Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

5 Best Thanksgiving Getaways in North Carolina

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family, football, and, of course, turkey. But if you want to fit in one last getaway before the Christmas season, there are plenty of fun places to get away in North Carolina for the Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you want to get your holidays started early, take in a little scenery or just do a little relaxing, you can do it all in the Tarheel State.

Asheville Looking Glass Falls in autumn, Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC
Credit: Looking Glass Falls in autumn, Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC by jeffgunn via Flickr


Nothing feels more like Thanksgiving and fall than going away for a weekend in the mountains. And Asheville is the perfect place to do it. Tucked between the Great Smoky Mountains on one side and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the other, Asheville is overflowing with beautiful scenery. There are plenty of places to hike and explore the outdoors, while the downtown district offers lots of quaint restaurants and unique shops. Perhaps the most popular attraction in Asheville, the Biltmore Estate, begins its Christmas celebration with thousands of lights and candles decorating the massive house, as well as numerous Christmas trees, including a giant tree on the Estate’s front lawn. At Thanksgiving, the Estate offers packages that include admission to the house, accommodations and Thanksgiving dinner in the Dining Room.

Where to Stay: The Omni Grove Park Inn, located across from Biltmore, also offers a Thanksgiving Package that includes accommodations and a Thanksgiving buffet. Guests will also have the opportunity to check out the finalists in the National Gingerbread House Competition that is hosted at the hotel.

Wrightsville Beach The Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach lights up during the annual Holiday Flotilla.
Credit: The Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach lights up during the annual Holiday Flotilla. by ncholidayflotilla.org

Wrightsville Beach

You may not think about the beach right away when you think about Thanksgiving, but Wrightsville Beach is the perfect place to spend the holiday weekend since it is home to the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla – a nighttime holiday parade on the water. Each year, over Thanksgiving weekend, the city celebrates with a series of festive events, including a tree lighting ceremony and visit with Santa, a Friday Night Party, the Festival in the Park and the most popular part of the whole weekend – the lighted boat parade and fireworks display that takes place on the water on Saturday night. You can get in one last visit to the beach and then set up your blanket and chairs to take in the beautiful displays and vote for your favorite boats!

Where to Stay: Families might want to opt for a vacation rental, while Holiday Inn Resort Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, an IHG Hotel, is a top beachfront pick. The top-rated beach resort has rooms with balconies so you can take in the water views, while there are also on-site perks like a restaurant and cocktail lounge.

Fayetteville A Dicken's Holiday in Fayetteville
Credit: A Dicken's Holiday in Fayetteville by Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County


If you’re a fan of A Christmas Carol, you’ll want to travel to Fayetteville to experience “A Dickens Holiday,” which takes place each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The historic downtown area of Fayetteville transforms into a storybook experience, complete with horse-drawn carriages, Victorian holiday decorations, hot apple cider and fresh gingerbread. You’ll even have the chance to meet Father Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of Jacob Marley. Make sure you stick around until nightfall to experience the candlelight procession to the Market House, which is followed by a beautiful fireworks display.

Where to Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Fayetteville Fort Bragg is an all-suite hotel with a four-story atrium. Suites offer plenty of space for the family and include living rooms, kitchenettes, and pull-out sofas, while a daily breakfast is complimentary.

Blowing Rock Blowing Rock overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway
Credit: Blowing Rock overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway by © Apisit Rapeepanpianpen | Dreamstime.com

Blowing Rock

Another beautiful North Carolina mountain town offering up delicious Thanksgiving Day dinners is Blowing Rock. Located just outside of Boone, Blowing Rock is a picturesque town with a quaint downtown area full of unique shops and restaurants, miles of beautiful trails for biking and hiking, and numerous hotels and bed & breakfasts with scenic views.

Where to Stay: The Green Park Inn, a beautiful turn-of-the-century inn that is listed on the National Historic Register, offers luxurious guest suites that combine classic charm with contemporary amenities. And during Thanksgiving, guests of the Inn can enjoy traditional fare in the property’s Chestnut Grille restaurant.

Boone Boone, NC has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, no matter what time of year you visit.
Credit: Boone, NC has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, no matter what time of year you visit. by bigstockphoto.com


Just up the mountain, about 20 minutes from Blowing Rock, is Boone – a town named for the famous explorer, Daniel Boone. And the Dan’l Boone Inn, a family-style restaurant that has been serving home-cooked meals for over 50 years, will be serving up a Thanksgiving feast for visitors. The Red Tail Mountain Golf Course & Resort and The Gamekeeper restaurant are also offering Thanksgiving meals. Once you’re full from all of that eating, you can hike Grandfather Mountain, take a walk on the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail or go skiing on the Appalachian Ski Mountain. Then if all that exercise leaves you feeling thirsty, make sure to check out one of the area’s many craft breweries like the Appalachian Mountain Brewery, the Lost Province Brewing Company or the Booneshine Brewing Company.

Where to Stay: Boone has tons of cabin rentals to pick from, but The Horton Hotel offers a solid option right in the heart of the city. Set on a bustling street surrounded by top restaurants and shops, the trendy boutique hotel has chic rooms, a cocktail lounge, and rooftop bar with a fire pit.

Travel Deals

$550 Off w/ DHCNA550 | 8-Day Canada's Atlantic Coast


Air & 9-Day Best of Ireland Tour | Buy One Get One Free


50% Off | Flights & 8-Day Portugal Guided Tour


7-Day Italy Guided Tour: Rome, Spoleto & Florence


8-Day Switzerland Tour | Save $500


Spain | 9-Day Guided Tour from Madrid to Malaga


Air & 10-Day Majestic India Tour | Buy One Get One Free


Air & 8-Day Peruvian Dream Tour | Buy One Get One Free


Air & 9-Day South Africa Tour | Buy One Get One Free


50% Off | Air & 9-Day South Africa Guided Tour


8-Day Portugal Tour | Save $500


Air & 8-Day Ireland by Design Guided Tour


8-Day Eastern Canada Tour w/ Excursion Choices


Air & 9-Day Springtime Holland Cruise | 50% Off


10-Nt Private Guided Tour of India w/ Custom Options