The best Thanksgiving vacations are the ones that let you relax, spend quality time with loved ones, and not have to worry about overcooking a turkey. Because who says you have to do Thanksgiving at a relative’s house? You all have the days off work and it’s the perfect time of year to escape to somewhere warmer (or a cozy cabin!).
So where are the best Thanksgiving vacation destinations for a relaxing getaway with the family? Check out a few of our favorites for 2021.
Some of the best Thanksgiving vacation destinations include:
- Marco Island, Florida
- Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Lake Tahoe
- Scottsdale, Arizona
Check out Troupe’s group trip planner to help you and your travel group vote on your favorite destination!
Best Thanksgiving vacation destinations
1. Marco Island, Florida
If you’re looking to keep it stateside but want to find sunshine and beaches, head to the Gulf Coast of Florida, about 30 minutes south of Naples. The closest airport to fly into is Fort Myers (RSW) about 45 minutes away. Otherwise, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are both a 2-hour drive. Separated from the mainland by a short bridge, Marco Island is a laid-back getaway with sandy beaches.
Whether you want to stay in a hotel or an Airbnb for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of options on Marco Island. The most popular resort by far is the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort with 12 restaurants, two golf courses, miles of private beach, and more. It may be a small island but you also have plenty of options for dining out. Fin Bistro is a must for high-end seafood while the ever-popular Snook Inn is a chill, waterside hangout with live music.
For more fun on the island, check out the modest but enjoyable Marco Golf and Garden for mini-golf. Or you can head out on the water by renting kayaks or setting sail on the Marco Island Princess for a luxury sunset dinner cruise. Plenty of beaches on the island are renowned for their shelling opportunities. If you visit at Thanksgiving, you can’t miss an opportunity to try the region’s famous Stone Crab.
2. Plymouth, Massachusetts
If you’re really looking for the best Thanksgiving vacation to celebrate the holiday to its fullest, head to where it all began. Thanksgiving started in 1621 when Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans found peace over an autumn feast. Today, Plymouth still goes all out in celebrating the holiday with parades, concerts, and (of course) a huge food festival featuring New England’s best dishes.
From Plymouth Rock to the Mayflower, there’s plenty of other historical sites to see in the area. For those more interested in the outdoors, Plymouth has a beautiful coastline, perfect for bundled-up beach walks in November.
Need a little bit of Caribbean in your life this Thanksgiving? Since you know a lot of other Americans have time off and will be looking to get away, it’s better to head to a lesser-visited island for some relaxation. While some of the most popular Caribbean islands have upwards of 4 million visitors per year, the island of Curacao sees only a little over 1 million. However, it’s still highly accessible and full of great options for accommodations for large groups.
While Curacao is very much a Caribbean island, it’s also Dutch. Along with nearby Aruba, Curacao is an autonomous country once part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. This means you’ll still find plenty of Dutch architecture and culture on the island, setting it apart from the rest of the Caribbean. Take a stroll around the capital, Willemstad, and eat fresh seafood at local restaurants. To visit one of the most picture-perfect beaches you’ve ever seen, hop on a catamaran to take you to Klein Curacao, an uninhabited island off the coast complete with a shipwreck and abandoned lighthouse.
4. Lake Tahoe
Easily drivable from Northern California, Lake Tahoe is a serene waterside escape. Cabin rentals are aplenty for your whole family to find a cozy place to hunker down, cook food together, and enjoy nature this Thanksgiving. The weather in late November is still nice enough to throw on a winter coat and enjoy hikes through the forest or bike rides along the lake. However, for families that enjoy skiing and snowboarding, many of the resorts will just be opening their doors.
Lake Tahoe is one of the best Thanksgiving vacations for quality time together as a family. After enjoying all the wonderful outdoor activities the destination has to offer during the day, stay in and order a pizza while you play games or watch movies.
5. Scottsdale, Arizona
Not feeling snowy mountains or ocean retreats? Consider heading to Arizona where you can stay at one of the many amazing resorts located in Scottsdale. It’s desert landscapes may be the furthest thing from an island, but life here operates on a similarly laidback timeline. Scottsdale is one of the best Thanksgiving vacations for those who enjoy golf and hiking.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to check out Butterfly Wonderland and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. If this Thanksgiving trip is adults-only, there are plenty of breweries, spas, and fine dining restaurants to enjoy in the city.
Ready to start planning one of the best Thanksgiving vacations of your life? Allow your group to vote on their favorite destinations by using Troupe’s group travel planner. The app makes it simple to collaborate with friends and family members to share flight details, vote on accommodations, suggest activities, and more.
Make sure you don’t forget anything by using our group trip planning checklist.
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