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, NC (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Nothing feels more like Thanksgiving and fall then going away for a weekend in the mountains. And Asheville, NC 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 their 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. The 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, NC (Hotel Prices & Photos)
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 Launch 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!
Fayetteville, NC (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you’re a fan of A Christmas Carol, you’ll want to travel to Fayetteville, NC to experience “A Dickens Holiday” that 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. Although the event goes from 1 pm to 9 pm, make sure you stick around until nightfall (around 5 pm) to experience the candlelight procession to the Market House, which is followed by a beautiful fireworks display.
Blowing Rock, NC (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Another beautiful North Carolina mountain town offering up delicious Thanksgiving Day dinners is Blowing Rock, NC. 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. 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 at the Thanksgiving buffet held in the property’s Chestnut Grille restaurant. In addition, other restaurants in town including Best Cellar, Southern Comforts, Timberlake’s at Chetola, The Table at Crestwood and Rowland’s at Westglow also offer Thanksgiving Day meals.
Boone, NC (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Just up the mountain about 20 minutes from Blowing Rock, is Boone, NC – a town named for the famous explorer, Daniel Boone. And the Daniel 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 that includes homemade vegetable soup, followed by three meats including turkey, vegetables, biscuits, desserts and drinks. 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.