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2018 Harborside Thanksgiving Events by Boat

Post by Amanda Jones - Published on 11/3/18 8:55 AM

Whether you're cruising the ICW or the Baja-Haha, finding a host for the holiday is fun when you're part of the boating community. For those looking to break bread with new boating friends, here are some marinas, yacht clubs, and harbor town locales ready to welcome you to their tables. Check out our list of the top harborside events going on this Thanksgiving! 

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Dockwa! 

Know of another gathering that is taking place on Thanksgiving this year? Email amanda.jones@dockwa.com or chime in on our Facebook group so we can add it to the growing list! 



For those boaters planning a cruise to Newport, Rhode Island, for Thanksgiving, you're in luck! Thanksgiving is a great time to visit Newport, especially with all the events that take place: 

  • November 17 - January 1: If you're a forward thinker, be sure to check out the Newport Mansions for the beginning celebration of Christmas at the Newport Mansions! The mansions spectacular decorations highlight the celebration of the holidays in Newport. 

  • November 22: For a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, look no further than The White Horse Tavern or The Clarke Cooke House, both in Downtown Newport. If you're looking for more of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner but with a twist check out Cara at The Chandler located overlooking First Beach in Newport. At Cara, enjoy Executive Chef Matt Voskuil's special take on Thanksgiving Dinner. 

  • November 22: If you're looking for a Thanksgiving dinner more from the water, be sure to check out The Mooring, which serves a traditional feast combination from land & sea featuring both Turkey and Lobster dishes.

  • November 22: Create a new Thanksgiving tradition and enjoy a beautiful meal by Chef Simone at Hotel Viking. There will be thanksgiving Classics, a Carving Station, Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar all included in a Thanksgiving Grand Buffet. Hotel Viking is also offering a TTG (Thanksgiving To Go) option where you can order a whole Thanksgiving meal to feed 8 - 10 people and pick it up hot and ready on November 22nd.  

  • November 22: To top off all the restaurant options, Gurney's Resort Marina is hosting a special Thanksgiving feast at their restaurant, Scarpetta from 1 - 7 PM. 

  • November 23: Stick around after Thanksgiving Day to watch Newport's Illuminated Boat Parade at the Bowen's Wharf Block Party! There will be boats decorated with festive holiday decor and lights. The boats motor through the harbor and compete for the best decorated in various categories. Shops and restaurants will be open and boats will sail by starting around 6:15 PM.

  • November 23 - January 1: Christmas at Blithewold. Celebrate the holiday season and enjoy the elaborate holiday decorations around every corner of the Blitheworld Mansion in Bristol. 
  • November 24: Lighting of the Lighthouse on Goat Island. Celebrate with Gurneys as they light their historic lighthouse, complete with carolers, spiked cider, live music at the resort's Regent Cocktail Club and undisturbed views of the famed Newport Bridge. 

  • November 24: The Holiday Lantern Tour is another great event taking place after Thanksgiving for the holiday season. Hear about the history of early American holiday traditions on an evening walk around downtown and learn how the colonial Newporters recognized the holidays. 

  • November 30: The 2018 Newport Holiday Stroll. Join in for the 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll around Newport. 

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The Northeast


  • November 16-17: America's Hometown Thanksgiving Festival in Plymouth. On Friday, enjoy tours of the historic waterfront and a free concert. On Saturday enjoy a Thanksgiving Parade, a concert, and other educational activities! 

  • November 19: The Cove Restaurant & Marina Thanksgiving Centerpiece Event. Other than food, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the amazing table settings. Create your very own Thanksgiving Centerpiece and learn the art of floral arranging while enjoying the amazing views of the Mount Hope Bay! 

  • November 21-25: The Plimouth Plantation. This is the site of the first Thanksgiving where the Pilgrims first landed and settled back in 1620. Check out the Pilgrim Monument and go on board a reproduction of the Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World. 

  • November 22: Homestyle Thanksgiving Buffet at the Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth. Every autumn, the Plimouth Plantation offers Thanksgiving dining programs with fresh ingredients, festive surroundings and a sense of history.

