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Thanksgiving Traditions—Old and New

At last—the holiday season has begun!

You’d be hard pressed to find a more appropriate place in the world to celebrate Thanksgiving than in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Between the rich and relevant history, the incredible food scene and the abundant shopping opportunities, you can’t go wrong gathering your loved ones together in this storied and charming American city.

Here’s a handy guide to what you can expect in the Historic Triangle this Thanksgiving.


Berkley Plantation’s Thanksgiving Festival
November 4, 2018
12-4 p.m.
Berkeley Plantation
12602 Harrison Landing Rd.
Charles City, VA 23030-3339

Celebrate a re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving, which took place not in Massachusetts, but at the site of today’s Berkeley Plantation on the banks of Virginia’s James River. After 38 British settlers landed on Virginia’s shore on December 4, 1619, two years before the more famous festivities in Plymouth.

Though the settlers were ordered by London-based Berkeley Company to keep their arrival day a celebration dedicated to God (let’s just say there was more fasting than feasting on the first Thanksgiving), modern guests can look forward to a significantly more celebratory occasion on November 4. Learn about the fascinating history of this site while you watch a parade of horse-drawn carriages, hear the fifes and drums play, taste delicious foods sold by local vendors, and watch musicians, magicians and re-enactors stroll the plantation grounds. Here’s a schedule of events, and you can find more information about the festival including pricing here.


The great thing about Williamsburg is that you have more than once choice when it comes to how you want to celebrate!

If you prefer to immerse yourself in history, head to Colonial Williamsburg and try out authentic, colonial-era taverns like ShieldsChristiana CampbellChowning’s and The King’s Arms. Each of these will feature a special Thanksgiving Day dinner with menu items like pumpkin soup, sage-rubbed turkey, pan-seared salmon or slow-roasted prime rib with a choice of desserts. Mmm.

And speaking of history, we can’t recommend Food and Feasts of Colonial Virginia enough. The Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will be celebrating Thanksgiving from November 22-24. See firsthand how Native Americans prepared food at Jamestown Settlement’s Powhatan Indian village, and watch re-enactors prepare baked bread, pudding and pies as English colonists. This event is as unique and fascinating a spectacle as you could ever hope to encounter!

If you’re looking for a more modern dining experience, try one of Williamsburg’s outstanding restaurants. You won’t be disappointed by the Thanksgiving menus these chefs have prepared for you!  

(Expert tip: Feeling as stuffed as a turkey? Walk it off with Williamsburg Walking Tours!)


One of the reasons we love Thanksgiving so much is because when it’s over, there’s no letdown! The holiday season has just begun!

On Black Friday, head out to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets to snag amazing deals on designer brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, L’Occitane, The North Face, and more.

If a more personal experience is what you’re after, pay a visit to beautiful Merchants Square with its charming shops and tasty restaurants, like Fat Canary and The Cheese Shop.  

Want to be as close to the fun as possible? Kings Creek Plantation is the perfect place to stay with family and friends. We cater to groups of all sizes and needs, so that when you’re here, you feel at home!

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