When we talk about Thanksgiving vacations, most of us picture watching the big parade in New York or joining in the massive celebrations of downtown Chicago. However, many destinations are off the beaten path and offer a unique Thanksgiving celebration.
In this post let’s venture away from the famous celebrations and look at some places off the beaten path. Here are some lesser-known Thanksgiving destinations worth checking out this holiday season.
What better place to get away for Thanksgiving than the city where it all started. Plymouth is the spot where the first Thanksgiving was held back in 1621. They have a reenactment settlement in Plymouth where people live in character as if they were part of the 17th century.
Wandering through the village, you step back in time 400 hundred years. As you visit the homes and shops, you discover what it would have been like to live in a world before cars, planes, cell phones, and computers.
This reenactment village goes year round, but Thanksgiving is an extra special time. They offer a Harvest Dinner as it would have been in 1621. Join in the history and experience the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and Native Americans.
Zion National Park gives visitors a chance to enjoy turkeys in their natural habitat rather than eating one. Wild turkeys roam many of the trails throughout the park. This landscape also offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the west.
If you don’t want to skip the turkey, don’t worry, many of the hotels in the area throw large buffets throughout the long Thanksgiving weekend.
Santa Barbara is nestled between beautiful mountains and the Pacific Ocean. This makes it an excellent vacation spot all year round. The Santa Ynez Valley is some of the best wine country in California. Restaurants and hotels throughout the area offer Thanksgiving dinners featuring many of these prized wines.
What better way to spend Thanksgiving than by walking the beach, visiting wineries, and enjoying a delicious meal. For those seeking an outdoor adventure Santa Barbara also has scenic drives and hiking trails.
If you are looking for a fun-filled Thanksgiving destination for the whole family, make sure to check out Oglebay. Starting in early November, celebrations kick off with the Festival of Lights.
The entire family will be delighted with the 80+ holiday themed light displays that cover 300 acres. Oglebay Resort also has a glass museum and a planetarium. This makes Oglebay a perfect Thanksgiving destination for those traveling with a family.
For those looking for an exotic Thanksgiving destination without venturing overseas, then head to Northern California. Sonoma Serengeti is a wildlife preserve that has animals like giraffes, cheetahs, and rhinos.
On the Safari, you will spend the night in tents, climb to the top of high viewing decks, and see exotic animals. As a bonus during the Thanksgiving season, they serve a big feast with an African flare to it.
Unless you live in North Carolina, there is a good chance you are not aware of everything the state has to offer during Thanksgiving time.
North Carolina offers an entire week of celebrations on Wilmington Beach. You can take part in galas, feasts, cruises, and more. Throughout the week, there is entertainment for the entire family, including a massive flotilla and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
This action packed week is a 30-year-old tradition and a great Thanksgiving destination.
Colonial Williamsburg is one of the most historical hotspots in America and is also filled with fun Thanksgiving festivals. The Jamestown and Yorktown villages feature a three-day event which features a lot of delicious authentic food and games.
This is another fantastic Thanksgiving destination for those who want to learn more about this period in American history.
Major cities like Chicago and New York have become famous for their flashy parades and impressive Thanksgiving celebrations.
However, across the country, there are some lesser-known events that are equally exciting. If you want to spend Thanksgiving off the radar, these destinations are a good place to start when planning your next holiday.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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