  • November 22: The 22nd Annual Gobble Gobble Gobble 5K in Somerville. 

  • November 22: Enjoy an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at Boston's Top of the Hub Restaurant in the Prudential Center. The panoramic Boston views from the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center provides a sensational backdrop for a great Thanksgiving! 

  • November 23: Head over to Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston for some Black Friday shopping! This is one of the biggest post-Thanksgiving events in Boston so be sure to get there early. Also, if you're in the holiday spirit, be sure to check out the beautiful display of Christmas Lights around the Marketplace. 

  • November 29: Boston Common Tree Lighting. The mayor and Santa will be at this event. The lighting ends with fireworks! 

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  • November 23: Ready for some Thanksgiving sailing? Fayerweather & Black Rock Yacht Club in Bridgeport is hosting the Wild Turkey Regatta! Be sure to check their website for more information regarding the race details. 

New York: 

  • November 17: Cranksgiving NYC Hudson Yards. 

  • November 18-19: The 24th Annual Patchogue Christmas Holiday Boat Parade. Watch as decorated boats float down the river on Long Island. This years theme will be "A Hollywood Christmas!" 

  • November 21: Mary's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation. Watch the giant balloons slowly fill with helium. This year, the new entrance to the giant balloon inflation area will be at West 74th Street & Columbus Avenue.  

  • November 22: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Watch giant balloons, floats, marching bands clowns and performers as the parade goes down Central Park West and 6th Avenue. 

  • November 28: The 86th Annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting 2018. The annual tree lighting ceremony is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The Rockefeller Center Tree will be up from November 28 until January 7. 

If you're within a reach of Port Jefferson head to the WAVE Restaurant at Danfords Hotel Marina for two great Thanksgiving events:

  • November 21: It’s All About That Baste party & cocktail event. Celebrate all that you are thankful for!

  • November 22: Thanksgiving Day Dinner Buffet - a traditional feast complete with classic dishes and all the trimmings.

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New Jersey: 

  • November 22: Congress Hall, America's oldest seaside resort, hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet as well as a sit-down meal at Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May. 

  • November 30 - December 2: Winter Wonderland Weekend. Begin by having breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall Seaside Resort. Guest can have breakfast with Santa and take in carolers over a cup of hot cocoa during the Winter Wonderland concert series. 

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Chesapeake Bay 


  • November 4: Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at the Berkeley Plantation. Join in and celebrate the first English Speaking Thanksgiving in the New World. Celebrate the day that is dedicated to history, food, and fun with the tours of the 1726 manor house, a living history program, tribal dancers, arts, craft vendors, music, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, a reenactment and so much more.

  • Celebrating in the Chesapeake is easy at the York River Oyster Company in Gloucester Point, Virginia. Steps away from York River Yacht Haven, one of our favorite Chesapeake marinas!

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  • November 17: Baltimore’s Cranksgiving. Cranksgiving is an event which combines bike riding and giving back to the community! It is a scavenger hunt/food drive which sends teams of riders across Baltimore to collect food to benefit Moveable Feast.

  • November 17 - January 1: Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park. This event features a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay with approximately 70 animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway!

  • November 24: Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis is hosting the 2018 Leftover Bowl Regatta. 

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The Carolinas 

North Carolina

  • November 17: The 23rd Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration in Raleigh. Musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers, and authors will gather for this popular family event to give people the opportunity to learn about the North Carolina American Indian culture!

  • November 22: The Carolina's Thanksgiving Parade in Charlotte. There will be over 120 bands, floats and drill teams from both North and South Carolina. Spend the night and book a slip at Long Cove Harbour & Beach Club right in Charlotte!

  • November 23 - January 19: The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival takes place at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. It is about a ½ mile walk in total and fun for the whole family.

  • November 24: The 34th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach. The holiday flotilla will showcase festively decorated boats on the Intracoastal Waterway. Stick around afterward as Fireworks will illuminate the sky at nightfall.

