21 Finest Locations to Journey on Thanksgiving in 2023

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As the Thanksgiving season approaches, many of us are deciding what to do on our days off. If you’re thinking about traveling for Thanksgiving, you know how to do it right.

Although it’s no secret that traveling during the festive periods is a nightmare – the delays, the crowds of people, the long queues at check-in, it’s all to be expected when people just want to get home to their families.

Women's and children's walking trail along the ridge with views of the Los Angeles skyline
Griffith Park, Los Angeles

However, traveling doesn’t have to be a nightmare, there are some great Thanksgiving travel destinations that allow you to escape the crowds if that’s what you want.

Whether you want to stay in the USA or travel abroad, here are the best destinations to travel on Thanksgiving!

Best Thanksgiving destinations in the USA

Since we have a lot of useful content about most of these destinations, we thought we’d share the hottest local travel destinations in the USA for Thanksgiving.

1. New York City, New York

A family poses for the camera on the Brooklyn Bridge
New York City is dreaming

Obviously, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade arouses wanderlust in people’s hearts! Giant inflatable balloons and floats are world-famous and everyone should add them to their wish list.

The good news is that Thanksgiving travel to New York City will also likely give you glimpses of the magic Christmas in New York Where decorations and good news begin to appear little by little.

New York City It is an exciting destination for any type of traveler, with an energy unlike any other city in the USA. It’s worth spending long hours in the cafés, neighboring communities, museums and attractions.

New York City is full of famous attractions, most of which are unique and have great views, and are worth doing. Plus, it has more local experiences to love as well. There is no city like it in the world.

For most people, three days in New York is all they can afford or have time for, making Thanksgiving vacation the perfect choice.

Most important tip: the New York Sightseeing Pass It’s exceptional value and will save you money on many of the best local attractions and experiences. We have used it several times and love it.

New York City video

Press play to watch videos of our trips to New York for more inspiration. You can Subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

2. Seattle, Washington

A woman holds a baby in front of a Seattle sign
We love Seattle

Starbucks. Amazon. Microsoft. Costco. Boeing. Pearl jam. The Spirit of Serenity. Just some things Seattle, Washington Famous for producing.

How can one city produce so many great things? Because Seattle is great. Uniquely gorgeous.

After spending four days exploring the city in depth, Seattle is now one of our favorite US cities, and one of our own Best places to visit in Washington state.

You’ll find some of the best arts, culture, music, coffee and stunning views in the country. In addition, it is surrounded by many wonderful places of natural beauty such as Mount Rainier, Olympic National ParkAnd North Cascades National Park.

Most important tip: Seattle City Corridor Worth getting if you want to visit the best attractions in Seattle. It will save you money.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

People walking in the park
Walking around Boston Common

Another city at the top of our list of favorite cities in the USA is Boston. MassachusettsThe city of pioneers and excellence!

On the list of the first in America: A public park, a public school, Plymouth Rock, a printing press, a newspaper, a post office, a police force, the subway, the first full face transplant, a chocolate factory, a public anti-smoking law, a UFO sighting, and a brothel.

Travelers agree on Thanksgiving this year. Don’t let the slightly cooler temperatures stop you from exploring Boston’s amazing history, culture, and unique European feel.

Most important tip: Another city pass that has helped us save money while we travel is Boston City Pass Helping you save 47% on the top 4 attractions in Boston.

Boston travel videos

Watch our videos from our trip to Boston!

4. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta skyline
Atlanta, Georgia skyline | Image source: Image Deposit

It’s been years since we visited Atlanta, GeorgiaAnd that was before we had children.

It made the list in part because of its sustainability efforts through the lush green spaces found throughout the city, its inclusivity, and its invigorating arts, music and food scene.

Historic Atlanta is worth a visit to gain a greater understanding of eras such as the Civil War and the Civil War Civil rights movement.

Outside the city we loved Stone Mountain Park And a little further Amicalola Falls It makes an amazing day trip and is one of ours Favorite waterfalls in the United States.

If you live in southeastI suggest you take a road trip to Atlanta instead of dealing with one of the largest airports in the USA during the Thanksgiving holiday!

5. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

View of the Dallas skyline at night
That famous Dallas Skyline| Credit: Deposit Images

We all know that everything is greater in it TexasAnd Dallas clings to those biggest experiences.

Melt-in-your-mouth brisket, top-flight sports, a bustling arts scene, cultural vibrancy, outdoor fun, interesting history and affordability make Dallas and nearby Fort Worth a destination worth visiting.

It’s not a destination we spent much time in, choosing instead to drive outside the hustle and bustle of the city into nearby areas to explore. This might be something you’re interested in doing as well.

6. Los Angeles, California

Woman and child hugging on the sidewalk with Manhattan Beach in the background
Manhattan Beach

Although it’s not our favorite city in the United States, Los Angeles is California It has a lot of hidden secrets and great experiences once you dig a little deeper.

Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States and the third largest metropolitan economy in the world. Featuring 88 incorporated cities, each city in Los Angeles has its own culture, experiences, and local flavors worth experiencing.

We suggest Thanksgiving Vacation to Los Angeles Which replaces Santa Monica with Manhattan Beach and Hollywood Downtown Los AngelesAnd explore the magic of Malibu State Park and Griffith Park.

You’ll appreciate enjoying those blue skies and warmer temperatures in places of natural beauty.

These posts will help you plan an unforgettable trip to Los Angeles:

Most important tip: the The city of Los Angeles is passing by It’s fun. Not only do you save money, but you’ll also find great experiences in Los Angeles like the Melrose Ave Selfie Tour — one of our favorite experiences so far. We have the best family photos from that tour!

Los Angeles videos

We’ve discovered so many great things to do in Los Angeles with our kids. Press play to see them all!

7. Phoenix, Arizona

Overview of the phoenix skyline in the desert
Phoenix Arizona | Credit: Deposit Images

Phoenix’s warm, dry climate is the perfect Thanksgiving getaway to escape the cold temperatures — or to extend summer temperatures a little longer.

The city offers an abundance of arts and cultural attractions and historic neighborhoods, as well as shopping, golf, dining and an impressive selection of resorts and hotels.

There is also a local Phoenix Turkey Trot that features a costume contest.

Phoenix Arizona It is also a great Thanksgiving destination due to its proximity to the stunning areas of Tucson And Sedona. We tend to drive through Phoenix to go straight to the national parks and the amazing hikes and views you can find there!

Posts to help you plan your Thanksgiving getaways from Phoenix:

8. Orlando, Florida

Woman and children drinking butterbeer in front of a giant keg
Fun in the world of Harry Potter!

Of course, the mouse came home, because who doesn’t want to go to Orlando for Thanksgiving?

Theme parks are sure to bring the holiday cheer you need after a long and painful pandemic. I’ll have one of all the butter beers they offer thanks!

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, there may be no better time to visit theme parks. Travel has not yet returned to crazy crowd levels, so you should experience a quieter theme park experience. I said I should.

We love the bustling holiday spirit Orlando Full of lakes, parks, fun attractions, and a thriving food scene. Its location makes it quite central to many other great things Places in Florida to visit.

Video: Top 5 Tips for Universal Orlando Resort

Save money and money with these tips for visiting Universal Orlando Resort:

9. Chicago, Illinois

Overlooking the skyscrapers of Chicago
Willis Tower Chicago

Another great destination in the USA for Thanksgiving is Chicago, illinois.

Craig and I visited this place for Thanksgiving weekend in 2004, and it was our first day ever in Turkey!

We had a great time exploring Chicago’s main attractions, museums, sky tower views, and eating Chicago pizza to stay warm. The Thanksgiving parades with colorful floats were a sight to behold, and of course there is the lighting of their tree.

However, this was probably the coldest I have ever seen with the wind blowing off Lake Michigan. You will need to pack your bags!

Chicago is a great destination for arts and culture, so enjoy it. Sometimes, I feel like I like it better than New York. Calera and I visited mother and daughter over St. Patrick’s Day – it was amazing! (Check your bucket list USA!)

Chicago city pass It will help you save 50% on the top 5 attractions in Chicago. Calera and I used this card and loved it!

Video: Chicago trip

Check out the fun we had on our trip to Chicago.

