Whenever Thanksgiving comes around, if you’re in charge of making the meal, all of the pressure falls on you. And that means that you’re probably not going to enjoy the holiday as much because you’re too busy worrying about whether Mom loves the pie or if your clumsy neighbor will spill his red wine on your Hermès tablecloth another year in a row.
From the meal preparation to presentation and cleanup, hosting is always a major chore. So this year, why not let the hospitality pros take care of the details? We spotlight five great places to spend your Thanksgiving away from home, but still close to the ones you love.
Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa in Chatham, Massachusetts
If you’re going to spend Thanksgiving away from home, you might as well be in the place where the pilgrims and Indians first sat down to the same bountiful table. Located 50 miles from the birthplace of Thanksgiving in Plymouth, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa combines the best of Old World charm and modern amenities. This Thanksgiving, the resort, which overlooks the stormy autumn Atlantic waters, not only offers succulent turkeys to go for locals, the onsite The Sacred Cod restaurant will offer a prix fixe menu served from 1 – 9 p.m. If you make the drive to Plymouth, make sure to stop at the Jenney Museum, where walking tours are available every weekend and a parade of pilgrims walk along Water Street, up Leyden Street to Town Square and up Burial Hill for a church service on Thanksgiving morning.
Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana
Imagine Thanksgiving against the vast backdrop of one million acres of national forest and the Bitterroot Mountain range in Big Sky country, Montana. At Triple Creek Ranch, an adults-only resort located in Darby, Montana, guests experience a rare combination of rustic elegance, cozy ambience, and wild adventure. This year, the ranch’s Thanksgiving festivities will include an inaugural archery tournament and riverside picnic, plus a savory feast prepared by the resort’s acclaimed executive chef, Jacob Leatherman. Sommelier Jeremy White will pair the meal with wines from the resort’s wine cellar, which features more than 500 fine wines and champagnes from around the world. If that weren’t enough, top off the Thanksgiving holiday with a couples massage, complimentary pie-baking classes, an on-ranch horseback ride, or simply relaxing in the comfort of your own private cabin.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Jekyll Island, Georgia
In the early 1900s, railroad and business tycoons like J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Joseph Pulitzer and William K. Vanderbilt invested in an unprecedented scheme — an exclusive hunting club in the South for wealthy Northerners. Today, Jekyll Island Club Hotel still embodies the luxury, history and style of that era, with its turrets and wood-burning chimneys, large wrap-around porches and detailed woodwork. This Turkey Day, guests of the property can enjoy Thanksgiving brunch served in the Grand Dining Room and Courtyard at Crane, which will include a host of holiday fare with a beachside twist — think butternut squash bisque followed by shrimp and stone-ground cheese grits, not to mention slow-roasted sage butter turkey and prime rib and a wide selection of desserts. Or, if you fancy a seated meal near the fire, make reservations in the Grand Dining Room for a four-course Thanksgiving dinner. The weekend wouldn’t be complete without the Jekyll Island Christmas Tree Lighting Festival, a complimentary event featuring arts and crafts, lawn-side treats, fireworks, live music, and even a visit with Santa Claus himself.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina
Since it was built in 1878, the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina has been a haven for comfort and luxury. This Thanksgiving, consider renting one of the Four-Star inn’s recently constructed Falls Cottages, which can accommodate large families. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the property is offering a three-course meal at its Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden this Thanksgiving. The savory cuisine will include a creamy roasted pumpkin soup as well as bacon-wrapped roulade of Georgia plantation quail filled with Andouille sausage, served on a bed of black-eyed peas, arugula and balsamic vinegar. Diners can also delight in the restaurant’s roasted turkey, too. Make reservations soon — at last check, only a few tables were left during the 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. service. And before you leave the Highlands, if you live within driving distance, stop by the nearby Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree farm to cut down your very own Fraser fir to take home.
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Located on 3,000 acres of pristine Colorado landscape just miles from the Rocky Mountains and the famed Garden of the Gods, Five-Star The Broadmoor is a perfect family escape from the typical holiday chaos. Slow down and soak in the natural beauty of Colorado Springs during this long November weekend, and when you’re ready, there are plenty of adventures to be had. From hunting and fishing to personal training, yoga and guided mountain hikes, you won’t be bored. And after working up a sweat, replenish your energy at one of The Broadmoor’s six restaurants, from the elegant Five-Star Penrose Room to the contemporary American brasserie, Summit, and casual pub-diner the Golden Bee, led by executive chef Bertrand Bouquin. Starting Thanksgiving weekend, Penrose Room will offer epicureans a seven-course meal called the Black Truffle Tribute, featuring the rare and delectable black truffle throughout each course — starting with raw scallops and asparagus, and showcasing a “foiewhopper” of Waygu beef, foie gras and lobster.