These Thanksgiving vacation ideas are perfect if you want to get away for the food-filled holiday. Life is busy, and sometimes you need a break. So going somewhere else for Thanksgiving gives you an excuse not to cook.
Some people can be hesitant about traveling for Thanksgiving, but there is no reason to be. Thanksgiving does not have to be spent at your home every year. It is absolutely okay to travel and try something new this year.
There are plenty of places to travel for Thanksgiving, and most places have Thanksgiving dinner covered. The only worry you will have is enjoying your time with your family and creating new memories.
Going on vacation for Thanksgiving is actually more common than you would think. Plenty of people go out of town for the holiday to get away from the craziness of daily life and to truly relax.
Why you should travel this Thanksgiving
- You can experience new places and foods with friends and family.
- Thanksgiving can be a stressful holiday with all of the cooking, so give yourself a well-deserved break and let someone else cook.
- You will create new memories and possibly new traditions.
- It is cheaper to travel internationally because Thanksgiving is an American holiday.
- It is nice to switch up your routine every now and again.
The beach is the perfect place if you want to get away to a warmer location. There are so many different options for a beach trip for Thanksgiving. You could stay in a hotel, Air B&B, or a beach resort.
It all depends on what stage of life you are in. For a family, a beach resort may be a great option over a hotel, especially if you do not want to cook. Most resorts will offer a Thanksgiving package that includes a Thanksgiving feast.
Resorts have multiple pools, beach access (with beachfront rooms), and different activities for the kiddos. Find a fun resort that works best for your family to make it a relaxing vacation.
Punta Cana has many beautiful resorts with plenty of restaurants to choose from. I'm sure they even have some seafood Thanksgiving ideas. You will experience fine dining, which tastes even better because you do not have to make it.
Another great thing about resorts is the excursions. You can schedule fun activities like horseback riding, snorkeling, paddle boarding and other outdoor activities.
Air BnBs may be a great option for a Thanksgiving celebration with extended family. You can pick how many rooms you need to find what will fit best for your family's needs.
I love how there is a communal space where everyone can hang out together. But you will also have your own rooms, so the entire family has their own private space. Plus, you will have a kitchen to cook your Thanksgiving holiday meal.
Find a beach house on the water so you can look out at the ocean while enjoying your meal together as a family. There is nothing better than having Thanksgiving leftovers on the porch facing the ocean. Trust me.
Houses on the east coast, like in North Carolina and South Carolina, have beautiful beaches with fewer crowds in late November. So find a small town on the coast and have a great time relaxing with your family. And here is the best Southern Thanksgiving menu if you are in the south.
If you prefer a hotel, there are many luxury hotels where you can enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend. You can find the perfect place the whole family will enjoy warm weather. There are tons of hotels to choose from.
Hotels typically have an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, and some rooms have their own hot tub. And of course, the hotel will most likely provide an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure you check that is an option before booking.
A great place to go for Thanksgiving is the mountains. You can enjoy the cold weather and snuggle up beside a cozy fire. Pack up your comfiest sweaters and socks to enjoy a mountain Thanksgiving!
The Blue Ridge Mountains are particularly beautiful around Thanksgiving because of the beautiful fall leaves. The oranges, reds, and yellows create a beautiful background for your Thanksgiving feast.
The leaves also make an excellent background for family pictures. Snap a selfie (or hire a photographer) to get a cute family picture for your Christmas card! Then you can check Christmas cards off of your to do list.
If you do decide to escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, you definitely should go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It borders Tennessee and North Carolina, giving you the perfect mixture of each state.
You will find waterfalls, wildflowers (which bloom year-round), and lovely hiking trails in these mountains. Even if it may be chilly, a hike is a must if you visit this national park. Layer up and enjoy the beauty you will find.
There is also an observation tower called Clingmans Dome, where you can see for miles. Depending on the weather, you can see multiple states. It has been around since 1959 and is located at the highest point in the Smoky Mountains (6,643 ft).
The great thing about the Smoky Mountains is that though it can be cloudy, the views are just as beautiful. The hazy mountains are a wonder to look at and are like no other mountains.
There is actually a Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts show in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Artists come from all over to share their beautiful creations, which make great Christmas gifts. It usually lasts the week of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is around the start of ski season, so going to a ski resort may be a popular destination. If you do not want to ski, I'm sure you can find an ice skating rink. You can also enjoy some cocoa by the fire at the ski lodge.
Park City and Jackson Hole are big ski towns with plenty of seasonal activities. You can stay in beautiful ski resorts with delicious Thanksgiving feasts, so you do not have to cook or do dishes. You can cozy up with the best Thanksgiving punch and watch the best family Thanksgiving movies.
Because the ski season is just beginning, there are fewer crowds. Many will wait a bit to start skiing, so you can be some of the first on the slopes! So after you overeat at Thanksgiving, go ski off the calories and enjoy the mountain air.
You should check out Yosemite National Park if you are on the west coast. National parks make for great Thanksgiving destinations because they will not be as crowded. You can go explore the beautiful parks without worrying about traffic.
Yosemite is full of things to do. The park suggests hiking Vernal Fall and Sentinel Dome during November. You will still see some fall foliage, so be prepared for beautiful sights.
