From the mountains to the ocean, in Georgia dwells many beautiful and cozy places to spend your Thanksgiving holiday. Whether it be a unique place to stay or a fantastic, traditional dinner, these are the best places to sneak away to.
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Helen (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Helen is an incredible place to see the last of the vibrant fall colors hanging onto the trees. Two particularly unique places to lodge offer treats and views that will take you back to simpler times.
The Helendorf is a Bavarian style hotel that’s situated along the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River. Curved, wooden accents mimic Helen’s famous, German charm. Riverfront balconies facing the water allow you to sit amongst the fall foliage. Local wineries, Native American memorials, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking and specialty shopping for imported goods are amongst the numerous fall activities.
The Stovall House Country Inn was built in 1837 as a farmhouse in the Sautee Valley hills. Meals feature herbs, vegetables and fruit from onsite Grove Place Farm; heirloom seeds from the garden can be linked back for 50 years. The kitchen rolls out authentic, southern dishes like cornbread, black-eyed peas, seasoned greens, stone-ground grits organic eggs, biscuits, pancakes, bacon and French toast.
Savannah (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Savannah’s ocean front is a change of pace from the typical envisioned Thanksgiving haven of mountains and cabins. Beautiful trees still line the sidewalks, but the ocean breezes whip fresh, cool air through the city.
One of the best fall stays can be found at the Presidents’ Quarters Inn, a historic bed and breakfast in the Savannah historic district at Oglethorpe Square. Constructed in 1855, the inn boasts 16 suites, some with fireplaces and private garden view balconies. Breakfast is freshly made to order, and afternoon hors d’oeuvres and wine are a pleasant bonus.
If you’re looking for a real Thanksgiving dinner, The Olde Pink House delivers in a historically southern setting true to Savannah. Dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, pecan pie and other favorites grace the menu.
Sometimes we just want something totally new to shake up the typical holiday dinner; Savannah Riverboat Cruises meld the perfect amount of tradition and change with live entertainment and comfort food aboard their Thanksgiving dinner sail. Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons adds an ultra southern twist on the classic meal, with a menu mix of turkey, fried chicken, tomato pie, squash casserole, creamed corn and gooey pumpkin cake. Wrap the evening up with a two-hour showing Savannah’s annual Christmas performance at the Savannah Theatre. Shows are available Tuesday through Sunday; Adults are $37 and those 18 and under are $18.
Dahlonega (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Folks are in full swing of setting up for Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas in late November. You’ll be there at the perfect time to experience the start of it all, if you make the Mountain town your Thanksgiving getaway destination.
Forrest Hills Mountain Resort is a luxurious place to truly unwind; 100 lavish rooms, a day spa, horseback riding stables, two miles of walking trails, group lodges and a wedding chapel in case you’d like to tie the knot around turkey day, are just some of the amenities. Cabins are also available for a more secluded experience. Local wineries and underground gold mine tours are near and make perfect day trips. Forrest Hill’s onsite restaurant sets up quite the spread to celebrate Thanksgiving; roasted turkey with giblet gravy, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, glazed pit ham, creamed corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé, macaroni and cheese, southern green beans, collard greens, broccoli casserole, salads, cranberry sauce, corn bread, rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, red velvet cake and banana pudding cover the buffet tables. Now that’s a feast.
The Smith House was stablished in 1899, now serving as an inviting inn and restaurant. A recovered gold mine shaft can be seen through a window inside, and shines light on the history of the area, and the structure as well. The Smithhouse’s dinner includes oven roasted turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, creamed corn, collards, yams, mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls, skillet cornbread and classic desserts. The country store offers homemade jams and local crafts.
Toccoa (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Toccoa is a simplistic town right on the edge of the mountains. Views are spectacular and southern hospitality is at its best, a perfect combination for the holidays.
Staying at the Chateau Elan Winery And Resort is not only luxurious, but extremely warm and homey. Hit the golf course before the big meal, or relax with a treatment at the European Health Spa. The full-production winery produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and Riesling grapes, which make for a gorgeous landscape as well as delicate, delicious wines.
For dinner, head to M&J Home cooking, your classic Mountain, southern kitchen. They craft a perfect menu in celebration of Thanksgiving that heavily reflects their home cooked traditions. The turkey and dressing, baked ham, fried chicken, vegetables, salad bar and desserts are the best you can get in Toccoa.
Currahee Mountain is popular for its hiking, biking, caves and scenic picnic areas with unparalleled views. You can also hike to Toccoa Falls, a 186 foot water feature that is 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls.
The Curahee Vinyards are a family owned winery creating award winning Vinifera and Muscadine wines. Other native grapes are grown too. Drink in the wine and the view.
Atlanta (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Atlantic Station has already come alive with Christmas Lights by Thanksgiving; a giant tree and the Christkindl Market in Central Park are two of the big attractions.
Stay at Twelve Atlantic Station, a hotel located right in the shopping village; this allows you to access Atlanta’s largest ice skating rink, tons of restaurants and lots of holiday activities.
You couldn’t be in a better place for Black Friday shopping; Atlantic Station’s pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with countless, big name and small, independent stores selling everything from Christmas pajamas to homemade fudge.
The Shed at Glenwood is the place to eat; local farm ham, smoked organic turkey breast, fried chicken, sweet potato soufflé, jalapeño grits and zucchini squash casserole make up the central menu. Unique dessert options include oatmeal and cranberry whoopie pies, bourbon roasted banana pudding and 7-Up pound cake with lemon glaze.
South City Kitchen in Midtown is also a great pick with cool twists on typical turkey day. Fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and red pepper coulis, housemade pimento cheese with toasted corn crackers, butter pickles, and celery hearts are appetizers that have been served in the past. Roasted turkey breast with giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, collard greens, whipped potatoes, orange-cranberry sauce, buttermilk fried chicken with garlic collards and smashed potatoes with honey-thyme sauce make up main course choices. And oh my goodness, dessert is irresistible. Caramel pumpkin cake, Southern chocolate pecan pie and warm apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream keep things simple but indulgently festive; the perfect way to round off Thanksgiving!