Many ways to celebrate

Published 9:58 pm Saturday, November 13, 2010

“Over the river and through the woods” doesn’t always have to lead to grandmother’s house. Here’s a cornucopia of last minute Thanksgiving vacation ideas ranging from the obvious to “off the beaten path” locales.

Celebrate the first Thanksgiving, pilgrim-style, in Plymouth, Mass., where Mayflower passengers famously disembarked back in 1620. After visiting their supposed landing site, at Plymouth Rock, pay your respects to the statue of native Wampanoag Chief Massasoit, who signed an accord with the pilgrims in 1621; what few members remain of his tribe today can be found living across the water, on Martha’s Vineyard. Combine with day trips to Nantucket, Cape Cod, and/or Boston for a perfect long-weekend getaway.

For the biggest Thanksgiving event in the country, head to New York City for its annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At 9 a.m. each Turkey Day, more than 10,000 Macy employees and volunteers meet at 77th and Central Park West to begin their march, which will head down a route on Sixth and Seventh avenues this year. It’s a fantastical procession filled with colorful floats, marching bands, and at least a dozen giant helium balloons (for a sneak peak, the public can view them being inflated on the Upper West Side the evening before the parade).

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I’m not sure that many traditionalists would consider it proper Thanksgiving fare but how about a visit to the Windy City to feast on some of their original deep-dish pizza. Spend the evening so you will wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy shopping Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on Black Friday!

Thanksgiving in Colonial Williamsburg can be a gentle, sunny, leaves crunching underfoot-autumn day, or you may instead discover a snow dappled Duke of Gloucester Street and bone chilling temperatures. In the 18th century, Williamsburg’s taverns provided comfortable lodgings for travelers as well as serving as places to gather for meals, conversation and entertainment. Proprietors prided themselves on serving filling meals using the freshest ingredients. Today Colonial Williamsburg’s historic dining taverns carry on these traditions by providing a relaxed and comfortable setting for diners to experience some of the flavor of the 18th century through atmosphere, entertainments, and food.

On a more local note motor over to Lebanon and the historic restaurant The Golden Lamb. This establishment continues to serve up impressive history alongside delicious dinner choices. Every meal I’ve had there was well prepared and as pleasant to the eyes as to the palate.

Once again, for the 146th consecutive year, the Golden Lamb will be open for Thanksgiving, serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal. For this day, the menu will consist of all the trimmings, headlined by six entrée options, including turkey, salmon, ham, and lamb. Make your reservations today, to enjoy a wonderful meal in this historic Inn and restaurant.

For a modern twist on Thanksgiving fare head to the mountains of West Virginia and the dining experiences of Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Cross Lanes. One of my food favorite spots here is the Crescent City Cafe. Today the Crescent City features a variety of cold sandwiches, homestyle plates, hamburgers, pizzas and so much more. The Crescent City now offers all sports, all the time! Cheer your favorite college or pro teams on while you enjoy all you care to eat food specials, drinks and more! There should be plenty of Turkey Day football on TV!

Wherever you hold your meal may you enjoy it in the company of family, friends and loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!