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Thanksgiving is that celebratory time of year when Americans surround themselves with family, friends and plenty of food and drink.
But if you want to skip the in-laws or get out of hosting 30 people at your house this year – there are plenty of travel options to choose from. Believe me, this is the first year I am hosting Turkey Day at my house, and to say that I am a little bit nervous about how it’s all going to get done is an understatement. How am I going to feed 35 people in a timely manner with only one oven, which is circa 1979 by the way? And what about all the prepping and clean-up? I could go on and on.
That’s why a few nights at a hotel and a catered meal is starting to sound pretty appealing.
So let’s start with a few options.
Thanksgiving in the Big Apple
If you’ve always wanted to see the Macy’s Day Parade in person, here’s your chance. NewYorkGuest.com is offering several vacation packages including a five-day getaway for you and your family starting at $669.00 per person. (That equals out to about $133.00 per person, per day, which is not too shabby considering NYC is one of most expensive cities in the world).
It includes: Four nights at a midtown Manhattan Hotel from Nov. 23 – Nov. 27, guide to Macy’s Day Parade; Thanksgiving reservations at your choice of Manhattan restaurants (with option for a prix fixe meal); Top of Rock Observatory Tickets; round-trip bus transportation to the shopping mecca of Woodbury Commons; option to add perks such as tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Strand Hotel is also jumping on the bandwagon, offering a two-night package starting at $364.00 per night.
It includes: Two nights in a guaranteed upgraded deluxe room; three-course gourmet Thanksgiving meal at The Strand American Bistro; late checkout; daily continental breakfast. Other perks: Reserved front view of the parade for those who book early and a complimentary thermos filled with hot chocolate.
Surfside in San Diego
Spend your holiday soaking up some sun and some history at the Hotel Del Coronado in beautiful San Diego, Calif. The hotel is offering a “Holiday Escape” package starting at $339.00 per night.
It includes: Accommodations; one ice-skating session for two adults and two kids; S’mores on the beach Note: The Hotel is hosting Thanksgiving dinner in their oceanfront ballroom and Crown Room with live entertainment from 12:00 - 6:00 P.M. Kids under 5 eat for free.
Carve it up like a turkey on the ski slopes.
Get away from it all and breathe in some fresh mountain air at the Alta Lodge in Utah this Thanksgiving. Located just 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City, this is an ideal destination to spend the holiday – and when you’re done eating that huge feast – you can work off those calories by tearing up (no snowboarding allowed) the more than 2,000 skiable acres. The lodge is offering a family Thanksgiving package that includes: Four nights lodging; full breakfast daily; Thanksgiving dinner and a full dinner nightly. The cost is $900.00 per adult, with two kids under 12 staying for free.
‘America’s Hometown’ Thanksgiving Celebration
If you want to go back in time and celebrate in the town where the “First Thanksgiving” took place – head to Plymouth, MA. – where you’ll be able to take part in a three-day celebration featuring everything from a parade to historical reenactments. If you need a social studies refresher, Plymouth is the spot where the Pilgrims settled in 1620 after they stepped off the “The Mayflower.” One great thing about this event is that it takes place Friday Nov. 18 – Nov. 20, which means you don't have to change your Thanksgiving plans, since it’s the weekend before. USAThanksgiving.com has all of your information including links to several hotels and inns. We found rooms that start as low as $120.00 per night.
Where: Plymouth, MA.
What: America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration
When: Friday Nov. 18 – Nov. 20
Lodging: Rates starting a round $120.00 per night
Spend the holiday at a vacation rental
For some families, a hotel room just isn’t big enough, and that’s where a vacation rental becomes a great option.
“Thanksgiving typically means turkey, travel, and time with family – but it doesn’t have to mean sharing a roof with the in-laws,” Hank Hudepohl, director of vacation rentals at TripAdvisor.com, told FoxNews.com. “A vacation rental can offer you a great way to have all the conveniences of home, and it might be closer to your destination than you think – maybe even closer than a hotel.”
Hudepohl recommends renting a house with family and friends to make the Thanksgiving weekend a mini-vacation. “Depending on the market, rentals can be 30 percent or more off their peak rate around Thanksgiving, and for large groups, rentals are almost always a better deal when compared to the cost of multiple hotel rooms and meal service,” he said.
What are the hottest vacation rental spots?
Hudepohl offered these top five based on recent traveler interest for the Thanksgiving holiday. 1. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, Tennessee: “The beautiful Great Smoky mountain area, home to Dollywood, is a perennial draw for the Thanksgiving holiday.”
2. Kissimmee and Orlando area, Florida: “Ever-popular family destination and a No. 4 on the list of TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Family Destinations.”
3. Miami and Miami Beach area, Florida: “For fun in the sun, great for romantic getaways and world-class shopping.”
4. Asheville, North Carolina: “Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and part of the Blue Ridge parkway experience.”
5. Hawaii: “The 50th state is a popular destination vacation for families during the Thanksgiving holiday.” And if you cringe at the thought of cooking Thanksgiving dinner during your stay at one of these rentals, you might want to consider a property that includes a private chef, like this Sunset Beach home in Hawaii.
Whether you plan to spend Turkey Day relaxing at home watching football, eating with the Pilgrims, or kicking your feet up at a beachfront rental – as you can see – there are plenty of getaways to satisfy just about everyone’s appetite.