Don’t fancy a full on Thanksgiving this year? How about a last-minute Thanksgiving getaway? If you don’t have any Thanksgiving plans set in stone, or the idea of spending hours upon hours in the kitchen cooking a Thanksgiving meal is daunting, you’re likely feeling a little underwhelmed by it all, which is totally fine. Check out these Thanksgiving getaway destinations and get yourself away for some well-deserved RnR.
The perfect family Thanksgiving destination, this is one place where you’re bound to get away from the Thanksgiving madness. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is popular all year round, and there are a number of Gatlinburg accommodation options to be had from private cozy cabins to more luxurious mountain chalets. Ice skating, hiking, skiing and snow tubing are just a few activities you and your family can enjoy.
Um, do we even need an excuse to go to Hawaii? This is one US state that you can visit all year and be guaranteed great weather! November in Hawaii is low-season, so avoid the masses and enjoy a unique Thanksgiving on a beach. You don’t need to forgo all your Thanksgiving celebrations, head to Waikiki Island for its annual holiday parade the day after Thanksgiving Thursday – celebrate with leis, Hawaiian dancing and singing and a whole lot of fun. I’m in!
Avoid peak season at Disneyworld and make it a Thanksgiving to remember for the kids. All Florida theme parks have extended opening hours during Thanksgiving, meaning you’ll get to enjoy all the rides without fighting the crowds. The Park is full of restaurants, leaving you spoiled for choice when it comes to your main Thanksgiving meal, but who said it had to be turkey? For those traditionalists, the Park has a special Thanksgiving Sea Cruise, which includes your traditional Thanksgiving fare among Disney’s most famous characters. How cool would it be to say you shared pumpkin pie with Goofy, Mickey and Co?
The Big Apple, it never grows old. Thanksgiving in NYC is busy with its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. With millions of spectators lining the streets of New York each year, you won’t be escaping the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. What you will be doing is watching one of the most famous parades in the world and taking the stress out of cooking for the 20-odd Thanksgiving guests that usually rock up to your house. And then of course the Black Friday sales in NYC are like no other Black Friday sales anywhere else in the world; it is the world’s capital when it comes to retail therapy after all.
New Orleans, Louisiana
It’s a whole different culture in New Orleans, and if you haven’t visited and you’re looking at a last minute Thanksgiving getaway, this place, renowned for its culture, partying and food, makes for a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday destination. Sample the traditional New Orleans’ cuisine of vignettes and craw-fish and try their own traditional Thanksgiving dish – Turducken. Like the name suggests, this triple poultry dish isn’t for the faint-hearted – basically, it’s a whole chicken, which is stuffed into a whole duck, which is, you guessed it, stuffed into an even bigger bird, a turkey! What’s more, anyone who’s attended the New Orleans’ Madi Gras will tell you that this is one city that can throw a party, so the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade is not to be missed!
Santa Barbara, California
No matter what time of the year you visit, Santa Barbara will always be a beautiful place to visit in the US thanks to its temperate year-round climate. Often dubbed America’s Riviera, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains and the vast Pacific Ocean. There’s no shortage of restaurants serving the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but the one reason you’d want to visit California is for its wine – vino enthusiasts will relish the moment, and of course you need wine at Thanksgiving!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The majority of US cities focus their attention on the Pilgrims during Thanksgiving, however, in Santa Fe, it’s quite the contrary. Learn all about the curious culture of the Native Americans as you visit some of the country’s most famed museums and art galleries dedicated to their heritage. Thanksgiving in Santa Fe is also home to an annual 3-day Winter Indian Market. Here you’ll find over 200 artists, Native American dance groups and musicians, traditional food and Indian arts and crafts. And for all ski bunny enthusiasts, head to Ski Santa Fe to hit the slopes, as the city’s ski fields officially open on Thanksgiving Day!