10. Detroit, Michigan

Body of water with city in background
Detroit Skyline | Credit deposit photos

We all know that the Motor City diminished considerably not long ago, but its engines are starting to rev again. New cultural experiences and revitalized neighborhoods help bring back tourists.

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and is located on the Detroit River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.

It’s buzzing with a growing food scene, exciting music and arts culture giving Motown its status once again.

You’ll appreciate how hipsters have taken over the city, turning its abandoned buildings into distilleries, bike shops and galleries.

Of all the Thanksgiving destinations on this list, Detroit will be that lesser-known experience you crave.

11. Williamsburg, Virginia

People standing in front of a brick building
Colonial Williamsburg – Learning through travel

There’s no better way to spend Thanksgiving than visiting a place with as much history and charm as Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

The historic streets of Williamsburg are the perfect place to pause and reflect on the things you are grateful for.

Walk along cobblestone streets lined with colonial buildings decorated with festive holiday decorations, or learn about our Civil War history by touring the Colonial Williamsburg Living Museum.

Indulge in a traditional Thanksgiving feast at one of the local restaurants, like the Williamsburg Lodge, where you can sample delicious dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients.

There are also plenty of golf courses to explore if you want something a little quieter, otherwise be sure to visit the First Responders Market or the Fall Festival, which showcases Williamsburg’s community spirit.

12. Boulder, Colorado

Mountain peaks in rocks

Pack your skis and scarves, what better way to spend the holiday season than hitting the slopes Eldora Ski Resortboulder.

The ski season officially starts at the end of October, so it’s entirely possible to enjoy a snowy ski vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Enjoy stunning views of the Rocky Mountains or take a scenic hike through Chautauqua Park. If you want to celebrate in traditional style, indulge in a delicious Thanksgiving feast at one of Boulder’s popular restaurants, like the Greenbriar Inn or Hotel Boulderado.

Boulder is a captivating destination to celebrate Thanksgiving and create treasured memories. Surrounded by stunning landscapes and an attractive atmosphere, this city offers an enjoyable holiday experience.

13. Park City, Utah

Park City Village Utah

Escape to the enchanting beauty of Park City, Utah for a truly unforgettable vacation. With its stunning scenery and charming small-town atmosphere, Park City provides a unique and charming setting for your holiday celebrations.

Whether you’re a fan of downhill skiing at Park City Mountain Resort or prefer non-ski activities like hiking in Utah Olympic Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t miss the chance to slide down the epic Park City Alpine Slide, or if you prefer to relax, go to one of Park City’s spas, like Align Spa, which offers therapeutic massage treatments.

14. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Aerial view of Main Street Gatlinburg

Another small town worth visiting during Thanksgiving is charming Gatlinburg, Tennessee, also known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Gatlinburg provides the perfect backdrop to create treasured memories with your loved ones. From viewing the lights of the Winter Festival, watching fireworks at the Titanic Museum, or taking part in a craft Thanksgiving parade, there is plenty to see and do in this small town.

Indulge in a delicious Thanksgiving meal at one of the many restaurants open, like Cherokee Grill or The Peddler Steakhouse.

With attractions like Anakeesta and Ripley’s Aquarium open on Thanksgiving, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell Philadelphia

Another historic city that makes for a great Thanksgiving getaway is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Known for its rich history and vibrant atmosphere, Philadelphia offers a plethora of activities and attractions during the holiday season.

Explore famous landmarks like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and immerse yourself in the city’s captivating history.

Don’t miss the festive Christmas lights illuminating the streets and of course the Thanksgiving Parade!

16. Charleston, South Carolina

A row of houses on a street in Charleston's historic downtown district,

Want to experience some great Southern charm this Thanksgiving? Visit Charleston, South Carolina, and find out why it’s a great Thanksgiving destination.

Take a stroll through captivating magnolia plantations and gardens, decorated with charming Chinese lanterns, or explore the historic downtown, the Battery, and White Point Park, there are plenty of places to visit. Things to do in Charleston To keep you busy.

With an average balmy weather temperature of around 67 degrees, you can enjoy outdoor activities and savor the beauty of this coastal city without having to wrap up in bundles of layers!

