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Where To Go For Thanksgiving Vacation


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Coralyn Whitener



Thanksgiving is a time where families and friends come together to give thanks and enjoy each other’s company. While many people opt to celebrate Thanksgiving at home, some prefer to take advantage of the long weekend and go on a vacation. Whether it’s a short weekend getaway or an extended holiday, there are numerous destinations in the United States and around the world that are perfect for a Thanksgiving vacation.


From popular domestic destinations to exotic international getaways, there is a wide range of options to choose from. Each destination offers its own unique charm and attractions, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, or simply a relaxing beach escape, there’s a Thanksgiving vacation destination that will fit your preferences.


In this article, we will explore some of the best destinations for a Thanksgiving vacation, taking into account factors such as popularity, accessibility, and overall experience. So pack your bags, grab your loved ones, and get ready to embark on a memorable Thanksgiving vacation!


Popular Domestic Destinations

For those who prefer to stay within the United States, there are plenty of popular destinations that offer a memorable Thanksgiving vacation experience. Here are a few top picks:

  1. New York City: The Big Apple comes alive during Thanksgiving with its iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Experience the magic of Times Square, take a stroll through Central Park, and indulge in delicious holiday meals at renowned restaurants.
  2. Orlando, Florida: If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, head to Orlando. With its world-famous theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, you can enjoy thrilling rides, meet beloved characters, and be a part of holiday celebrations.
  3. San Francisco, California: The charming city by the bay offers stunning coastal views, delicious dining options, and iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods, visit Alcatraz Island, and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with a stunning cityscape backdrop.
  4. Charleston, South Carolina: Known for its southern charm, Charleston offers a unique Thanksgiving experience. Enjoy a scenic carriage ride through historic streets, indulge in traditional southern cuisine, and explore the city’s rich history and culture.
  5. Asheville, North Carolina: If you’re seeking a cozy mountain retreat, Asheville is the perfect destination. Surrounded by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, you can enjoy hiking trails, visit the Biltmore Estate, and savor farm-to-table Thanksgiving feasts.

These are just a few examples of popular domestic destinations for a Thanksgiving vacation. Each offers its own unique blend of attractions, dining options, and holiday festivities, ensuring a memorable experience for travelers of all ages.


Exotic International Getaways

If you’re looking to venture beyond the borders of the United States for your Thanksgiving vacation, there are plenty of exotic international destinations that offer a captivating experience. Here are some top picks:

  1. Paris, France: Known as the “City of Love,” Paris offers a romantic and enchanting Thanksgiving getaway. Take a stroll along the Seine River, admire the iconic Eiffel Tower, and indulge in delectable French cuisine at cozy bistros.
  2. Tokyo, Japan: Immerse yourself in a blend of traditional culture and futuristic technology in Tokyo. Explore ancient temples, wander through bustling neighborhoods, and savor a traditional Japanese feast for Thanksgiving.
  3. Bali, Indonesia: For a tropical escape, Bali is an idyllic choice. With its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, and rich spiritual culture, you can relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of this exotic island.
  4. Cape Town, South Africa: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Cape Town, where you can admire the scenic Table Mountain, visit the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood, and explore the vibrant markets for unique holiday shopping.
  5. Rome, Italy: Immerse yourself in history, culture, and mouthwatering cuisine in the eternal city of Rome. Explore ancient ruins, visit iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and Vatican City, and savor authentic Italian dishes for Thanksgiving dinner.

These international destinations offer a blend of unique cultural experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and culinary delights. Whether you choose to explore the romance of Paris, the vibrant city life of Tokyo, the tropical paradise of Bali, the natural beauty of Cape Town, or the historical charm of Rome, an exotic international Thanksgiving vacation will surely create memories to last a lifetime.


Outdoor Adventure Retreats

For the adventurous souls who seek excitement and thrill during their Thanksgiving vacation, outdoor adventure retreats are the perfect choice. Here are a few destinations that offer thrilling outdoor activities:

  1. Denver, Colorado: Known as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers a variety of outdoor adventures. From skiing and snowboarding in nearby resorts to hiking and biking in the breathtaking wilderness, there is no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities.
  2. Moab, Utah: Nestled in the heart of red rock country, Moab is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Embark on exciting off-road jeep tours, go rock climbing in Arches National Park, or take a thrilling white-water rafting trip along the Colorado River.
  3. Queenstown, New Zealand: If you’re looking to go further afield, Queenstown in New Zealand is a paradise for adventure seekers. Try bungee jumping, skydiving, canyon swinging, or embark on a thrilling jet boat ride, all amidst stunning landscapes.
  4. Costa Rica: With its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife, Costa Rica is an outdoor adventurer’s playground. Go zip-lining through the canopies, white-water raft down raging rivers, or hike to magnificent waterfalls.
  5. The Swiss Alps, Switzerland: Experience the ultimate winter wonderland in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy world-class skiing and snowboarding, go ice climbing, or take a scenic cable car ride up the mountains to soak in the breathtaking views.

