Vacationing for Thanksgiving? Here's Where You Should Go


With fall in full force and the air smelling like pumpkin spice, it's time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving plans. For many, Thanksgiving is for the three F's: family, football, and food. But if you're the kind of person who would rather hit the road and find adventures during the holiday weekend than lay on the couch slowly falling into a food coma, check out these exciting Thanksgiving trips.

Québec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada

Hop up north where they celebrate Thanksgiving in early October, and explore the city while the locals are working. November is definitely the off-season in Québec, and you'll have the city pretty much to yourself. The weather is less predictable, so pack yourself a thick jacket and prepare for frigid wind. When you get too cold, step into one of the city's many museums or the stunning Notre Dame de Québec. Instead of dining on turkey and stuffing, treat yourself to poutine and tourtiere at Snack Bar Saint-Jean.

Tucson, AZ

desert southwest, tucson, arizona

If you prefer a warmer, sunnier locale for your holiday weekend, there's no better place than Tucson. The unbearable Arizona summer finally retreats around Thanksgiving, and you'll enjoy perfect weather. Take advantage of the sun and hit the trails, hiking to Seven Falls or Tumamoc Hill and avoiding cacti for great views. Enjoy the spas and wellness retreats, and revel in the fact that Arizona is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can still enjoy an afternoon by the pool. Do Thanksgiving the Southwest way with tamales from the Tucson Tamale Company.

Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC

Want a romantic Thanksgiving with your S.O.? Asheville definitely fits the bill. This picturesque city is made more stunning by fall foliage that lights up the numerous hiking trails that snake their way through the surrounding mountains. Pull on a parka and hike to waterfalls and through forests, or hop in the car and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning views. See if you can snag a ticket to Thanksgiving dinner at the Biltmore Estate for a fancy feast you won't soon forget.

Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach pier

The entire coast of Southern California offers plenty of choice for a Thanksgiving weekend, but Newport Beach has to be a favorite. Whether you prefer a quiet walk or bike around the Back Bay, or want to lay a towel on the beach sans crowds, then Newport is perfect. Explore Balboa or Lido Island, maybe renting a duffy boat for a harbor tour and picnic. Indulge in delicious Italian food at Mama D's or opt for fresh seafood from Bear Flag to round out a perfect SoCal Thanksgiving weekend.

Aspen, CO

maroon bells at sunrise, Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is stunning in the fall, bringing out its leafy best to dazzle visitors with gorgeous natural scenery. Whether you're taking the cablecar to the top of Aspen Mountain for a cup of hot chocolate and a view, or hiking the leaf-lined trails, there's so much to enjoy in Aspen in the fall. Stay in one of the many off-season ski resorts, checking out their Thanksgiving feast specials.

Madison, WI

Tenney Park Bridge, Madison, Wisconsin

Madison features all the fall foliage and cozy Thanksgiving activities you could wish for. Reap the benefits of the fall harvest at the Dane County Farmers Market before exploring the many Madison museums, including the Mustard Museum. If Thanksgiving isn't complete without football, grab tickets to a Badgers game - they play Minnesota on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and you can expect Badgers fans to turn out strong. Thanksgiving should include local brews and cheese curds, so stop into The Old Fashioned Tavern for plenty of both.

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