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Top 6 U.S. Destinations to Spend Thanksgiving Weekend

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Thanksgiving weekend in the United States is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Many Americans choose a quick getaway to accompany the holiday. After you have eaten the turkey and caught up with family and friends, make the most of the three day weekend that follows. Read on to learn about the best US destinations to spend Thanksgiving weekend

Best Thanksgiving Weekend Destinations in the US

See the Birthplace of Thanksgiving

Just a 45-minute drive from Boston will take you to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the holiday originated. You can experience history come to life at Plimoth Plantation, where you can see a 17th century English village, the Mayflower II, the Plimoth Grist mill, plus much more. In town, many holiday festivities occur including America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade & Celebration

Historians will want to contact the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. The society includes a research library that documents the lives of the decedents of the original Mayflower passengers. 

Have A Classic Thanksgiving Experience in the Big Apple

New York City is one of the top destinations for an awesome Thanksgiving Weekend. Many holiday traditions began in New York City, and one of the best is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade is the kickoff to the holiday season in New York and the city bustles with holiday activities and celebrations. Get swept up in the holiday spirit and window shop in Midtown, or see the holiday displays at Rockefeller Plaza. 

At Radio City Music Hall, you can see the world famous Rockettes at the annual Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. If you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, many retailers in the city begin their holiday sales on Black Friday. 

A Country Thanksgiving Weekend

If you prefer to spend the holiday weekend in the mountains, head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is close by and is a popular year round destination. Shoppers will want to get some holiday gifts at the Great Smoky Thanksgiving and Christmas Arts and Crafts Show. Active travelers will love to visit Mount Harrison where they can enjoy many ski trails, a snow tubing lane, and an ice skating rink, plus much more. 

Learn About Native American Culture

While many American cities focus on the Pilgrims’ story of Thanksgiving, Santa Fe celebrates the Native American culture. In late November, the city hosts the Winter Indian Market. This two-day celebration features dance performances, musical performers, and other Native American artists. 

Visitors can learn about the culture through the many museums and art galleries, including the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. The annual Christmas tree lighting in the city’s historic plaza also occurs during the holiday weekend. Skiers will be heading to the slopes at Ski Santa Fe, which is the launching the season on Thanksgiving Day. 

Spend the Weekend in the ‘American Riviera’

You can’t go wrong with a holiday in beautiful Santa Barbara. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the stunning Santa Ynez Mountains has earned Santa Barbara the nickname ‘American Riviera’. The city hosts many events at this time including the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Paddle, where you can cruise the stunning California coast. 

Guests can take a short drive and have a wine tasting Los Olivos, Solvang, and Buellton. During the holiday weekend, head down to the Funk Zone on State Street for more wine tasting and browse the area’s many galleries.

Hang Loose on the Hawaiian Islands

Although the Hawaiian Islands are an optimal vacation destination year round, November is an especially great time to visit. In November the islands are less crowded with tourists which results in a quieter holiday. Although it is the rainy season, the weather is idyllic on the dryer sides of the islands. Guests may want to spend some time on the southern and western coasts of Kauai, Wailea on Maui, or Waikiki on Oahu to experience the best weather. 

Many restaurants in the resorts offer the quintessential turkey dinner and other special meals for the occasion. On Oahu, you can even see the annual holiday parade that commemorates the survivors and veterans in memory of the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 7, 1941. November is also the time for the best surfing weather in Hawaii. Surfers flock to the North Shore to tackle the biggest waves and begin Hawaii’s prime surfing season. 

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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