Thanksgiving 2012 in historic VirginiaHistoryVirginia

Thanksgiving for my family has always been celebrated with parents and children and siblings and aunts, uncles, and cousins. The very thought of Thanksgiving in Virginia has a warm historical glow about it … family, hearth and home, turkey and the fixings — so I began a search to see what was available in the Commonwealth to fill that homey bill in 2012. Virginia, I found, is for Thanksgiving lovers….

Williamsburg is up there with the best of Virginia when it comes to a historical Thanksgiving with lots of participating hotels and restaurants in the colonial area. Get in the The Williamsburg Lodge in the colonial area features the Governor’s Thanksgiving dinner in a candlelit dining room with a menu featuring many traditional Virginia dishes and desserts. The surroundings of colonial buildings from an earlier time exactly fill the bill for a Virginia Thanksgiving.

The Great Wolf Lodge outside the colonial Williamsburg area offers a Thanksgiving buffet in a family-oriented setting that is open to the public. Served in the Grand Oak Ballroom from noon-4:00 pm. Reservations required. Click here to view the menu.

The Homestead Resort in the mountains of western Virginia kicks off the holiday season over the Thanksgiving weekend with the tree lighting in the Grand Hall and a visit from Santa. They will be offering Thanksgiving brunch and dinner. It’s the perfect setting to celebrate Thanksgiving but visitors leave with the feeling of Christmas in the air.

A Skyland Resort Thanksgiving on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park offers a buffet of delights for all. The leaves are off the trees and it looks and feels like Thanksgiving in Virginia.

Mountain Lake Lodge in southwest Virginia, site of the “Dirty Dancing” movie, is offering a Thanksgiving buffet for lodge guests and those who are not staying on the property.  A special rate for the four-day weekend is also offered that includes Thanksgiving buffet, four nights stay, entertainment, and much more.

Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County has Thanksgiving on the Mountain weekend to kick off the holiday season with a traditional feast, grand illumination of the courtyard, Gingerbread House, and boxwood wreath workshops. Thanksgiving meals will be available at three mountaintop restaurants.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel in historic downtown Staunton in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley will feature a Thanksgiving buffet in their beautifully renovated dining room.

The Mimslyn Inn in Luray offers an expanded Thanksgiving buffet and an overnight stay at the inn. A traditional dinner is offered that includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

For those in Northern Virginia, there is already a list of restaurants featuring Thanksgiving dinner.

If looking for Thanksgiving dinner or activities in the Staunton area, check out my post about that part of the Shenandoah Valley.

My family will gather as we always do, cooking, baking, and watching the Macy’s parade on the kitchen television as we prepare for the big meal. Afterward, some will be outdoors, some will watch football games, other will play board games … but one thing is certain: we will be together.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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  • MD Russ

    Of course, if you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home, then there are some wonderful Virginia recipes that make the holiday special. I will never forget the first time I brought my New Jersey-raised girlfriend to a family Southern Thanksgiving meal. “My God,” she said. “Everything is fried or has pork in it, or both!” But her doubts were assuaged by my mother’s sausage stuffing. And then there was the spoon bread. To this day, my wife insists that I make Mom’s sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving. The spoon bread she can live without, but she doesn’t like grits either. Her loss.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And remember: the first Thanksgivings were conducted in the English settlements along the James River, 1607-1610. Those yankees in Massachusetts were a bunch of johnny-come-lately copy-cats in 1620.