These outdoor adventure retreats offer thrilling activities surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. Whether you choose to conquer the Rocky Mountains in Denver, explore the red rock wonders of Moab, discover the adrenaline-pumping mecca of Queenstown, immerse yourself in the biodiversity of Costa Rica, or experience the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps, your Thanksgiving vacation is bound to be an adventure unlike any other.


Cultural and Historical Sites

For those with a passion for history and a desire to immerse themselves in different cultures, there are several destinations with rich cultural and historical significance. Here are a few places that offer a captivating blend of both:

  1. Athens, Greece: Explore the birthplace of democracy and delve into ancient history in Athens. Visit iconic historical sites like the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and soak in the vibrant Greek culture and cuisine.
  2. Machu Picchu, Peru: Journey to the mystical Incan ruins of Machu Picchu and marvel at the ancient engineering marvels nestled amidst the stunning Andes Mountains. Hike the Inca Trail, witness the sunrise over the ruins, and discover the vibrant culture of Peru.
  3. Jaipur, India: Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, rich traditions, and majestic palaces of Jaipur, also known as the “Pink City.” Explore historical sites like the Amber Fort, visit the City Palace, and experience the warm hospitality and flavors of Rajasthan.
  4. Cairo, Egypt: Uncover the mysteries of the ancient world in Cairo. Visit the iconic pyramids of Giza, explore the Egyptian Museum, and take a cruise along the Nile River to witness the timeless history and vibrant culture of Egypt.
  5. Kyoto, Japan: Step back in time and experience the elegance and tranquility of traditional Japan in Kyoto. Discover ancient temples, stroll through enchanting bamboo forests, and witness the beauty of traditional tea ceremonies and geisha culture.

These destinations offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human history and culture. Whether you choose to explore the ancient wonders of Athens, hike the sacred trails of Machu Picchu, immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of Jaipur, unravel the mysteries of Cairo, or experience the beauty of traditional Japan in Kyoto, you’ll be transported to a different time and place during your Thanksgiving vacation.


Relaxing Beach Escapes

If your idea of a perfect Thanksgiving vacation involves sun, sand, and relaxation, then a beach escape is the ideal choice. Here are some stunning beach destinations that offer a tranquil and rejuvenating experience:

  1. Maui, Hawaii: With its picturesque beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes, Maui is a tropical paradise. Spend your days lounging on the golden sands, snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, or catching a breathtaking sunset over the ocean.
  2. The Maldives: Indulge in luxury and tranquility in the idyllic islands of the Maldives. With its private villas perched over turquoise lagoons and pristine white-sand beaches, you can relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in a serene tropical oasis.
  3. Cancun, Mexico: Known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, Cancun offers the perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment. Lounge under swaying palm trees, go snorkeling in the iconic Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, or explore ancient Mayan ruins nearby.
  4. Phuket, Thailand: Experience the beauty and tranquility of Thailand’s largest island, Phuket. Relax on its pristine beaches, take a boat excursion to nearby islands, or pamper yourself with traditional Thai massages and spa treatments.
  5. The Seychelles: Escape to the tropical paradise of the Seychelles, where pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests await. Snorkel among colorful marine life, discover hidden coves, and unwind amidst the untouched natural beauty.

These beach destinations offer the perfect backdrop for a relaxing Thanksgiving vacation. Whether you choose to bask in the beauty of Maui, indulge in luxury in the Maldives, party in Cancun, unwind in Phuket, or escape to the Seychelles, you’ll be able to soak in the sun, listen to the soothing sound of waves, and create lasting memories of tranquility.


Cozy Cabin Retreats

If you’re looking for a rustic and cozy Thanksgiving getaway, a cabin retreat can provide the perfect setting. Here are some destinations that offer idyllic cabin stays for a peaceful and rejuvenating experience:

  1. Aspen, Colorado: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is renowned for its beautiful cabins surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, or simply cozying up by the fireplace and taking in the serene mountain views.
  2. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee: Experience the charm of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with a cabin retreat. Explore hiking trails, take in breathtaking fall foliage, and indulge in delicious Southern comfort food for a memorable Thanksgiving feast.
  3. Yosemite National Park, California: Stay in a cozy cabin amidst the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. Spend your days exploring picturesque hiking trails, marveling at breathtaking waterfalls, and immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature.
  4. Adirondack Mountains, New York: Escape to the Adirondack Mountains for a cozy cabin retreat. Enjoy hiking, kayaking, or simply relax on the porch surrounded by the beauty of towering pines and pristine lakes.
  5. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina: Unwind in a charming cabin nestled amidst the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Take scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, explore picturesque small towns, and relish in the scenic beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

These cabin retreat destinations offer a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Whether you choose the snowy landscapes of Aspen, the charming beauty of the Smoky Mountains, the majestic wonders of Yosemite, the serene Adirondack Mountains, or the scenic vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains, a cozy cabin retreat will provide the perfect setting to relax, recharge, and create lasting memories.


