On a day devoted to giving thanks, let us appreciate that travel has reopened—and that there are a ton of hotels ready to do the heavy lifting on Thanksgiving dinner.
Hood Canal's waterfront hotel requires reservations for their all-day meal, which, unsurprisingly, features a few seafood standouts like king salmon piccata and the lodge's signature clam chowder. The kid version of a traditional turkey meal runs $22, including the only bit they'll actually eat, dessert. While an overnight stay is not required, the day after Thanksgiving the hotel will hold a private tree lighting ceremony for guests (and a two-hour Yuletide Cruise up Hood Canal the day after that).
Is the hotel—that set up shop this year in an old seminary—in town or out of it? Given that it sits at the top of Lake Washington, we'll say it counts as either. We recently applauded the broad appeal of chef Jason Wilson's new Cedar and Elm restaurant, but the Thanksgiving menu aims straight at the traditionalists, from the turkey breast to the sourdough and brioche stuffing. The green bean casserole does feature foraged mushrooms, though.
Dissing the traditional turkey is kind of cliche. But truly, the alternatives at Port Ludlow easily outshine the classic (which is on the menu too): Quillayute River steelhead trout crusted in horseradish and under stewed Palouse lentils, or roasted squash served with a quinoa pilaf. Pleasantly out of the way of everything, the resort anchors a small waterfront community on the northeast end of the Olympic Peninsula.
When your hotel sits atop the region's signature waterfall, putting on a show is expected—so it's no wonder that the traditional turkey is carved tableside at Salish. But note that not everything is over-the-top; the "bulls blood" in the dungeness crab bisque starter is a kind of beet, not, uh, something messier. Stay until the next morning for another presentation, the hotel's signature fresh-baked biscuits with drizzled honey from the on-site bees.
What is Thanksgiving but a day for options? The almost-to-Canada waterfront resort is itself a buffet, offering three different meal options on the holiday. Tables will be spread wide in the main ballrooms, allowing for communal (but still pandemic friendly) feasting, with both 1pm and 3pm seatings for a traditional family-style meal. The casual Packers Kitchen and Bar has a more chill version of a big meal, and the Great Blue Heron Grill packs up a to-go three-course selection to be enjoyed in blessed solitude. Maybe your perfect holiday involves splitting up the family among all the options—we don't judge.
Given that it sits on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass, Suncadia best serves as an overnight destination. Thanksgiving dinner at Portals Restaurant starts at just $23 for the turkey version, and the dessert menu captures the lodge's mountain vibe with a huckleberry cheesecake. The more casual Stovehouse restaurant has a special holiday menu as well. Family-friendly Winterfest activities begin the second Thanksgiving is over: tree lighting, a Santa's workshop full of gingerbread house-making and snow art tie-dye, and a snow slingshot.