Best international destinations for Thanksgiving

If you’re looking to get away from the US, consider visiting some of these international destinations instead…

17. Costa Rica

Forest park with volcano in background

When you need to get away to somewhere warm, but don’t want to go far, think Central America. Costa Rica is known for its stunning natural beauty and warm, tropical climate, allowing you to enjoy a unique and rejuvenating Thanksgiving experience.

Instead of overworking yourself in the kitchen, indulge in delicious local cuisine, such as fresh seafood and exotic fruits.

Wander through picturesque rainforests and look for local wildlife such as parrots, toucans and sloths, or explore stunning national parks. If you’re looking for beaches, there are plenty of those here too!

Whether you crave adventure or tranquility, Costa Rica He has everything. It may not be the most traditional destination, but with direct flights from many major cities in the USA, it is a quick and easy international destination to visit.

18. Mexico

Cabo de Sao Vicente Lighthouse on the edge of a cliff

It’s no surprise that the hottest destination for international travel for Thanksgiving includes multiple beach destinations in Mexico. Some of the most important are Cancun, San Jose del Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta.

While they do not officially celebrate Thanksgiving MexicoIt’s such a great destination for Americans that most hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions will put up decorations and organize events to help these travelers feel at home.

Indulge in delicious $2 tacos, relax on pristine beaches, explore ancient ruins, or immerse yourself in local festivals.

There’s a reason why Mexico is the hottest destination (literally) for the holiday season.

19. Caribbean

Mom and daughter reading books on the beach

Another nearby destination for those seeking the sun is the enchanting Caribbean. It is known for its turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and vibrant culture Caribbean Offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.

As in Mexico, it is not customary to celebrate Thanksgiving in the Caribbean, but since it is a popular holiday destination, you will find many hotels and restaurants serving Thanksgiving meals.

Whether you want to dive into crystal clear cenotes, or just relax under swaying palm trees, or destinations like Aruba, Bahamas, Punta Cana, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominian Republic, Turks and Caicos, or any other island, the Caribbean offers… You the perfect backdrop to create unforgettable Thanksgiving memories.

Don’t miss these Caribbean destinations:

20. London

London Eye
Incredible view of the Houses of Parliament from London Eye

Another great place to visit on Thanksgiving is a city that knows how to do traditional barbecue. That’s right, it is England!

Although they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in England, the Brits know how to prepare a great roast dinner, so you can feel like you’re celebrating Thanksgiving at home with a little bit of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Because Thanksgiving falls in late November, you’ll find that London It is considered a very quiet city in terms of international travel, as most visitors prefer to visit the city when the weather is warmer.

November can be rainy and cold in London, but most attractions are indoors anyway. Consider spending some time in some museums, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum are two of the most famous museums in the world and should not be missed.

Head to Harrods for your Christmas shopping, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea with scones with cream and jam.

On a clear day, head to see Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace or… London Eye. There is so much to see and do in London that you will never get bored.

21. Paris, France

A mother and two daughters stand in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Last but not least is… Paris, Which may not be the first place you think of when it comes to Thanksgiving celebrations.

While Thanksgiving may not be traditionally celebrated FranceThis distinctive destination provides an enchanting experience during this time of the year.

The weather is cool, but it is not unusual to rain, with an average of 9 days of rain in November. This allows you to get out and explore famous landmarks such as Eiffel tower, Arc de Triompheand the Louvre Museum, or simply enjoy a relaxing café experience.

Paris promises you a Thanksgiving holiday full of romance, magic and unforgettable memories. From indulging in exquisite French cuisine, or strolling along the charming streets decorated with festive lights, it is definitely an unforgettable place to visit.

Final thoughts

So, if you want to escape the Thanksgiving holiday crowds, now you know where to go and where not to go!

While each of these destinations offers something different and unique, they are all places where you can have a good time with your friends and family, which is ultimately what Thanksgiving is all about.

Before you go, read on our website Travel tips for holidays So you know you can plan a less stressful Thanksgiving trip during a very busy time.

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What are your Thanksgiving plans? Do you do any vacation travel? Why and where? Let us know in the comments!

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