How to Prepare and Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner in Your Home Away From Home

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Spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a great way for families and friends to spend some quality time together at the beach — but what about Thanksgiving dinner? Sure, there are plenty of restaurants where you can go out for the traditional Turkey Day feast, and there are numerous take-out options where you can leave the cooking and cleaning to somebody else.

But for visitors who are accustomed to their own family-made Thanksgiving fare, it's still not a deal-breaker for a Myrtle Beach vacation. One of the most overlooked alternatives is to prepare you turkey, dressing and all the trimmings in the comfort of your own oceanfront suite at Long Bay Resort. Enjoy the familiar flavors of home and a feast with friends and family while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Long Bay Resort's suites feature full kitchens or kitchenettes where you can make a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner at your home away from home.

Of course, the biggest challenge may be the turkey. It's hard enough to make a nice, juicy bird in your own home, so doing so on the road can be a bit of a challenge … unless you follow these simple rules. For starters, don't go too big. You will need extra space for other dishes and don't want to get stuck with a bird that's too big to close the oven door. A 12- to 15-pound turkey is plenty for a party of eight, with enough leftovers for turkey sandwiches over the rest of the weekend. If your family prefers white meat, pick up a turkey breast for added carving convenience.

Perhaps the easiest way to prepare your turkey for travel is to cook it at home ahead of time. Simply remove the bird shortly before it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees (155 to 160 will be fine) and let it cool before pre-slicing the wings and legs to save time on Thanksgiving Day. Wrap it up in an aluminum pan or foil and pack it in an insulated bag with a cold source to keep the bird from going bad. If you are heading to Myrtle Beach within two days, store it in the fridge until you are ready to pack it. Any longer, and you may want to keep it in the freezer for safety.

Once you arrive at Long Bay Resort and are ready to start dinner, return the turkey to the oven at 325 degrees and check for an internal temperature of 165 to ensure the bird is heated throughout. If you have a special carving knife and other utensils you are accustomed to using, you can pack them with your other Thanksgiving items. While Long Bay's kitchens are fully stocked with items such as plates, forks, knives, spoons and glasses to cover most cooking and dining situations, Thanksgiving dinner often requires some special items, like a turkey baster or thermometer, that you’ll need to bring from home.

You can also pre-package other popular Thanksgiving dishes, such as dressing, veggies and casseroles. Simply prepare all the things you normally cook for Thanksgiving dinner, such as mac and cheese or green bean casserole, but instead of placing them in your oven, pack them for the trip and finish them off in your room at Long Bay Resort. That way you can use all your home seasonings without having to haul your spice rack to the beach. Other side items like cranberry sauce and rolls can easily be prepared in your suite in the final minutes before the meal.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes the perfect meal comes out less than perfect. Myrtle Beach has you covered with a long list of options for picking up prepared Thanksgiving dinners to go. Nearby grocery stores like Publix, Food Lion and The Fresh Market have in-store delis where you can find everything from turkey and all the fixings to those hard-to-make dishes for enhancing the spread on your table. K&W To Go, located less than a mile from Long Bay Resort, serves everything you could imagine for Thanksgiving dinner, including turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and desserts.

If preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner in your suite sounds like too much trouble, there are many excellent restaurants in the area that will happily handle all the cooking and cleaning so you can enjoy your vacation time. Nearby restaurants open for Thanksgiving and serving traditional feasts include Carolina Roadhouse, Carolina Roadhouse, Croissants, The House of Blues and K&W, just to name a few. If your crew decides to get a little more adventurous and try something different for the holiday, Fiesta del Burro Loco, Preston's Seafood & Country Buffet and Rioz offer their usual menus and more.

Whether you decide to try to tackle the turkey yourself or rely on some outside help to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner, you and your family are sure to have a memorable holiday at Long Bay Resort. Enjoy the oceanfront view, the indoor and outdoor heated pools, and the on-site dining for a wonderful Thanksgiving getaway in Myrtle Beach. You might even start a brand new family Thanksgiving tradition.

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