Urban City Breaks

If you’re craving the energy and excitement of a vibrant city during your Thanksgiving vacation, consider an urban city break. Here are some destinations that offer bustling city life and a multitude of experiences:

  1. New York City, New York: The Big Apple is a perfect choice for an urban adventure. Explore iconic landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. Indulge in world-class dining, catch a Broadway show, and shop at renowned boutiques.
  2. London, England: Immerse yourself in the rich history and cosmopolitan vibe of London. Visit historical landmarks like the Tower of London, explore world-class museums and art galleries, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in neighborhoods like Soho and Camden Town.
  3. Tokyo, Japan: Get a taste of futuristic technology and traditional culture in Tokyo. Stroll through bustling streets, visit ancient temples and shrines, shop in trendy neighborhoods like Shibuya and Harajuku, and savor delicious street food at local markets.
  4. Melbourne, Australia: Known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, Melbourne offers a mix of hip cafes, art galleries, and colorful street art. Explore lively neighborhoods like Fitzroy and St Kilda, enjoy live music and performances, and savor diverse cuisines at world-class restaurants.
  5. Barcelona, Spain: Experience the unique blend of Gothic architecture and modernist design in Barcelona. Visit the stunning Sagrada Familia, stroll along the bustling Las Ramblas, indulge in delicious tapas, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this lively city.

These urban city destinations offer a myriad of attractions, cultural experiences, and exciting nightlife. Whether you choose to explore the bustling streets of New York City, immerse yourself in the historical charm of London, embrace the electric vibe of Tokyo, indulge in the arts scene of Melbourne, or soak in the vibrant culture of Barcelona, an urban city break will provide endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.


Family-friendly Destinations

When planning a Thanksgiving vacation with the whole family, it’s important to find destinations that cater to the needs and interests of all age groups. Here are some family-friendly destinations that offer a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy:

  1. Orlando, Florida: Known as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is a dream destination for families. Explore the enchantment of Walt Disney World, experience the magic of Universal Orlando Resort, or visit the marine life wonders at SeaWorld Orlando.
  2. San Diego, California: With its beautiful beaches, outdoor attractions, and renowned zoo, San Diego is the perfect family-friendly destination. Enjoy the thrilling rides at LEGOLAND California, visit Balboa Park, or explore the underwater world at the Birch Aquarium.
  3. London, England: London offers a plethora of family-friendly attractions and activities. Visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour, explore the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum, or watch a musical at the West End for a truly magical experience.
  4. Toronto, Canada: Toronto is a diverse and vibrant city with plenty of family-friendly attractions. Visit the iconic CN Tower, explore the interactive exhibits at the Ontario Science Centre, or enjoy a day of fun and learning at the Royal Ontario Museum.
  5. Singapore: Known for its cleanliness and safety, Singapore offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. Visit the world-famous Singapore Zoo, have fun at Universal Studios Singapore, or explore the futuristic Gardens by the Bay for a memorable experience.

These family-friendly destinations provide a blend of entertainment, education, and adventure, ensuring that there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Whether you choose to experience the magic of Orlando, soak up the sunshine in San Diego, explore the cultural wonders of London, embrace the vibrant atmosphere of Toronto, or enjoy the cleanliness of Singapore, a family-friendly Thanksgiving vacation will create lasting memories for the whole family.



Choosing the perfect destination for a Thanksgiving vacation can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Whether you prefer a domestic getaway, an exotic international adventure, a relaxing beach escape, an outdoor adventure, a cultural exploration, a cozy cabin retreat, an urban city break, or a family-friendly destination, there are countless options available to suit your preferences.


From the bustling streets of New York City to the tranquil beaches of the Maldives, from the historical sites of Athens to the family-friendly attractions in Orlando, each destination offers its own unique charm and experiences. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, culture, or quality time with loved ones, there’s a destination that will meet your needs and create lasting memories.


When planning your Thanksgiving vacation, consider factors such as accessibility, popularity, weather, and the interests of your travel companions. Research and seek recommendations to find the best accommodations, activities, and local attractions that align with your preferences. And don’t forget to optimize your search engine presence by incorporating relevant keywords in your planning process.


Whichever destination you choose, whether it’s a popular domestic hotspot, an exotic international paradise, or a hidden gem off the beaten path, a Thanksgiving vacation is an opportunity to unwind, explore, and create cherished memories with your loved ones.


So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of gratitude, and embark on a Thanksgiving vacation that will leave you with a heart full of memories and a renewed sense of adventure.