Destination Deep-Dive 13 MINS READ

The 8 Best Thanksgiving Vacations For 2023

The 8 Best Thanksgiving Vacations For 2023

Destination Deep-Dive 13 MINS READ

Dreaming of a memorable Thanksgiving getaway? We’ve got you covered.

Throughout the United States, there’s a dazzling array of amazing Thanksgiving destinations, each promising travelers a unique experience.

Gatlinburg welcomes visitors with its picturesque mountain views, while Chicago offers a delightful blend of culture, cuisine, and iconic landmarks. 

Miami beckons sun-worshippers with its pristine beaches and lively atmosphere, promising an unforgettable Thanksgiving by the shore. 

Step back in time while visiting Plymouth, the historic town where the first Thanksgiving took place. 

Explore the charming streets of Asheville, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and a thriving arts scene. 

You can also indulge in luxury and relaxation in the coastal haven of Santa Barbara, the perfect destination for couples seeking a romantic Thanksgiving escape. 

Let’s dive into this year’s best Thanksgiving vacations for every type of traveler – from families seeking festive fun to couples in search of a romantic retreat. 

Have a look at our list and get ready to create cherished memories!

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Celebrating Thanksgiving In The USA

Trees covered in fall foliage in Central Park, NYC.

When it comes to great Thanksgiving destinations in the US, there’s something for everyone. This means you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Charming small towns with seasonal activities are great for families with kids.

Cosmopolitan destinations home to award-winning restaurants will please the most demanding travelers, while some resort cities are sure to get adventure-seekers ready for the ski season.

Also Read:
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Thanksgiving Vacation Ideas for Families

Hearty Erntedank dinner with vegetables, and turkey.

For those who are longing for some inspiring views, fresh air, and a rewinding time, a great Thanksgiving vacation idea is to hit the road and head over to a nearby nature destination.

So, rent a cozy holiday cabin in the wilderness and celebrate with your family while still keeping your annual Thanksgiving meal and traditions alive. Just as if you were home!

Couples can also benefit from escaping to a romantic getaway on Thanksgiving Weekend. It’s not winter season yet, and in most regions of the US, you can still have a glimpse of the breathtaking winter foliage.

In November there are still some late-harvest grapes, so take this opportunity and go on a holiday trip to a premier wine-growing region.

Places such as Napa Valley, in California, or the Willamette Valley, in Oregon, are some of the best destinations for couples.

CuddlyNest has a wide array of family-friendly stays throughout the United States. From cozy lakeside homes to luxury resorts equipped with stellar amenities, the options are endless and guaranteed to make you feel at home.

Also Read:
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The Best Places To Celebrate Thanksgiving In 2023

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The Space Needle observation tower and the Sky Lift surrounded by the fall foliage in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

A small town with a population of under 4,000, Gatlinburg is a great Thanksgiving destination that rewards travelers with a long weekend filled with outdoor activities.

This resort city is located along the northern border of the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the most-visited national parks in the US.

A true wonderland for adventure-seekers, the Great Smoky Mountains are home to more than 100 species of native trees, over 1,400 flowering plants, and 66 types of mammals, including black bears, raccoons, deer, and squirrels.

The Great Smoky Mountains also play host to picnic spots, scenic drives, and more than 850 miles of hiking trails, in case you want to get your dose up on adrenaline.

A great option is to rent a cozy holiday cabin in the wilderness, so you and your loved ones can enjoy a restoring stay among nature.

After exploring the natural beauty of the mountains, do some shopping at The Village, a 27-store complex located in Downtown Gatlinburg, home to boutiques, eateries, and galleries.

This is, by the way, the right place for you to find the Black Friday Deals you’ve been waiting for.

Gatlinburg hosts special events around Thanksgiving. One of the best-known is The Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show, where Tennessee artists and craftspeople sell handcraft gifs, such as quilts, woven baskets, scented candles, paintings, and more.

For an authentic Thanksgiving feast, there are great restaurant options like Calhoun’s, The Seasons of Ober Loft & Lounge, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, and Smoky Mountain Brewery.

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Chicago, Illinois

The Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor placed at the AT&T Plaza at the Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago needs no introduction. With great activities all year round, this charming city has a myriad of fun things to do, and it’s a must-go if what you’re looking for is a cosmopolitan Thanksgiving getaway.

