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It’s easy to imagine that on Thanksgiving, everyone across America is sitting down to the same turkey dinner. But the truth is, everyone puts their own spin on it. Local ingredients from Pacific Northwest crab to Virginia ham work their way into appetizers and sides, and sometimes even join or replace the turkey as the main event. Then there are those who add their family’s ethnic spin, replacing bread stuffing with rice or couscous, say, and those who don’t eat meat at all.

RELATED: 17 holiday travel hacks to save your sanity

We found 10 venerable hotels and charming inns across the country that are serving up a surprising range of Thanksgiving spreads that reflect all the culinary, dietary and ethnic diversity this country has to offer. If you want the feast without the cooking and cleaning up after, consider heading out to one of these places.

Photo courtesy of the Beekman

1. Classic meets modern in Manhattan

The hotel: Temple Court at The Beekman Hotel

The meal: Chef Tom Colicchio mixes continental classics and modern flavors for a dinner that is equally traditional and unique. Start with burrata cheese on a bed of seasonal heirloom squash with pomegranate seeds and mustard frills. The main event is Narragansett turkey with roasted mushrooms, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, but those who want something different can have retro-trendy wagyu steak Diane. Dessert takes an even further retro twist with baked Alaska replacing the usual pies.

What’s cool: With its nine-story Victorian atrium and a vibe that’s both hip and reminiscent of Caleb Carr’s New York, the Beekman is hard to resist for a upscale dinner out.

Griffin’s Tail | Photo courtesy of Danforth Inn

2. Asian fusion in Portland, ME

The hotel: Tempo Dulu at The Danforth Inn

The meal: Chef Michael MacDonnell is serving up a multi-course meal that starts with fried oyster with Thai basil pistou; red curry and buttercup squash risotto and lobster with roasted with corn. Poached turkey breast will be served with multigrain fried rice crispy and chili-dusted sweet potato.

What’s cool: Adding that layer of Asian flavors to the classic turkey dinner, and fitting local lobster onto the menu, too.

Photo courtesy of Nemacolin

3. Simple but elegant in Uniontown, PA

The hotel: Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

The meal: Diners can choose between turkey, salmon or short ribs, all served with their own selection of seasonal ingredients such as roasted baby carrots or Brussels sprout leaves and gussied up with touches like caviar butter. Dinner starts with a seasonal pear and walnut and blue cheese salad and there is green bean casserole with crispy pork belly to tell you it isn’t mom’s. Vegetarians can enjoy pumpkin risotto served inside a dainty pumpkin with raisins and pepitas. Dessert is a pumpkin donut with sweet-cream ice cream and pumpkin seeds. And diners can have spiced cider soda, too.

What’s cool: Lots of places try to wow people with an overflowing buffet on Thanksgiving, but Lautrec has gone the opposite way with a pared down prix fixe menu that hits all the right seasonal notes.

Photo courtesy of Holladay House

4. Homespun holiday in Charlottesville, VA

The hotel: Holladay House

The meal: Local is the key word. Start with in-state wine and craft beer while you wait for a dinner that features turkey alongside Virginia ham, and local potatoes, sweet potatoes and butter. Save room for apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake, also with main ingredients sourced from nearby.

What’s cool: The inn limits dinner to 25 people (all overnight guests), for an intimate home-away-from-home meal where diners actually mingle.

Photo courtesy of Panorama Restaurant

5. Thanksgiving with a twist in Miami

The hotel: Panorama Restaurant at Sonesta Coconut Grove

The meal: This dinner has many of the usual Thanksgiving flavors but they don’t always show up where you expect them to and they often mix with unexpected ingredients. Sweet potatoes and cauliflower appear in a first-course salad and Brussels sprouts pop up on a flatbread with pancetta and Parmesan cheese.  There’s goat cheese in the roasted sweet potatoes, boursin in the mashed potatoes and kale is in a gratin. For dessert, look for pumpkin in tiramisu.

What’s cool:  Taking in a view of sunny Biscayne Bay, and maybe go for a swim, after enjoying your late autumn feast.

ALSO: Save room for rewards—Orbitz Rewards will fill you up in no time!

Photo courtesy of the Grill Room

6. Spicing things up in New Orleans

The hotel: The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel

The meal: Local touches like a Gulf shrimp appetizer, Vidalia onion soup, confit Turkey leg and mirliton-squash-and-shrimp dressing signal you’re in the Crescent City. They even one-up the traditional apple pie with an apple galette that’s topped with cinnamon, apple butter and mulled-wine ice cream.

What’s cool: You expect a New Orleans Thanksgiving to be full of local ingredients and a little richer and more indulgent than your typical turkey dinner. This menu doesn’t disappoint.

Photo courtesy of Paws Up

7. Game at a Montana ranch

The hotel: The Resort at Paws Up Ranch

The meal: Guests at the ranch can enjoy a celebration of American meat and fowl. Look for duck prosciutto, elk carpaccio and small chicken potpie appetizers. Then consider bison or cider-glazed ham as an alternative to the usual turkey (which they have, too).

What’s cool: In addition to the usual dishes like green bean casserole look for surprises like garam masala yams and and the option of local goat cheese instead of the usual sweets for dessert.

Photo courtesy of Cleo

8. Middle Eastern in Las Vegas

The hotel: Cleo at the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

The meal: Consider a roasted heirloom carrot salad with dates, smoked feta cheese, pistachio and curry spices or a delicata squash flatbread with tahini, pomegranate, burrata and hazelnuts. For an entrée, consider chicken-fried turkey with apricots mustard, harissa aioli, and a falafel waffle instead of the usual stuffing.

What’s cool: We like the way this Mediterranean restaurant plays with seasonal fall ingredients and its house flavors.

Photo courtesy of The Raven

9. Vegan in Mendocino, CA

The hotel: The Raven at the Stanford Inn

The meal: Start with a leek, shallot and sun-dried tomato frittata or grilled trumpet royale salad with raddichio, romaine, candied pecans and cranberry/pomegranate vinaigrette. For your main dish there’s encrusted tofu with chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, a harvest tamale with butternut squash, almond cheese and a mole sauce, or a shallot strudel with cauliflower puree, giganda beans and pesto. End your meal with dairy-free pumpkin pie, apple cobbler or chocolate trifle.

What’s cool: Some people say they like the sides way more than the turkey at Thanksgiving. If you’re one of those people, this diverse and flavorful meat-free dinner might be just right for you.

Photo courtesy of The Salish

10. Pacific Northwest Flavors in Snoqualmie, Washington

The hotel: The dining room at the Salish Hotel & Spa

The meal: You know you’re in the Northwest when your Thanksgiving soup options are Dungeness crab or foraged mushroom bisque. Kale and spinach salads and glazed carrots feature honey from the hotel’s own hives, as do the kabocha squash pie, pecan pie and chocolate-date-nut tarts on offer for dessert.

What’s cool: Work up an appetite for your dinner with a hike, mountain-bike ride or horseback ride around the inn’s riverside rural environs.

Tagged: California, Florida, Las Vegas, Miami, New England, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Virginia

Eileen Gunn

Eileen Gunn

Eileen is a long-time journalist and the founder of FamiliesGo! She has traveled to five continents and would like to reach the remaining two soon.
Eileen Gunn

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