Does the idea of spending another Thanksgiving at home sound too boring to bear? Or does your family need a break from the norm before the busy, hectic month of December begins?
You probably already know all too well that December can be extremely stressful. You may need to finish major projects at work or at school, and your family members may be in the same position. There are also all the extra obligations that need to be fulfilled, with holiday shopping to do, holiday parties to attend, and out-of-town friends and family members to spend time with.
Don’t let that stress overwhelm you! Before December begins, spend time with your family doing something you love, whether that’s exploring a new town, learning about American history, or relaxing at the beach.
Not sure where to go? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Break out of your routine and embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving in one of these towns. Celebrate Turkey Day your way.
Visit the hometown of the Pioneer Woman for a fun dive into the Old West this Thanksgiving. The Pioneer Woman may have started out as Ree Drummond’s blog, but now she has a cooking show on Food Network and her own “The Pioneer Woman Mercantile” shop. Why not check it out over the Thanksgiving holiday? You can also stay at a cowboy-luxury hotel and explore the beautiful Oklahoma prairie while you’re in Pawhuska.
Maine may be a summer hotspot, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful in the fall. In Kennebunkport, you and your family can enjoy a quiet, relaxing retreat and experience quaint Maine life. Check out the very walkable downtown for adorable shops and spend time in nature on Goose Rocks beach. Make sure you save time to visit the beautiful St. Ann’s Historic Church, too, and spend some time learning about American history this Thanksgiving.
Speaking of learning about history, Galena, Illinois is another fantastic option if you’re looking to take the family somewhere historic this Thanksgiving. The town’s buildings, constructed in the 1800s, have been perfectly preserved, which gives you a real sense of how our ancestors lived. You’ll be able to explore historic attractions and you’ll have the opportunity to do some of your Christmas shopping at the boutiques that line Galena’s Main Street. Don’t forget to set aside time to explore the area’s beautiful landscape as well.
This option is only for families who want to brave the crowds. Plymouth is the natural – and most popular – Thanksgiving destination.
The highlight of any trip to Plymouth will have to be a visit to Plimoth Plantation, which is a re-creation of the original 17th-century colony. You can explore the Patuxet Homesite, the English Village, the Mayflower II, and the Plimoth Grist Mill exhibits. The New Light Plimoth Patuxet Museums also includes information about the Indigenous homeland. Take the time to learn all about the events that led to the national holiday.
Lake Placid, NY
The name says it all! Have a peaceful Thanksgiving with your family surrounded by the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains. While there won’t necessarily be snow for skiing or snow sports, there will be plenty of opportunities to hike and fish. Sleep in late, take a walk around the lake and enjoy a slower pace of life. If you feel like it, you have the option of going to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, as the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid in both 1932 and 1980. What could be better than resting and recharging with your family in the mountains?
Key West, Florida
Your answer to that question might be “relaxing at the beach!” If that’s the case, consider visiting Key West. One of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite places, Key West offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, like kayaking, diving, snorkeling, and even swimming with the dolphins. Enjoy the coastal atmosphere and the opportunity to rest in milder temperatures before you head back home for the hectic holiday season.
Looking for a more Midwestern destination? Check out Winterset, Iowa. Enjoy a slower pace of life and learn about history in the covered bridge capital of Iowa. You can explore the Iowa Quilt Museum and learn about this important craft with your family. You can also visit a museum dedicated to John Wayne, who was born in Winterset. If you’re looking for more action, you can stay in nearby Des Moines and explore the capital city as well.
What type of family vacation sounds the best to you? Exploring the Old West? Resting in the mountains? Snorkeling at the beach? No matter where you decide to go, be grateful for what you have and for each other, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!