Also known as “City in a Garden”, Chicago has more than 8,800 acres of inviting green spaces where you can go for a romantic picnic or a morning stroll with the family.

There are floral gardens, such as Jens Jensen’s Formal Garden, and lush botanical gardens under glass, like the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the largest park in Chicago.

For a flavor of the fall, treat yourself with a warm pumpkin spice latte. After visiting Lincoln Park, make your move to the nearby Colectivo Coffee for a hand-roasted cup of coffee, or Sawada Coffee, for a latte made by the world-renowned barista Hiroshi Sawada.

On Thanksgiving Day, take the kids to watch the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This festival features gigantic balloons, marching bands, performance groups, and a special appearance from Santa Claus. The parade will take place at State Street Downtown Chicago at 8 a.m.

Another fun way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Chicago is by joining the famous Turkey Trot.

This festive and family-friendly run is held on Thanksgiving morning, usually in downtown Chicago or one of the city’s scenic parks.

Participants often dress up in fun and creative turkey-themed costumes, adding to the joyful atmosphere of the event.

To sightsee a jaw-dropping display of festive lights, go to the Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

For some ice skating surrounded by the city’s skyline, head over to the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park.

And since you’re probably not eating a homecooked Thanksgiving meal while traveling to Chicago, get in the holiday mood by grabbing a slice of pumpkin pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company, one of the city’s best artisanal bakeries.

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Williamsburg, Virginia

Aerial photography of Colonial Williamsburg showing historic buildings like the Governor's Palace, and the Palace Green.

Ideal for a small Thanksgiving vacation with family, Williamsburg will immediately take you back in time.

Much of the city’s rich history is concentrated in Colonial Williamsburg, which is the restored historical part of Williamsburg and the largest outdoor living museum in the US.

In the historical part of Williamsburg, everyone — old and new, men and women— strolls around dressed in colonial attire as if they were really in the 18th century.

If you’re lucky, you may be able to meet and interact with notable people, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Williamsburg is part of the Historic Triangle along with the nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, which are also worth visiting.

The Jamestown Settlement and the Historic Jamestowne are places where kids can learn more about Thanksgiving’s roots.

In the Jamestown Settlement, kids can also hop aboard replicas of the ships that made the historic voyage from England in 1607.

A traditional Thanksgiving feast is usually served in the Jamestown Settlement Cafe.

The city also hosts the annual Blue Talon Bistro Turkey Trot, the most famous race in the city that brings together almost 3,000 runners. Don’t forget to take your family and burn those extra holiday calories!

After the Thanksgiving dinner, go to the Williamsburg Premium Outlet for some Black Friday deal hunting in stores like Adidas, Calvin Klein, Coach, and Micheal Kors.

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Miami, Florida

Aerial view of Miami’s Downtown District over the Biscayne Bay lagoon.

Keep the sun in your sight and escape the cold weather with a Thanksgiving holiday in Miami.

Considered more than just a summer destination with beautiful beaches, Miami offers world-class experiences at any time of year.

No wonder it’s considered one of the best holiday destinations in the US.

Aside from amazing beaches and great weather— expect 70-degree temperatures in November —, Miami has a thriving art scene, so this might be a chance for you to get a proper culture fix.

Keep your creative juices flowing by visiting the Wynwood Art District named one of the best hipster neighborhoods in the world by Forbes Magazine.

Don’t forget to also visit the Design District, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a 34-room Italian Renaissance-style villa located in Coconut Grove.

Shopping is one of the favorite activities for those who land in Miami. Fortunately, the city has a variety of indoor and outdoor shopping malls from north to south.

Some of the best places to go shopping in Miami are Aventura Mall, Sawgrass Mills Mall, and Bal Harbour Shops.

For some outdoor retail therapy time and dining, go to Lincoln Road, where you’ll be able to find stores like Zara, Lacoste, and Armani Jeans.

Toast your Thanksgiving holiday with a cocktail at the Broken Shaker, an award-winning bar located at the stylish Freehand Miami Hotel.

Recommended Read: The Ultimate Guide To Miami

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The Best Thanksgiving Weekend Getaways For 2023

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth is a veritable wonderland packed with cranberry farms, historical architecture, and ocean views.

