If the thought of cooking another Thanksgiving meal fills you with dread, it could be a sign that you need to go away this year, rather than staying at home! By choosing a vacation somewhere new and fun, you can simply enjoy spending time with your loved ones.
Thankfully, there are many fantastic destinations in the USA, which are ideal for coming together with family and friends. If you have yet to make plans for this national holiday, here are some superb Thanksgiving vacation spots for you to consider.
Head to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which offers a beautiful getaway within Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Here you can take your pick from a cozy cabin to a mountain chalet. It also hosts The Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Craft Show, so it’s the perfect place to treat your loved ones (or yourself!) to a unique holiday gift or two.
There are also many winter sports to try, as you can take an aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg, which also offers nine ski trails, an ice-skating rink, and a snow tubing lane. You also don’t need to worry about cooking, either, as both Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and The Old Mill Restaurant are known for serving up a delicious Thanksgiving feast.
If you are looking for laidback Thanksgiving vacations, Hawaii could be the perfect destination for you this year. It’s often not overcrowded with tourists during the season, and many restaurants also serve Thanksgiving meals to celebrate the holiday.
However, it’s wise to choose a dry side of the island to avoid rain, such as Wailea on Maui, Waikiki on Oahu, or Kailua-Kon on the Big Island, which often offers glorious weather. Waikiki even hosts an annual holiday parade on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
To make sure the whole family has an unforgettable time this Thanksgiving, book a trip to Orlando, Florida. As most children are out of school, you should expect the theme parks to be busy. However, the likes of Universal Studios and Disney World will also have extended hours, so it will be easier to enjoy a ride or catch a show.
Disney World also offers Thanksgiving meals, so there’s no reason to miss your annual feast, and you can expect to find many of your favorite Disney characters in various holiday-themed costumes.
New York City
Thousands of people turn out to watch the famous annual Thanksgiving Parade held in New York City every year. Rather than being one of the 50 million who watches the parade on TV, why not visit the Big Apple for yourself this year to watch it action? The whole family will enjoy the incredible floats, giant balloons, marching bands, celebrities, clowns, Broadway shows, and cheerleaders, who each make the parade so exciting.
If you don’t want to stand in the crowd, the whole family could always check in to one of the many hotels on the parade route so that you can watch the festivities from your hotel room window. However, make sure you book a Thanksgiving meal at a New York restaurant in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you’re not afraid of a little cold weather, Chicago is the place to be this Thanksgiving. The seasonal festivities will commence on the Wednesday night, as the mayor will light the official Christmas tree. The three-hour Thanksgiving Day Parade will also start the next morning, which is one of the biggest of its kind in America.
As the parade will start on State Street at 8 am, it’s advisable to turn up early to secure a great view of the performance groups, giant balloons, equestrian units, dance troops, drum lines, national and local celebrities, and marching bands. Plus, if you head to Millennium Park, you can enjoy a spot of ice-skating or caroling for free.
New Orleans is world-renowned for its delicious food and a vibrant atmosphere, so you can trust they know how to celebrate Thanksgiving in style. Not only can you indulge in vignettes, crawfish, and po’ boys, but you can also enjoy the city’s Thanksgiving tradition of the turducken, which is a triple poultry dish that comprises of chicken stuffed inside a duck, which is then stuffed into a turkey. Another Thanksgiving option is deep-fried turkey, which is popular with both locals and tourists.
The food isn’t the only reason to celebrate the holiday in New Orleans this year, as the city also hosts the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade, which starts every year at 3.30pm. Once the parade is over, your children can have their photo taken with Santa Claus.