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South Carolina

Thanksgiving is a big day on Kiawah Island – more than 40,000 visitors descend over the weekend. Highlights include the Thanksgiving Feast buffet in the Sanctuary ballroom, Pumpkin Hockey, an early-morning 5K Turkey Trot fun run, and family sand sculpting. The weekend concludes with the annual Party in the Park, featuring low-country food and drinks, face painting, games, and live music. The morning after Thanksgiving, Santa arrives for a tree lighting ceremony, with extras like cookie and ornament decorating on offer. Stay at nearby Bohicket Marina!

  • November 21: Holiday Lights on the River is taking place in Columbia. Enjoy the Midlands largest drive-through lights display!

  • November 22: The 41st Annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5K in Charleston. The 5K will have a post-race party with food, beverages, live music, a children’s fun run and lots of other activities.

  • November 22: The South Carolina Yacht Club will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Reserve your slip at the Windmill Harbour Marina in Hilton Head and head next door to the South Carolina Yacht Club for dinner!  

  • November 24: The Intracoastal Christmas Regatta is a traditional holiday kickoff at the Little River Inlet. To enter your boat in the parade check out the application! Don’t want to enter your boat? Several restaurants along the parade route plan special menus and events so there is fun for everyone.

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Florida & The Keys 

  • November 17: The Annual Festival of Trees. This event shows off beautifully adorned trees of all sizes, wreaths and other decorative items to make your home festive for the start of the holiday season.

  • November 20 - January 1: The Space Coast Lightfest. More than 2.7 million twinkling holiday lights will ignite the night sky at Wickham Park in Melbourne.

  • November 22: Key West Harbour Club will be hosting a lovely Thanksgiving buffet with a tropical twist.  

  • November 24: Shop Small Sip & StrollIf you're thinking of a way to give back this Thanksgiving, shop small! On Saturday, spend the day sipping & strolling while shopping small in downtown Cocoa Village where the shops will carry unique holiday gifts for every person in your family.

  • November 25: The Space Coast Marathon & Half MarathonReserve a slip at BG Bayside Marina in Melbourne for a few more days.

  • November 25-26: Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Fest. Enjoy beautiful pieces of artwork with those you are most thankful for. 

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Islands & Inland Waterways


  • November 22: Boaters on Lake Mendota can enjoy a Thanksgiving brunch at The Edgewater including local specialties like Amish turkey glazed with bourbon cider and leek mac and cheese made with three types of Wisconsin cheddar.

  • November 22: The annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on Lake Mendota. 

  • November 22: Celebrate the seasonal opening of the ice rink, hang out with Santa & the University of Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger.

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For those heading to Nashville for the holiday reserve a slip at Rock Harbor Marina & keep these places in mind when making your Thanksgiving lunch or dinner plans: 

  • November 22: The Loveless Cafe will be serving up a turkey and dressing special from 7-2 PM.

  • November 22: The Mockingbird will be open and providing a Thanksgiving feast menu with a great selection of festive treats. 

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The British Virgin Islands:

  • November 22: If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving feast with a big of a Caribbean twist look no further than Foxys

  • November 23: The Anegada Lobster CrawlEat, drink and be thankful.

  • November 24-29: The 2018 Manuka Doctor Necker CupGrab your family and head over to watch some tennis this holiday season. The Necker Cup is a 6 day, 5 night all-inclusive world-class Pro-Am Tennis Event. 

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The Bahamas:

  • November 22: For a traditional family Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner check out the Great Harbour Cay Marina with your family & loved ones.  

  • November 22: The Valentines Resort and Marina will be hosting a festive Thanksgiving event at the marina. 

  • November 22: Treasure Cay Marina in Abaco, Bahamas is hosting a Thanksgiving turkey dinner and holiday activities.

  • November 23: The Changing of The Guard is a tradition in the Bahamas since 1958. The ceremony features the world-renowned Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band and Royal Bahamas Defense Force Guards.