This coastal town located in the south of Boston was founded in 1620, and it’s an important place in the nation’s history.

Also known as “America’s Hometown”, Plymouth claims the first-ever Thanksgiving, being the place where the first historic gathering between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians happened.

Plymouth is the perfect long weekend getaway for Thanksgiving.

For a glimpse of the city’s well-preserved heritage, idly wander through the Plymouth Village Historic District, which is brimming with houses from the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

If holiday cheer is your thing, book your entry to the “Story of Thanksgiving Dinner”. You’ll get the chance to sample a variety of classical dishes such as roast turkey, and New England trimmings.

Get ready for an immersive Thanksgiving feast, where you’ll eat surrounded by Pilgrims and Native American role players!

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Travel Tip: Did you know you can use landmarks to filter your accommodation searches on CuddlyNest? This makes it easier to find a comfortable and stylish place to stay near popular attractions!

Park City, Utah

The Historic Main Street of Park City, Utah, on a cloudy winter day.

Say hello to the ski season by celebrating Thanksgiving in Park City, Utah.

Located 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City is a charming resort town home to 426 downhill trails across 9,326 acres and numerous spots to Nordic ski.

It also houses some of the most amazing ski resorts in the country, like the Deer Valle.

Thanks to its world-class opportunities for skiing and adventure, Park City is the perfect holiday weekend getaway for families and thrill-seekers alike.

When you get tired of skiing and curling up by the fire in your cozy cabin, go explore Historic Park Street, located close to the Deer Valley Resort.

Here, make sure to satisfy your sugar cravings by ordering the Sticky Toffee Pudding at the Tupelo restaurant.

Also, get ready for some serious shopping after your Thanksgiving dinner in Park City.

Head to the Tanger Outlets for the iconic “Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving Sale”, a sales event where stores are open for business from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving until midnight!

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The Top Thanksgiving Vacations for Couples

Santa Barbara, California

View of the Santa Barbara Waterfront during the sunset.

Santa Barbara is a popular destination for couples seeking to escape the cold and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by Mediterranean-style buildings and a Spanish colonial feel.

Perfectly placed on the central California coast, Santa Barbara also has a dazzling variety of romantic accommodations where pure, peaceful privacy awaits. For the best prices, always book through CuddlyNest!

The city is also a top wine-growing region in the US, and few things are more romantic than vineyards during fall.

Make sure you book a wine tour on Jamie Slone Wines. You and your loved one will get the chance to sip on Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sparkling, Rosé, and Pinot Noir while eating some gourmet cheese on the vineyard’s breezy terrace.

All the grapes harvested at Jamie Slone Wines are hand-picked and come from vines within designated rows in the local vineyards.

For an alluring food and wine experience, choose the Presqu’ile winery. Placed in the county of Santa Maria Valley, the place offers stellar wine-tasting sessions of their best-sellers paired with a pre-set Mezze picnic.

And in case you’re craving a comforting pumpkin pie, go to the Caffe Luxxe. Make sure to order their pumpkin spice latte, made with pumpkin puree, and aromatic fall spices.

It’s the perfect drink to cozy up with your loved one!

Recommended Read: Top Things To Do In Santa Barbara

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Asheville, North Carolina

Located in western North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has one million acres of protected forest and parkland.

It’s a scenic destination in New England with views of the Appalachian Mountains, waterfalls, forests, and more natural wonders. Almost impossible to get more romantic than this.

One of the best places for couples to visit in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate. This alluring 8,000-acre historic estate belonged to the Vanderbilt family and is the largest privately owned house in the country.

The mansion is home to a winery, where you can book a tasting with tours with views of their lush gardens.

Another romantic activity in Asheville is driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Surrounded by the jaw-dropping Asheville mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway is considered one of the most beautiful roads in America.

Adventurous couples will also benefit from a Thanksgiving holiday in Asheville, as the city has several trails — from easy to hardcore —, which please all types of hikers.

A must-go is the Pisgah National Forest, a national park with mile-high peaks, and waterfalls spread over 500,000 acres.

For a more urban experience, stroll along Downtown Asheville, and uncover the region’s boutique stores, art galleries, and restaurants.

