Where to Travel for Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving, perhaps you’re dreaming of exotic locales vs. doing the same old thing, with the same old people (God bless them)!  One of my favorite Thanksgivings was spent in rainy Ireland, & it culminated with a stay at historic Ashford Castle.  It’s still one of my favorite holidays to date!  There’s something to be said for novelty; for breaking up tradition with a little international adventure.  In this article, “Where to Travel for Thanksgiving,” I’m going to give you a lot of ideas ~ both domestic & international, for great places to travel during the holidays.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

This list will give you cozy spots like Blackberry Farm in Tennessee ~ plus more exotic fare, like Hawaii & Cabo.

Map of Thanksgiving Destinations

Palm Springs

Beaver Creek

Park City



Los Cabos

Santa Fe

Blackberry Farm


Ashford Castle, Ireland

Florence, Italy

Warm Weather Spots vs. Cool &Cozy

I’m breaking down potential Thanksgiving destinations into two categories: warm-weather spots where you can swim & bring your bikini, vs. cold-weather spots where you can bundle up by a fire, ski, & get cozy.


Where to Travel for Thanksgiving ~ Palm Springs

Palm Springs has long been a popular West Coast Thanksgiving destination.  While the rest of the U.S. is getting cold, Palm Springs stays a balmy 80 degrees in November.  So for a relaxing retreat this Thanksgiving & a place to soak in the sun poolside, play an epic round of golf, go for a desert hike, or simply brunch-hop: Palm Springs is your place.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Best Pools for Laying Out in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

The Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort pool is a great place for a relaxing Thanksgiving retreat.

Great Palm Springs Hotels: For a spa retreat, check out the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort or La Quinta Resort. For adult getaways, try the Parker Palm Springs or Korakia Pensione.

The American Southwest

The natural red rocks found in places like New Mexico & Arizona give way to a perpetual fall-feeling.  And both make for relaxing, more introspective Thanksgiving getaways than your traditional beach retreat.  Perennially-popular Santa Fe & Sedona are two excellent choices for a more off-the-beaten-path holiday. 

If you’re traveling to Santa Fe or Taos, check out my guide to the famous Ojo Caliente Hot Springs.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

The Enchantment Resort in Sedona has one of the best natural settings for a hotel, set against the beautiful red rocks Sedona is famous for.

Great Hotels in the American Southwest: Check out Enchantment Resort in Sedona, or the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Resort in Santa Fe.

Colorado & Utah Ski Resorts

Colorado ski resorts like Aspen & Vail have long-beckoned the visiting Thanksgiving crowds ~ particularly for celebrities.  As do Park City & Deer Valley in Utah ~ which is the largest ski resort in America.  If you want to travel this Thanksgiving & really feel like its fall, snuggle up by a roaring fire, or shush your way down some newly-opened ski slopes: you can’t go wrong in Colorado or Utah.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Best Ski-in Ski-Out Hotels in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Girl Who Travels the World, Ritz Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek.

Check out my favorite ski-in/ski-out hotels in Breckenridge & Beaver Creek ~ two of my all-time favorite Colorado ski resorts….that are a little more reasonable than Vail & Aspen.


Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World, St. Regis Deer Valley

The St. Regis Deer Valley, in Utah.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving ~

Cozy & Historic

If you’re looking for Southern hospitality this holiday season, consider spending Thanksgiving in uber-popular Tennessee.  Make reservations at idyllic Blackberry Farm in Walland for a picnic-style Thanksgiving ~ complete with acres to stroll & a spa for some pampering.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

Blackberry Farm in Tennessee sits by the Great Smoky Mountains, & gives instant, cozy fall vibes.

Mexico Beach Resorts

Where does Jennifer Aniston fly to for Thanksgiving?  Her favorite beachside retreat: Cabo San Lucas.  Cabo & Cancun are popular year-round, but for a warm-weather Thanksgiving: both are ideal.  Jennifer Aniston’s favorite resort in Cabo is the gorgeous One & Only Palmilla Resort, which puts you right on the ocean in beautiful villas.  Or the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal offers a similar feel, with its enviable position on the Pacific Ocean.

And if you’re on the east coast, Cancun is an easy flight with plenty of beachfront resort options.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

Staying at the Waldorf Astoria in Los Cabos will give you this amazing bath tub view.

Don’t want to deal with the hustle & bustle of Cancun or Cabo? Check out Tulum for a more relaxed vibe, south of Cancun ~ or drive an hour north of Cabo to quaint Todos Santos for a quieter stay.


For those of us on the West Coast, Hawaii makes for a relatively quick flight ~ & gives you instant access to temperatures in the 80’s, & ocean water that feels like bath water.  Introverts can head to the Big Island or chill Kauai, while extroverts & those looking for more action can choose party-happier islands like Oahu or Maui.  

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

The Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

The pink Royal Hawaiian, with its legendary views of Diamond Head, is a great choice for a tropical Hawaiian getaway.


Feel like re-creating Cameron Diaz’s experience in “The Holiday?”  Hop over to Ireland for a moody holiday, & stay at one of the country’s famous castles: such as Dromoland Castle, or beautiful Ashford Castle ~ which lies just north of Galway.  Take falconry lessons, sip Irish Coffees in a grand parlor, & enjoy the exotic feeling of having escaped your traditional Thanksgiving….   

Ashford Castle, Ireland, Girl Who Travels the World

I took this photo at Ashford Castle in Ireland many Thanksgivings ago….& it still remains one of my favorite holiday memories.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

Opulence at Dromoland Castle Hotel, in Ireland.

If England is more to your liking, check out British castle stays inspired by “Bridgerton.” Or if “Downton Abbey” was one of your favorites ~ click here to find out where to have a Downton-inspired stay… 

Florence, Italy

One final idea for a Thanksgiving abroad is the Renaissance city of Florence, Italy.  Something about Florence gives off fall vibes: from the orange-red top of the Duomo, to the abundance of ochre-colored buildings.  It’s a great place to soak in the rich history of Western civilization ~ a new twist on traditional Thanksgiving traditions. 

The Four Seasons Firenze is a great place to luxuriate in Florence’s opulent history…

20 Photos to Inspire Your Italy Travels, Girl Who Travels the World, Florence

Consider spending an adventurous Thanksgiving in beautiful Florence, Italy.

Happy Travel Planning…

xoxo Noelia

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