Skip the turkey: Alternative Thanksgiving getaways

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There’s no place like home during Thanksgiving. But there’s also no better time to enjoy Santa Claus’s village right before Christmas or the stillness of a half-empty beach when the temperatures are mild and the crowds are minimal.
Thanksgiving, an American holiday, is synonymous with turkey, cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin pie, enjoyed while watching parades and football games. What if we tell you that there are other ways and destinations to enjoy Thanksgiving in 2023?

Quebec City

📍 Canada

Who should go? People with an appetite for history and delectable Thanksgiving treats should visit Quebec City this Thanksgiving.

Why now? The festive season brings out a different vibe in the city, from the magic of Thanksgiving parades to delicious Thanksgiving treats with a French twist. You can also meet Santa Claus at the German Christmas Market, so why not?

Where to eat? For a traditional Thanksgiving feast, head to Aux Anciens Canadiens to savor classic Thanksgiving dishes like roasted turkey and cranberry sauce. But if you’re looking to feast on local cuisine with a Thanksgiving twist, head to Le Lapin Sauté where they serve up traditional Quebecois dishes such as tourtière, a savory meat pie, and maple syrup-infused desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Lastly, if you’re looking to have a unique dining experience this Thanksgiving, reserve a table at Chez Muffy, where the menu highlights local ingredients and flavors. From succulent roasted meats to seasonal vegetables, every dish is crafted with care and creativity.

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Pigeon Forge

📍 Tennessee

Who should go? Families and couples seeking a festive and lively Thanksgiving experience, marked with great food and amazing company.

Why now? November is a great time to be in Pigeon Forge when the climate gets cooler, the city is decked up in beautiful fall foliage, and there are tons of festive events to enjoy!

Where to eat? Have you ever enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving with a side of southern charm to it? Pigeon Forge is the perfect place for that experience. If you’re out looking for a traditional Thanksgiving feast, head to The Old Mill to indulge in traditional turkey and all the fixings in a charming historic setting. For a family-friendly Thanksgiving buffet, head to Mama's Farmhouse, known for its southern hospitality and mouth watering comfort food. Craving a unique twist on Thanksgiving dinner? Visit Paula Deen's Family Kitchen for a southern-inspired holiday meal that will leave you feeling thankful for every bite. Wondering what southern-style is? Southern-style Thanksgiving has cornbread and sweet potato casserole, unlike in the North which serves up normal bread and Turkey with sausage stuffing.

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Kiawah Island

📍 South Carolina

Who should go? Thanksgiving with a touch of luxury and relaxation, that’s what Kiawah Island promises to deliver. Head there for a chill time with your family or partner.

Why now? Anytime on the beach is a great time! So Thanksgiving in Kiawah Island is no different. With a serene view and mild temperatures, Thanksgiving along the coast of the island is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Where to eat? While you can’t expect the traditional Thanksgiving feast at Kiawah Island, you can definitely expect a wholesome meal. Head to The Ocean Room for their seasonal steakhouse menu and to Jasmine Porch for a Thanksgiving buffet, with a complimentary glass of champagne to ring in the holiday season.

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📍 Italy

Who should go? While romance isn’t the first thing you’d associate with Thanksgiving, when in Tuscany, everything is romantic. From the food to the art and culture, this Thanksgiving, create vivid memories with your loved one in Tuscany.

Why now? November is one of the best months to visit Tuscany with the beautiful autumn colors painting the town golden, mild temperatures, and the welcoming aroma of harvest season.

Where to eat? Get served like royalty at the historic Tuscan restaurant Osteria di Passignano, with its exceptional Thanksgiving feast. A grand celebration of Traditional Tuscan cuisine showcasing high-quality local ingredients such as olive oil, bread, cheese, and wine.

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New Orleans

📍 Louisiana

Who should go? Thanksgiving in New Orleans is a magical experience! From holiday lights across the city to special festive traditions and some mouth-watering Creole cuisine, New Orleans is a great Thanksgiving getaway for families, couples, and a solo trip, all the more so if you’re a food enthusiast and a history buff.

Why now? Summers in New Orleans last up to the end of October so by Thanksgiving the climate is cooler, temperatures are milder, and there are a bunch of fun activities to do, including the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade with floats, marching bands, and military units.

Where to eat? Enjoy a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast at the legendary New Orleans hotel- Commander’s Palace which is renowned for its Creole cuisine (a blend of various cultures including Italian, Spanish, African to name a few) accompanied with a live jazz band. And which feast is complete without a dessert indulgence? Head to Cafe du Monde to sample the iconic Beignet and rich cafe au lait.

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New York City

📍 New York State

Who should go? Thanksgiving in NYC is an unforgettable experience. One of the most popular traditions in the city is The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which dates back to 1924. That said there are a plethora of events to enjoy (for everyone) from floats, marathons, and sumptuous Thanksgiving feasts. We think everyone should go to NYC at least once for Thanksgiving!

Why now? Weather-wise, it is fall in NYC in November. The temperatures are mild and the city is decked up in beautiful fall foliage (head to Central Park, Prospect Park, and Fort Tryon Park to capture the colors). Another reason is because it’s Thanksgiving and it’s a great time to experience the electric atmosphere of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Where to eat? If you’re looking to experience an authentic Thanksgiving feast, head to the historic Tavern on the Green restaurant, featuring a 5 course menu selection by Executive Chef, Bill Peet. For a more luxury and traditional setting, head to Daniel, a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its exquisite seasonal fare. If comfort is what you are looking for, we recommend the hospitality at Pies ‘n’ Thighs.

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Who should go? An atypical Thanksgiving is what you’ll find in Thailand. For couples and solo travelers seeking new cultural experiences like visits toBuddhist temples or food enthusiasts to indulge in authentic Thai cuisine, Thailand is an amply rewarding destination.

Why now? With the rainy season gone, Thailand in November is a great time to visit. From basking in the warmth (the weather at this time is dry and sunny) of the tropical sun, to exploring the bustling markets and trying out mouth-watering street-food varieties. The festive season offers a perfect blend of traditional Thai celebrations and a touch of Thanksgiving spirit.

Where to eat? Like we mentioned earlier, an atypical Thanksgiving means the feast too comes with a Thai twist, like at the Mandarin Oriental. For a fine-dine experience, head to Gaggan, known for its innovative approach to Indian cuisine. For a beachside celebration, head to Banyan Tree Phuket, where you can relish in a delightful Thanksgiving dinner with stunning ocean views.

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📍 England

Who should go? London is a city that has something for everyone! If you’re a history buff - there are so many historic landmarks to visit, explore, and learn; an adventure junkie - climb to the top of the O2 or bungee jump from 160 ft high.

Why now? Despite not celebrating Thanksgiving, London welcomes you with a festive spirit - dazzling holiday lights everywhere and seasonal treats at various Christmas markets. The experience is one-of-a-kind and we highly recommend it.

Where to eat? CUT at 45 Park Lane is a modern American restaurant in London which serves a 3 course Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings and desserts like pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. Sea Containers London has a three course meal, including a Thanksgiving Feast of turkey, potatoes, corn, green beans, stuffing, cranberries and gravy. Yum right?

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Global Thanksgiving Destinations