Thanksgiving's New England origins make the region the symbolic standard-bearer for America's most universally commemorated holiday. As you plan to gather loved ones close to home, or perhaps to travel to the land of Pilgrims and Promise to celebrate the holiday, here are some ways you can incorporate a touch of New England in your 2016 Thanksgiving celebration.
Don't miss all of the tasty Thanksgiving recipes from New England!
New England Thanksgiving Dining Experiences and Getaway Packages
Dine with the Pilgrims in Plymouth
Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum that recreates the day-to-day lives of New England's first English settlers, offers three Thanksgiving dining options if you'd like to celebrate with the Pilgrim "cast." Choose the Thanksgiving Day Buffet or enjoy America's Thanksgiving Dinner during one of three seatings on Thanksgiving day (there is also one seating 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 Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims on select evenings in October and November, although not on Thanksgiving Day.
Other Dine, Stay and Play Thanksgiving Packages in New England
Whether you're traveling as a couple or family, you'll find many other options for Thanksgiving weekend getaways in New England. Here are a few ideas:
A Gourmet Thanksgiving in Maine
The Thanksgiving package at the Camden Harbour Inn in Camden, Maine, includes champagne and hors d'oeuvres to welcome you, luxurious lodgings for two nights, champagne breakfast each morning and a five-course Thanksgiving Celebration dinner at the inn's AAA Four Diamond restaurant: Natalie's.
Thanksgiving Harvest Package
Enjoy a Thanksgiving escape to Stowe, Vermont, with the Green Mountain Inn's Thanksgiving Harvest Package, which includes lodging for two or more nights, full country breakfast and afternoon tea daily and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving in a Historic Setting
The Thanksgiving package at Kennebunkport, Maine's Captain Fairfield Inn includes lodging for two nights in a room at this circa 1813, Federal-style sea captain's mansion turned inn, plus small-plates breakfasts, chocolate chip cookies each afternoon, a Wednesday night cheese and wine reception, Thanksgiving dinner for two at Pier 77 Restaurant and dessert at the inn before you turn in.
Dine Out in New England on Thanksgiving
Farm to Table Thanksgiving Day Grand Buffet
The Harraseeket Inn 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.
For details and reservations, which are required and book quickly, call toll free: 800-342-6423.
Complete New England Thanksgiving Menus
If you can't get to New England for Turkey Day but still want to experience a taste of New England this Thanksgiving, the Internet has a wealth of information to help you plan for a very special holiday this year. Epicurious brings you full Thanksgiving menus and recipes with New England themes from the pages of Bon Appétit and Gourmet.
Colonial Boston Thanksgiving
The Colonial Boston Thanksgiving for 10 menu features recipes for:
- Shellfish Chowder with Fresh Thyme
- Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey with Mixed-Herb Gravy
- Herbed Bread, Cracker and Leek Dressing
- Marbleized Root Vegetable Puree
- Succotash with Tomatoes and Chives
- Squash Pan Rolls
- Cranberry-Port Conserve
- Mixed Garden Greens with Apples and Cider Vinaigrette
- Spirited Pumpkin Pie
- Indian Pudding with Nutmeg Ice Cream
The Connecticut Thanksgiving for 8 menu features recipes for:
- Spicy Almonds and Cashews
- Butternut Squash Soup with Green Chili Coriander Chutney
- Roast Turkey with Corn Bread and Kale Stuffing and Paprika Pan Gravy
- Sherried Sweet Potatoes and Apples
- Mashed Potatoes
- Lemony Creamed Brussels Sprouts and Celery
- Cranberry Sauce with Pearl Onions and Golden Raisins
- Date Pecan Pumpkin Squares
- Nutmeg Ice Cream
- Bourbon Burnt Sugar Sauce
The Shaker Thanksgiving for 8 menu features recipes for:
- Cranberry Fruit Relish
- Scalloped Onions Leeks and Shallots
- Maple Squash Puree
- Herbed Buttered Parsnips
- Warm Green Bean Salad with Dill
- Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie
- Cranberry Raisin Tart
Thanksgiving Recipes from Plimoth Plantation
Try these 17th-century recipes based on historical sources.
Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes from New England Inns and Restaurants
Here are some wonderful recipes from New England restaurants and inns, culled from Virtual Cities' Internet Cookbook, to help you add a touch of New England authenticity to your Thanksgiving dinner menu!
Mile High Biscuits - from Diamond District Breakfast Inn in Lynn, Massachusetts
Cream of Broccoli Soup - from The Farmhouse at Nauset Beach in East Orleans, Massachusetts
Celery Almond Soup - from Deerhill Inn & Restaurant in West Dover, Vermont
Pumpkin Bisque - from Red Clover Inn in Mendon, Vermont
Vermont Cheddar Cheese Soup - from Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont
Vermont Orzo / Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives - from Ludlow Victorian in Ludlow, Vermont
Sweet Potatoes-Chestnuts-Apples - from Birchwood Inn in Temple, New Hampshire
More from New England Travel
My guide to November in New England will help you discover this month's best events, destinations and activities.
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