Being with family is one of the best parts of the Thanksgiving holiday. What could be better than escaping to a Massachusetts holiday and sharing it all with those you love! Check out these ideas for memorable family getaways, and don't forget to pack your camera.
Your family will feel right at home on the rugged coast of the Atlantic, a place of quaint villages and historic lighthouses. Though it might be chilly on the beach, there is plenty to do over your long weekend in Nantucket. The Nantucket Whaling Museum features a candle factory and a real whale skeleton. Young ones will love the Cape Cod Children's Museum, where they can explore a pirate ship and discover the heavens in the indoor planetarium. Mom and Dad can relax with a craft brew at Cisco Brewery.
If your family just can't bear the thought of missing the traditional turkey dinner, plan a ride on Cape Cod Central Railroad's Thanksgiving journey. Skip the cooking and enjoy the view of the Atlantic coast while enjoying top-notch food and stellar service. The train departs from Hyannis and returns three hours later with all bellies happily full.
If you happen to be free on the weekend before Thanksgiving, check out the most historically accurate Thanksgiving parade in the nation. Plymouth's celebration holds opening ceremonies in Pilgrim Memorial Park and then heads out down Benny's Plaza Court Street. Share this special event with your family, and enjoy several events that mark the history of the very first Thanksgiving in 1621.
For some travelers, shopping is the highlight of any vacation. Massachusetts is full of history, and antique collectors will find much to explore. And, of course, the long Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to start your Christmas shopping.
The home of Harvard University is also a great place to start your Christmas shopping on the traditional "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving. Harvard Square, in the heart of Cambridge, offers elegant shops and fine dining to kick off your holiday celebration in style.
Book lovers won't want to miss spending time in the Brattle Book Shop, founded in 1825. This is the largest used bookstore in the country, with three floors of shelves to get lost in, and even an outdoor bargain lot. Enjoy searching for that special rare volume to delight the bookworm on your shopping list.
Home to poets Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, Amherst also offers some shopping adventures for a variety of tastes. Visit The Mermaid's Tale for fashionable women's boutique items and jewelry. Antique collectors will want to spend an entire morning or afternoon in Breuer's Heirloom Furniture and Antiques, looking for that unique piece of history. Mystery Train Records is a quirky shop where you can find vintage magazines and music.
Maybe the goal for your Massachusetts Thanksgiving getaway is simply to relax and leave all the activity of daily life behind. These vacation spots are designed for fun, sightseeing, and letting your cares drift away. Let the pace of small-town life create a relaxing holiday to remember.
Best known for its connection to the infamous witch trials of the late 17th century, Puritan history abounds in this quaint New England town. If you want to immerse yourself in the witchy saga, you can take a guided tour and visit Witch House, the former home of one of the trial judges. Take a relaxing stroll on your own and see the House of the Seven Gables made famous by colonial writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Six acres of waterfront property along Nantucket Sound form the Hyannis Port Historic district, home to the Kennedy Compound. Let history come alive where John F. Kennedy conducted his successful presidential campaign, and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy lived. It's now a National Historic Site and park.
Though known as a summer colony, this island has grown into a year-round destination with a laid-back, small-town atmosphere. Iconic comedian John Belushi is buried in Chilmark, and fans frequently visit to pay tribute. Fans of the ''Jaws'' movies can visit the fishing village of Menemsha and the town of Chilmark where much of the action was filmed.