A couple of years ago, my family all got together for Thanksgiving: my mom, my sister, her girlfriend, and my son. We decided to spend Thanksgiving at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. We had all been there several times before, but we hadn’t had Thanksgiving dinner there in maybe twenty years. We went a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it.
If you’re looking for a delightful and delicious way to spend an old fashioned Thanksgiving, you can’t go wrong here.
Graves Mountain Lodge is located in the mountains (naturally) and it is beautiful. You can just enjoy dinner, or stay over. If you stay over, meals are included in the hotel rate, which is a little over a $100 a person (but remember, it includes three big meals); with discounts for children. Otherwise, Thanksgiving dinner is $39.95 plus tax, and half price for children, and you should call for reservations for the early seating (11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.) or the evening seating (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.).
But if you can, I think you should stay over. There are several cabins and a hotel to stay in. We stayed in the Hilltop Motel, and it was comfortable, and the views are lovely. There are rocking chairs to sit in on the porch. It’s a little rustic (there are no phones in the rooms and there is no cell phone service), but I love it and I doubt you’ll find another place quite like it.
As a guest, you take all your meals, family-style, in the main Lodge. Thanksgiving dinner included home made rolls (with their own delicious apple butter), and an all you can eat buffet of salads, turkey, ham, fried oysters, sweet potatoes, and pie for dessert. The people who go to Graves Mountain Lodge are sociable — and tend to be repeat visitors — and I think you will enjoy the conversations at the table.
There isn’t too much to do after dark — it gets a bit dark and cold for walking. But they did have a hay ride, and we did that. We were very cold, but the stars were thrilling. The hayride culminated at a bonfire and we were given marshmallows to roast, before turning back. We just spent the rest of the time talking and being together.
The next day we decided to explore nearby Luray Caverns (highly recommended) and the kitchen packed us box lunches to take with us. On the way back, we stopped at a little diner for pie. It’s right at the foot of the mountain, you can’t miss it. Try to save room for that wonderful pie. If the Caverns aren’t you’re thing, you can drive into Syria and explore the antique shops, or take a hike in the nearby Shenandoah National Park.
That night we returned to a fresh trout dinner.
You have to experience Graves Mountain Lodge. It’s a little like stepping back in time. I think you will love it.
Follow Graves Mountain Lodge on Facebook. Call for reservations 540-923-4231.