And in case you’re more of a beer-lover couple, take advantage of Asheville’s brewery scene. The city is a well-known Beercation getaway, home to amazing breweries such as Asheville Brewing Company and Oyster House Brewing.

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Thanksgiving Travel and Flight Deals

Flying FromFlying FromFlying ToPrice Starts FromOffer Validity
Frontier AirlinesMiamiPhiladelphia$5711/21 to 11/30
Frontier AirlinesSan DiegoLas Vegas$61,2011/23 to 12/3
Spirit AirlinesOrlandoBoston$42,2911/25 to 12/02
Spirit AirlinesOrlandoNew York$34,2111/25 to 11/30
Delta AirlinesLas VegasLos Angeles$9711/25 to 11/30
Thanksgiving Travel Deals for Flights

FAQs About Thanksgiving Travel Deals

Where is the best place to travel for Thanksgiving?

There are many Thanksgiving destinations in the US. And there’s something for every traveler’s profile. Couples might like romantic places such as Boston and Napa Valley. Families can opt for places like Charleston, in South Carolina. If you’re with friends, a fun “Friendsgiving” in Las Vegas is a great bet.

What do you do on Thanksgiving break?

Turkey Day is the quintessential American holiday where people gather with family and celebrate. But this year, with people having a much bigger appetite for traveling, a good idea is to choose a Thanksgiving destination that is within the country, maybe in your own city or surrounding areas.

How do you spend Thanksgiving alone?

Traveling can be a great way of experiencing Thanksgiving by yourself, without thinking too much about being alone this time of year. There are plenty of solo traveler destinations in the US, such as Denver, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.

Where is the warmest place to go in November?

Southern California cities, such as San Diego and Los Angeles, have great weather in November and temperatures range from 72.9°F to 52°F. Places in Florida, like Miami and Key West, are also good options for sun chasers during the holiday season. Oahu and Honolulu, Hawaii, are usually warm in November as well.

Are hotels cheaper during Thanksgiving?

The holiday season is just around the corner, which means people will soon start making travel plans, booking flights, and looking for affordable accommodation. And even though November and December are not peak seasons in the US, prices tend to get higher due to festivities such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. For Thanksgiving travel, it’s possible to score deals if you start looking for them at the end of October. To find accommodation for Christmas and New Year’s at lower prices, a good tip is to keep your eye on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Where can I go for a nature escape during Thanksgiving?

Due to the current situation, the best idea is to travel somewhere within the country. There are several amazing Thanksgiving getaways in the US. When choosing a destination, make sure you consider your family’s preferences. If they are adventurous, a good choice is to go somewhere with nature, like the Great Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee, or Jackson Hole, in Wyoming. In case they prefer somewhere warmer, great destinations are HawaiiLos AngelesSan Diego, and Miami.

What Can Families Do For Thanksgiving?

On Thanksgiving, families gather at home to celebrate, play Scrabble, binge-watch TV shows and, of course, eat a swoon-worthy feast. Families can, for instance, take a road trip to nearby cities and rent a cabin in the woods. That way, they can travel somewhere new without having to sacrifice their annual traditions.

What Are Some Fun Family Vacations?

The best Thanksgiving vacations for families are the ones that offer seasonal experiences that time of year. Plymouth, Massachusetts, will host different holiday events such as an immersive feast and a Thanksgiving Day Parade on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim’s landing in the city. Families can also go to luxury resorts, which offer special Thanksgiving packages. This year, the Palmetto Bluff Resort, in South Carolina, is set to have a Thanksgiving Turkey Craft, a 5k Turkey Trot, and a traditional feast.

What Are The Best Things To Do On Thanksgiving Weekend?

A great idea is to check the calendar of the city you’re in. Many Thanksgiving getaways host special events to celebrate the holidays. NYC and San Antonio, for instance, have a magical display of Christmas lights that are definitely worth checking. On November 27th you can also take advantage of the Black Friday deals and go shopping. If you decide to stay at a ski resort, take a preview of the winter season by ice skating, sledding, and snowboarding.

To book your Thanksgiving accommodation with up to 15% off, browse through CuddlyNest’s properties around the US. From luxury hotels to private cabins, there is a variety of places suitable for all types of travelers.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels:
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