Are you looking for an opportunity to use those extra days off work for Thanksgiving to get out of town? This could be the ideal year for escaping the holiday stress and avoiding all that cooking!
Whether you want an extra-special unique Thanksgiving this year, or it’s a family tradition to go out of town for the holiday, an affordable place to stay is a must. This year, you’re probably thinking about how much it will cost to pull off that Turkey Day escape. After all, inflation is on the rise and prices are skyrocketing for many essentials, making traveling financially difficult.
Fortunately, it’s still possible to pull off an affordable Thanksgiving vacation – if you know where to go. Avoid those big-name destinations like Maui or New York City (unless you’re absolutely determined to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) and head to a smaller destination instead. Your wallet will thank you, and you’ll still be able to get out of town for the holiday.
Which of these six destinations looks like the best Thanksgiving escape to you?
Carolina Beach, North Carolina
The weather may be getting colder, but you can still find plenty to enjoy at Carolina Beach or nearby Kure Beach. Vacation rental homes in the area are affordable, making this North Carolina area a great destination for your Thanksgiving getaway.
Stay in Carolina Beach and drive to nearby Wilmington to enjoy the Thanksgiving Parade and several other Thanksgiving events. For your Thanksgiving feast, check out the Calabash Deli, Cast Iron Kitchen, PinPoint Restaurant, or one of Wilmington’s many other dining options.
A traditional New England Thanksgiving awaits you in Killington, Vermont. Here you can find affordable rental homes and plenty of Thanksgiving dining options. For exercise enthusiasts, register in advance to join the Killington 5K Turkey Trot!
Explore the nearby hiking trails and enjoy the beauty of Vermont in the fall. Then, head back to Killington for a five-course Thanksgiving meal at the Wobbly Barn, where you’ll also find live entertainment. Or visit The Foundry at Summit Pond for a delicious Thanksgiving menu.
Read More: Go on a Thanksgiving Tasting Tour (And Learn a Little History, Too)
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge is a popular Thanksgiving destination, and you won’t have to cook unless you want to! This beautiful town in the Great Smoky Mountains celebrates Thanksgiving and kicks off the Christmas season by illuminating the area with millions of lights.
Stay in a Pigeon Forge chalet or cabin where, if you want, you can cook your own Thanksgiving dinner. Or, head to one of the restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving Day, including the Old Mill Restaurant and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, both of which serve special Thanksgiving meals.
Palm Springs, California
If you have extra room in your budget, west coast travelers, consider Palm Springs for your Thanksgiving getaway. Of course, the weather is beautiful and the scenery is stunning. But you’ll also be able to take advantage of the area’s delicious dining options for your Thanksgiving feast.
From fine dining to family takeout Thanksgiving meals, Palm Springs has all the options you need to find the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Check out the prix fixe three-course meal at Trio Restaurant or head to Michael Holmes’ Purple Room for Thanksgiving dinner and live jazz. Here’s a full list of past Thanksgiving dinner options in Palm Springs.
Cooperstown, New York
With plenty of affordable hotels located in Cooperstown, this is another traditional New England Thanksgiving destination that won’t break the bank. It’s also a fantastic setting for learning about colonial life because of The Farmers’ Museum Village.
For a unique and special Thanksgiving experience, visit this fantastic setting. It’s ideal for spending time with family and friends over the holiday weekend. Within the village, “You’ll find blacksmiths forging cooking utensils throughout the day inside the Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop. Be sure to visit the Print Shop Exhibit in the Main Barn to see historic recipes printed using a 19th-century printing press.”
The attractions don’t stop there. “Stop by Bump Tavern to learn about traditional cooking methods and recipes. The Pharmacy Exhibit will also prepare bygone medications that help aid digestion after a big Thanksgiving meal.” If you’re looking for a fun and educational Thanksgiving getaway, look no further than Cooperstown.
Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Colorado
Another educational Thanksgiving getaway awaits you in Colorado. Spend your Thanksgiving holiday immersing yourself and your family in Native American culture.
Head to Ute Mountain Tribal Park to learn about the geological formations, petroglyphs, artifacts, and dwellings of the region’s original inhabitants. Take a tour from a Native American guide and truly immerse yourself in the area. For accommodations, there are plenty of options. Just to begin with, you can camp inside the tribal park, rent a cabin, or stay in Mancos Inn.
For Thanksgiving dinner, head to nearby Durango for plenty of options. There’s a Thanksgiving Buffet at Purgatory, a Thanksgiving Day meal at the Strater Hotel, and several other dining options for Turkey Day.
Read More: Get Away and Celebrate Thanksgiving In One of These Seven Towns