downtown and the Blue Ridge Parkway and it offers a variety of choices when it comes to booking group stays.