Your Asheville Alternative To Thanksgiving

Looking for something different to do this Thanksgiving? Plan your day the Asheville way with these offerings for all walks of life.

Get in the mood with Green Opportunities. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the nonprofit culinary training organization is hosting Kitchen Ready, a pre-Thanksgiving dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests are welcome to dine on location or take a couple of plates of food to go. Payment is by donation. Southside Kitchen at Edington Center, 133 Livingston St. 

On Thanksgiving Day, get off to a great start with Edna’s of Asheville. You’ll find your local favorites for breakfast and tasty, hot beverages. 870 Merrimon Ave.


With weather predicted to be fair and mild, it’s time to hit the trails! Favorite hikes closest to Asheville include Rattlesnake Lodge (takes you to the ruins of a historic private lodge along a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail), a ½ mile hike from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Or cruise along the Commuter Trail (Mountains-to-Sea Trail extension from Charlotte Highway to the Arboretum) by foot or by bike. Pick any spot along the parkway to connect and do an out-and-back on easy trails. About mile 28 on Section 3 of MST.

Do lunch in style at the Omni Grove Park. EDISON craft ales + kitchen offers a casual Thanksgiving lunch option for $35 per person featuring locally-sourced cuisine and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gear up for the Season of Giving at Biltmore Estate. Biltmore is open on Thankbiltmoresgiving Day and will be already set up for Christmas. Normally not very busy, 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). You can spend the rest of the day here exploring and dining, or just cruise through and enjoy the decorations. Be sure to catch the Christmas lights at dusk! 

Raise a glass or two at the Bier Garden. With a selection of more than 200 beers of the world including some local microbrewery favorites, you are sure to find a beer you love, and the perfect wind down for your day. You can even catch the end of the Redskins-Cowboys game or part of the Steelers-Colts duel.


If you have any gas left in your tank (and in the car), don’t miss The North Carolina Arboretum’s incredible Winter Lights show. You can walk or drive through the gardens nighttime wonderland with 500,000 lights. You’ll enjoying the striking displays, showing the parks beauty in a brand new light.

Whether you enjoy just one or power through them all, these happenings on Thanksgiving Day are sure to give you a holiday you won’t forget. Enjoy the gift of gratitude in whatever you do.    Happy Thanksgiving!