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The West Coast 


  • November 17-18: Turkey Day Regatta is taking place at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach. 

  • November 17-18: The Ritz-Carlton Stand Up Paddle & Surfing Santa Competition. Competitors dress like Santa or other holiday characters and surf the waves at Salt Creek Beach. 

  • November 18: The Intra Club Drumstick Race at Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey. 

  • November 21: St. Francis Holiday Display. Stop by the lobby of the Westin St. Francis to admire the Holiday Castles. This event features two castles with circular towers, individual rooms, and illuminated windows, surrounded by holiday sugar cakes! 

  • November 22: Free Garden Day. Visit the 55-acre San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park. 

  • November 22: Join thousands of runners and walkers for the annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles. Everyone is welcome to join or cheer the runners/walkers on! 

  • November 22: Take the stress out of Thanksgiving and treat yourself, your family or your loved ones to a day at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Join in on gobbling with the sea otters and the entire Aquarium family on Thanksgiving. Enjoy a full Thanksgiving buffet-style lunch at the Aquarium from 9-6 PM! 

  • November 23-24: The Blue Water Resort & Casino’s 72nd Annual Thanksgiving Regatta

  • November 23: Union Square Tree Lighting. The lightening begins at 6 PM with singers, a chorus, a gospel choir, visits from Snoopy and Santa! 

  • November 23-24: The San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland. This includes snow sledding, arts and crafts, live entertainment, children's activities, and a tree lighting. 

  • November 25: The Hollywood Christmas Parade. Starting at 6 PM giant balloons, floats, costumed characters, bands, equestrians, and celebrities will be at the Christmas Parade!

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  • November 9-17: Seattle Turkish Film Festival. This is the 5th Short Film Competition. Bring your family to see some feature-length films and short films and vote on your favorite! 

  • November 17-28: Festival of Trees. There are multiple events happening during this week all taking place at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The tree display in the lobby and driveway will take place the entire time at the hotel as well. 

    • November 17: The Festival of Trees Gala Dinner. This is a Black Tie event. 

    • November 18: Festival of Trees Celebration. This is a family-friendly event & has free admission. 

    • November 23-26: Teddy Bear Suite. Visit the suite that is decorated in teddy bears along with elegant Christmas decorations. 

  • November 18: Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off. This is a 5K or 10K run or walk that takes place on the partially closed road around Green Lake. There will be a post-race beer garden and mashed-potato-eating contest! This will be fun for the whole family. 

  • November 18-19: Yulefest. The Yulefest brings Christmas to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, with Scandinavian food, craft booths, fiddlers, folk dancers, a beverage garden, and access to the museum. 

  • November 22: Thanksgiving run or walk. Happening in these cities: 

  • November 23: Macy's Holiday Parade. See marching bands, costumed characters, floats, and Santa Claus. 

  • November 23: Macy's Downtown Seattle Starlighting. There will be a fireworks show if weather permits.  

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  • November 10: Seaside Downtown Fall Wine Walk. Taste wine in local shops for a small fee

  • November 19 - December 31: A Very Portland Christmas. Walk through Pittock Mansion when it is decorated for the holidays by professional designers and volunteers. listen to musicians play holiday music in the music room as you walk through. 

  • November 21: Turkey Trot Run/Walk 5K. Be the first to see the lights at Portland International Raceway. This race will take you on a holiday-themed journey through the lights of the Sunshine Division Winter Wonderland. 

  • November 23: The 34th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Taking place in Pioneer Courthouse Square the day after Thanksgiving. Celebrate the lighting of the spectacular 75-foot Douglas-fir tree! 

  • November 24-26: Tine Country Thanksgiving. Willamette Valley wineries have events and special offers happening during this fall weekend. 

  • November 23-December 5: America's Largest Christmas Bazaar. There will be 400 booths of unique handcrafted items plus 500 booths of commercial holiday products at the Portland Expo Center. Open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays! 



Know of any other awesome Thanksgiving events that we missed? Let us know

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Dockwa! 

Post by Amanda Jones

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