It’s a tale of two Thanksgivings. The Pacific Northwest makes a great destination for celebrating, whether it’s Canadian Thanksgiving in October or the U.S. version in November.
In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October – this year it’s Oct. 14. It’s a celebration of fall, partly linked to First Nations harvest festivals. Like the U.S. holiday, traditional fare includes turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie, along with another shared custom: watching football.
Whistler Village plans a long weekend of fall activities on Oct. 11-14, with family-friendly entertainment and traditional Thanksgiving dining. There’s also a lot of excitement as folks start planning for the upcoming snow days on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Get set for ski season during the Whistler Blackcomb Turkey Sale, which offers top brands of ski and snowboard gear all weekend long at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in the Upper Village.
The Whistler Turkey Trot takes place Oct. 13 at Lost Lake Park. It’s a family-friendly run/walk with both a 5k and a 10K along some of Whistler’s most scenic trails.
Many of the restaurants in the Village offer a traditional Thanksgiving menu, including a Thanksgiving dinner or a Harvest Brunch at the Fairmont Chateau’s Wildflower Restaurant. Or, contact other Whistler restaurants for reservations and menu options.
Vancouver Island and Victoria also make for a wonderful holiday experience.
Burn off the extra holiday calories in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, set Sunday, Oct. 13 along a gorgeous seaside course that also features many of Victoria’s landmarks. Not up for a marathon? No worries. The event also features a half-marathon, the 8K Turkey Trot and a 1.25K Thrifty Foods Kids Run. The weekend includes a full spectrum of activities at the Victoria Conference Centre and Expo Theatre.
Many of Victoria’s restaurants will serve traditional Thanksgiving fare. Check out the farm- to-table and high tea options as well.
Thanksgiving in the U.S.
For the U.S. version of Thanksgiving on Nov. 29, plan a holiday getaway in Leavenworth, WA. You can kick off your holidays with the Fowl Run 5K, which starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Front Street Park. Make the fun-loving, quick run through the park before getting stuffed on turkey.
After Thanksgiving, get in the Christmas spirit at the annual Bavarian-style ChristKindlMarkt on Friday through Sunday at Front Street Park and Leavenworth Festhalle. This celebrated Northwest tradition features delicious and authentic Bavarian food, handmade arts and crafts, and family-friendly entertainment. A Lantern Parade is held on Friday and Saturday nights at 5:30 p.m., with children and their parents following Mr. and Mrs. Claus through the streets with hand-crafted lanterns. It’s a sight to see!
A stay in Leavenworth is magical with horse-drawn sleigh rides, holiday lights, German beer on tap and plenty of outdoor activity in this Bavarian Village.
Cannon Beach, in Oregon, also makes a great destination for a Thanksgiving weekend getaway. You can enjoy Haystack Holidays, a series of holiday events designed to put the fun back into the holiday season. One Haystack Holidays highlight is Mimosa Madness, Cannon Beach’s refreshing alternative to the craziness of Black Friday, a long time local tradition. A great option for those who don’t want to cook is ordering take-out. If you’re staying near Manzanita, we recommend Manzanita Grocery & Deli. “The Little Apple” is open on Thanksgiving Day and offers homemade dinners complete with a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. You can even order a delicious pie for dessert!