Celebrating Thanksgiving in New England this year? You've made an excellent choice. New England embraces America's Thanksgiving holiday with unrivaled charm and zeal. This is, after all, the land where Thanksgiving began. You may even want to journey to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors shared the first Thanksgiving feast back in 1621.
The best places to eat Thanksgiving dinner in New England all offer much more than a meal. They create a total package experience, whether you're enjoying dinner only or looking for a getaway to remember.
Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum that recreates the day-to-day lives of New England's first English settlers, offers two Thanksgiving dining options. Choose the Thanksgiving Day Homestyle Buffet, with a choice of four seating times, or enjoy the "Story of Thanksgiving" Dinner during one of three seatings on Thanksgiving Day (there are also two seatings on the Friday after Thanksgiving). Advance reservations are required for both of these unique dining experiences, which usually sell out.
Reservations are accepted online beginning June 1 (May 1 for Plimoth Plantation members). Call toll free, 800-262-9356, ext. 8353 for more information. Plimoth Plantation also stages a special New England Harvest Feast with the Pilgrims on select evenings in October and November, although not on Thanksgiving Day.
There's one place in New England where Thanksgiving dinner isn't served on just one day in November. The menu at Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, an enduring destination in New Hampshire's Lakes Region which opened for business in 1954, features turkey cooked more ways than you've probably ever seen. It's tough not to gravitate, though, toward traditional turkey dinner served with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potato, and sliced apples... on Thanksgiving and 364 other days of the year. Order an extra jumbo turkey leg—from a 35-pound turkey—to take home.
The Harraseeket Inn, located down the street from the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine, offers a grand buffet for Thanksgiving featuring naturally raised ingredients supplied almost entirely by Maine farmers. On Thanksgiving Day, the inn typically serves more than 1,800 pounds of locally raised free-range turkey, 1,500 pounds of local vegetables, 625 pounds of Maine lobster and 60 dozen farm fresh eggs, in addition to many other locally raised products. There are typically four seating times available (2019 details TBA).
For information and reservations, which are required and book quickly, call toll free: 800-342-6423.
Camden Harbour Inn: Camden, Maine
The Thanksgiving getaway package at the Camden Harbour Inn in seaside Camden, Maine, includes warm spiced wine and hors d'oeuvres to welcome you, luxurious lodgings for two nights, an a la carte champagne breakfast each morning and a five-course Thanksgiving Celebration dinner at the inn's AAA Four Diamond restaurant: Natalie's.
Your kids will never forget the Thanksgiving you spent at Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire. The Thanksgiving Day buffet alone will make them wide-eyed: In addition to fresh-carved roast turkey, it typically features New York sirloin, cider-glazed ham, baked seafood casserole and sides and desserts galore. Breakfast each morning is included, too. The real fun is admission to the Kahuna Laguna indoor water park each day of your two-night package stay. With its wave pool, slides, play tower, hot tub and water basketball court, it keeps everyone in the family entertained.
Leave the cooking to Saybrook Point Inn's expert chefs this year, and enjoy a soothing Thanksgiving holiday getaway package at this waterfront property renowned for its environmentally sensitive practices. While you float in the indoor saltwater pool or indulge in a spa treatment, they'll prepare an expansive Thanksgiving buffet with all of the traditional dishes you crave, plus hearty New England treats such as lobster corn chowder, crab-encrusted cod and maple-glazed sweet potatoes. One-night packages also include a $20 beverage credit per person. Can't stay overnight? You can still make reservations to savor a remarkable Thanksgiving feast.
Snowvillage Inn: Eaton Center, New Hampshire
Spend Thanksgiving in New Hampshire's scenic White Mountains at the Snowvillage Inn, where your Thanksgiving Day Getaway includes lodging for two nights, a complimentary welcome cocktail to sip by a crackling fire, homemade chocolate cookies in your room, a full country breakfast each morning, a classic New England Thanksgiving dinner and hiking maps if you'd like to work off that extra serving of stuffing. Holiday weekend guests also receive coupons for getting a jump start on holiday shopping at the Settlers Green outlet village.
Indulge in an expansive Thanksgiving Day holiday buffet—raw bar, carving station, soup, salad, bountiful sides and Viennese dessert table included—without having to get your apron dirty at this scenically situated banquet facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Call 413-535-5077 for your holiday reservations.