With Turkey Day right around the corner it’s time to take a look at some travel destinations as an alternative to stuffing your face with the in-laws and taking a long nap waiting for black Friday deals to appear. Thanksgiving can be a difficult and busy time of the year to travel but with a different destination in mind and a little sense of adventure, there are a few spots worth exploring to celebrating the harvest season in style.
This spot might not be an escape from the traditional but for those looking for an awesome spot to celebrate Thanksgiving away from home, Nantucket has much to offer. That old New England vibe many of us think of come turkey time is alive and well in this region of the world. The pilgrims may have migrated away but there are still feasts aplenty. The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is one of the only all-season resorts in the area and offers a Thanksgiving feast for 250 people hosted in their grand ballroom that dates back to the 1920’s. Fire truck rides, a cold plunge into the waters offshore and a hot tub cocktail hour make this a holiday spot with a blend of tradition and amusement.
For those looking for more of an exotic, hint – warmer, escape for the holiday the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua is a luxurious escape set on beautiful grounds on the northwestern tip of Maui. The resort offers several different feasts spread out over the 54 acre property with live music, entertainment and an assortment of delicious food. Though a tropical setting may seem far removed the resort does an excellent job of decorations and celebrations to stay in the spirit.
The Windy City can get a little chilly in November but what it lacks in comfortable weather is made up for with options and activities to satisfy any holiday tourist. Chicago’s annual Thanksgiving parade rivals the legendary Macy’s Parade in New York with plenty of marching bands and giant helium balloons to boot. The Magnificent Mile is a world-renown high end shopping district running 13 blocks along Michigan Avenue and boasting 460 stores, 275 restaurants and 60 hotels. The city also hosts a holiday market, Chriskindlmarket, every year from mid-November to late-December that is a great place to buy gifts and sample a classic Chicago sausage washed down with a cold beer.
Santa Barbara, California
Just a few hours north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a great escape for those looking for a laid back while still classy version of Thanksgiving. The area is popular among wine aficionados and over 50 different varietals are grown and produced in the region. The city has a cool and comfortable Mediterranean air to it and has consistently perfect weather to accompany a beautiful setting on the shores of the Pacific. Numerous options for dining and shopping abound here and the Santa Barbara Zoo hosts an annual Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash that is certain fun for kids, families and tourists alike.
If you’re after a complete escape from the holiday mayhem, late November is a perfect time to visit the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Hurricane season doesn’t officially end until December but the actual possibility of a monster storm dissipates after Halloween making Thanksgiving an ideal time to score off-season deals at some world class resorts in this tropical paradise. The locals don’t celebrate the holiday so it’s easy to forget the hustle back home in the states while sipping a Red Stripe beach side or imbibing in a world-class glass of rum. Temperatures are pleasant and cooler here this time of year and Jamaica has much to offer from high-end resorts to mellow beach side bungalow getaways.Written by Caleb Summeril