If you’re not going home for Thanksgiving this year, or your family has decided to eschew tradition for a destination-based holiday, you still have time to book an escape for the long holiday weekend.
Relax on the Beach
Aaahhh, Cancún. The beaches in Cancún are among the most spectacular in the world and several hotels offer prime beach real estate just steps away. If lounging away an entire four-day weekend sounds a little too relaxing, take a side trip to the ruins of Chichén Itzá or to one of the several cenotes unique to the Yucatán Peninsula.
Whether you want to hit the see-and-be-seen scene at South Beach or find a less crowded, more family-friendly beach like Indian Beach Park, Miami has got the perfect stretch of sand for you. With great museums and attractions, and plenty of shopping and dining options, you should have no trouble filling a four-day weekend with fun for everyone.
Untraditional, and yet, Traditional
This is where the whole Thanksgiving thing started. Head to family-friendly Plymouth, Massachusetts, and visit the actual Plymouth Rock, hop aboard a life-size replica of the Mayflower, and eat, sleep, and breathe like a Pilgrim at the Plimoth Plantation. It’s difficult to think of a more fitting place to spend Thanksgiving.
Hit the Slopes
The fall weather has been mild this year, and many resorts have had to postpone kicking off their ski seasons. Not so at Tahoe. Whether you’re a skier or snowboarder, into cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, or just want to play in the snow with the kids, with 11 resorts to choose from, Tahoe’s got a resort for you.
Get a jump on the ski season at Killington Resort in Vermont With over 200 trails on 6 different peaks, there’s a little something for skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels. Non-skiers can still get outside and enjoy the snow with snowmobile and snowshoe tours arranged by the resort.
Explore the Urban Jungle
There’s never enough time to explore all New York City has to offer, but you sure can see a lot in a few days. Watch the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, visit the Statue of Liberty, take in a Broadway show, ooh and ahh at MoMA or the Met, and hang out in Central Park—you can do it all and more over the four-day holiday weekend.
In other cities, a hotel is just a place for sleeping, but in Las Vegas the bulk of the cool attractions and major sights are the hotels. Check out the free water and light show at the Bellagio, stroll along a “Venice” canal at The Venetian, and revisit Rat Pack retro Vegas along Fremont Street. With 24-hour casinos, excellent nightclubs, and top-notch dining, the Las Vegas Strip will keep you busy all weekend long.
Take in the Great Outdoors
November is the perfect time to plan a trip to California’s Wine Country—the crush of high season tourist traffic has tapered off and the weather is still mild. Wine tasting isn’t technically an outdoor activity, but you will spend a lot of time moving between locations and you’ll be thankful for the pleasant weather. While great for adults, kids aren’t likely to enjoy being dragged from place to place for an activity they can’t participate in. If you must bring the kids, be sure to plan a few activities they’ll enjoy, like a trip to the Charles Schultz Museum, the Petrified Forest, or some horseback riding.
For a true outdoor nature-based getaway, head to South Carolina’s Midlands region. The weather here is comfortable in November and there are plenty of places to get out and enjoy nature. Experience the old-growth cypress forest at Congaree National Park; spot ducks, geese, swans, and other migratory birds at Santee National Wildlife Refuge; and get out on the water at Woods Bay State Natural Area on the one-mile canoe trail.
Amuse Yourself at a Theme Park
Head to Orlando for a family-friendly theme park getaway. With seven major parks to choose from between the Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld complexes, you’re sure to find something here to explore. Since November is in the off-season for these parks, you should have no trouble finding accommodations at reasonable rates, and you may even be able to score some great package deals.