Where to Travel for Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving, perhaps you’re dreaming of exotic locales more than of doing the same old thing, around the same dining room table, 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 & routine with a little international adventure.  In this article, “Where to Travel for Thanksgiving,” I’m going to give you a bevy 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 (pictured here) in Tennessee as an ideal Thanksgiving destination ~ as well as more exotic beach fare, such as Hawaii & Los Cabos.

Map of Thanksgiving Destinations

Palm Springs

Beaver Creek

Park City

Kauai

Cancun

Los Cabos

Santa Fe

Blackberry Farm

Charleston

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. cooler-weather spots where you can bundle up by a fire & get cozy.

 

  • Warm-Weather Thanksgiving Destinations = Palm Springs, California; Sedona, Arizona; Cancun, Mexico; Tulum, Mexico; Los Cabos, Mexico; Todos Santos, Mexico; & Hawaii.
  • Cool-Weather Thanksgiving Destinations = Santa Fe, New Mexico; Beaver Creek/Vail, Colorado; Breckenridge, Colorado; Park City, Utah; Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Ireland; & Florence, Italy.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving ~ Palm Springs

Palm Springs has long been a popular West Coast Thanksgiving destination for traveling families; while the rest of the U.S. is dipping in temperature, Palm Springs stays a balmy 80 degrees on average in November.  So if you’re looking for a relaxing retreat this Thanksgiving & a place to soak in the sun poolside, play an epic round of golf, go for a classic desert hike, or simply brunch-hop around town: Palm Springs is your place.

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

The Miramonte Resort pool, pictured here, is a great place for a relaxing Thanksgiving retreat.

Great Palm Springs Hotels: For a spa retreat, check out the Miramonte Resort or the La Quinta Resort. For adult getaways, try the Parker Palm Springs, the Korakia Pensione, or the retro-chic Del Marcos.

The American Southwest

The natural red rocks found in places like New Mexico & Arizona give way to a perpetual fall-feeling: & both places 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 right against the beautiful red rocks that Sedona is famous for.

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

Colorado & Utah Ski Resorts

Colorado ski resorts like Aspen, Vail, & Breckenridge have long-beckoned the visiting Thanksgiving crowds, as has Park City, Utah ~ the largest ski resort in America & its most popular.  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 either Colorado or Utah.

Check out my favorite ski-in/ski-out hotels in Breckenridge & Beaver Creek ~ two of my all-time favorite Colorado ski resorts.

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.

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 some Southern hospitality this holiday season, consider spending Thanksgiving in two of the south’s premier destinations: Tennessee or Charleston, South Carolina.  In Tennessee, make reservations at the idyllic Blackberry Farm in Walland for a picnic-style Thanksgiving, complete with acres to stroll, a pond, & spa for some pampering.  Or if you’re looking for more city vibes, head to Charleston & checking into a historic hotel, such as The Dewberry Charleston.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee is on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, & will give you 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 those desiring a tropical Thanksgiving: both rate high on the list.  I’d recommend Los Cabos over Cabo San Lucas if you’re looking for a little less rowdy time: the Viceroy Los Cabos & Cabo Azul Resort are two great beachfront options.  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

Cancun is a top Thanksgiving beach destination: & the Grand Fiesta Americana (pictured here) is a fantastic choice for staying right on the beach.

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, bohemian getaway south of Cancun ~ or drive just an hour north of Cabo to quaint Todos Santos for a quieter stay.

Hawaii

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

Ireland

Feel like re-creating Cameron Diaz’s experience in “The Holiday,” just on a grander scale?  Consider hopping over to Ireland for a rainy, 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, on the shores of Lough Corrib.  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 Cong, Ireland many Thanksgivings ago….& it still remains one of my favorite, albeit very different, holiday memories.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving, Girl Who Travels the World

Opulence at Dromoland Castle Hotel, in Ireland.

If jolly old England is more to your liking, read this article that lists British castle stays inspired by the Netflix series “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 far-flung, exotic Thanksgiving abroad is the Renaissance-rich city of Florence, Italy.  Something about Florence gives off fall vibes: from the orange-red top of the Duomo to the abundance of yellow & ochre-colored buildings.  Not to mention, it’s a great place to soak in the 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, or check out these hotels, that all have views of the indelible Duomo.

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

Consider spending an exotic Thanksgiving holiday in beautiful Florence, Italy.

Where to Travel for Thanksgiving

I hope this post has given you some license to do a little dreaming about where to travel for Thanksgiving ~ both domestically & internationally.

Happy Travel Planning…

xoxo Noelia

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