Do not worry about finding a place for Thanksgiving dinner in Yosemite. There are plenty of restaurants that have Thanksgiving reservations. Lodging is also available so you do not have to travel far.
Yosemite Village is a must because it has unique shops, restaurants, and even a museum! No one will be bored, but be sure to make reservations beforehand if necessary.
For a super relaxed Thanksgiving, you have to try a cruise. Cruises are all-inclusive, so you do not have to worry about anything. The only problem you will run into is how to eat the all-you-can-eat ice cream.
First, going on a cruise is the best way to check out and relax. Without wifi and cell service, you have to put the phone down and enjoy the quiet. There is no way to check your emails, so you are forced to relax.
Second, there are tons of things to do. You will typically find a waterpark, multiple pools, mini golf, and game rooms on the boat. There is also a gym if you want to get a workout in.
There are kids' rooms, so you can send your kids to play with other kids, watch movies, and have fun while you are relaxing by the pool. The kids' rooms are also available at nighttime so you can go enjoy the evening shows.
Third, you have all of the excursions. You can pick however many activities to do while on your Thanksgiving cruise. If you are getting a bit of cabin fever, get off of the boat and go on an adventure!
There is parasailing, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, zip-lining, and everything in between. Be sure to check with the specific cruise you pick to know exactly what excursions they provide. You will never get bored on a cruise.
Finally, there is an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving meal. Just so you know, all you need to do is show up. There is no food prep, chaotic messes, and cleaning up.
Sit down and enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving with family and friends on a beautiful ship. The views are incredible, and you will make memories that will last a lifetime.
New York City
The holiday season is magical in the Big Apple. The air is crisp, there is live music, and there is always a chance of snow. Plus, there are a billion things to do.
Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It is a common tradition for people to watch the parade while preparing their Thanksgiving meal. So why not see the parade in person?
Bundle up in your warmest coat and gloves, and take the family to see the balloons, musical numbers, and dancers in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Did you know it is the second oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States?
After the parade, take a stroll in Central Park. You can go ice skate, on official tours, and visit the cool statues they have throughout the park. A popular statue is the "Pilgrim," which depicts the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.
Many restaurants offer Thanksgiving dinners, but be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Because New York City is so popular, especially around Thanksgiving, you should make the reservation months in advance.
Broadway shows are a must when you visit New York City. There are many shows to choose from, so you can find the best show for your family. New York is known for Broadway, so if you can, definitely try to attend at least one show.
Another popular show in New York during the holiday season is the Rockettes. Their Christmas show is well-known for the incredible dancing (specifically, the high kicks) and beautiful holiday music.
The show has been running since the 30s, so it is not one to miss. The Rockettes are known the be the most famous groups in the world, so you should definitely attend if at all possible. Kids and adults alike will love the performance.
New York is a magical place any time of year, especially during the holidays. There are things to do for every age, so everyone in the family will have a great time. It will be chilly, so pack warm clothes!
Who doesn't want to go to the most magical place on Earth for Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is a busy time at Disney World or Disney Land, but with a bit of patience and some Fast Passes, it is feasible and possible.
The most important thing regarding a very Disney Thanksgiving is reservations. You must get a reservation for your Thanksgiving meal early or it may not be an option. So if possible, try to plan ahead.
Another important thing is Fast Passes. The wait times for rides will be long, but if you have Fast Passes, you can enjoy rides with a shorter wait time. It is faster if you can split up the group into single riders if at all possible.
A nice thing about going to Disney World in November is that the weather is much cooler. Typically, Florida is hot and muggy, but fall brings nicer temperatures with less humidity. Disney Land in November also has beautiful, cool weather.
Christmas pops up quickly at Disney so be prepared for Christmas lights and decorations. You will see Christmas trees on Thanksgiving Day, so going to Disney is a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Thanksgiving is a cheaper time to travel internationally because Thanksgiving is a United States holiday. Most people tend to stay in the United States for the holiday, so you should take the time to go explore the world.
Depending on where you live in the United States, you can hop on a flight for 5 hours and be in a different country. For example, the flight from Philadelphia to Dublin is only about 5 hours long.
Take the long weekend and go somewhere exciting and new! Because it is such a quick turn around, it may be best to travel somewhere closer, but still internationally. Canada and Mexico are typically easiest, so check them out.
Flights to South America are fairly short also, so pick a country and go! You can experience new cultures and create new memories.
Some of the best locations in South America to visit in November are Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile. The weather is the perfect temperature and there are many cultural events.
Buenos Aires has beautiful music and delicious foods that will have you going back for seconds. It is not as crowded in November, so you can travel without having to worry about too many people.
Rio de Janeiro has religious sites, like the statue of Christ the Redeemer, that are must-sees if possible. There is also an international film festival that takes place in Rio if the timing is right.
Santiago is the place to go if you want to go adventure outdoors. There are hikes that you cannot miss if you enjoy the outdoors. The city is full of culture and art that will take your breath away.
Hopefully, you have found something that has caught your eye for a Thanksgiving vacation. We have given you a few ideas, but the sky is the limit for your holiday adventure. And if you have dietary needs, here are some Thanksgiving dessert ideas gluten free.
There are tons of places to visit throughout the United States and the world that will be the perfect destination for Thanksgiving. Whether that be via plane, train, car, or boat, it will be something you will never forget.
We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! May your holiday be full of delicious food and laughter.