For most Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday provides a much-needed break from the daily grind. But why spend a day stuffing yourself with turkey when you could squeeze in a mini-vacay over the four-day weekend? For travelers wanting to take advantage of the chance to jet off on a spontaneous trip, here are four excellent destinations to consider.
With connections to the origins of this American holiday, Boston and its nearby communities couldn’t be a more appropriate choice for a Thanksgiving getaway. History buffs can visit Plymouth, Mass., believed to be the site of the very first Thanksgiving celebration. The town’s Plimouth Plantation living history museum is home to a recreation of the Pilgrims’ first settlement, plus a reproduction of the Mayflower ship.
On Thanksgiving day, feast on turkey and all the fixings at more than a dozen area restaurants hosting full dinners featuring prix fixe menus.
Options for flights into the city are plentiful, as Boston International Airport is served by major airlines including Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.
Nonstop service into Bean Town is available from Chicago, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, St. Louis, Tampa, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis and Washington DC, among others.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
After a year of cleaning up and rebuilding following back-to-back hurricanes last fall, St. Thomas is ready to host visitors again. In fact, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism reports that recovery on the islands has been “very strong,” with power restored, accommodations open, and airlines and cruise lines back to regularly scheduled visits. And since the islands are a U.S. territory, no passport is needed for American citizens, removing a potential roadblock to your spur-of-the-moment tropical getaway.
Fall is traditionally the shoulder season in Caribbean destinations, meaning you’ll find much better last-minute rates on lodgings than you would for a trip taking place in mid-December or later. Worried about hurricanes? By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the Atlantic hurricane season is wrapping up, with the threat of storms increasingly unlikely with each day that passes. At wonderful beaches like Magens Bay Beach and Lindquist Beach, you’ll find fewer crowds. Historic landmarks in Charlotte Amalie, such as Blackbeard’s Castle and 99 Steps, will be likewise light on tourists.
Skip long connection times and fly directly into Cyril E. King International Airport from major U.S. cities such as New York, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Newark. The airport is served by legacy carriers American, Delta, United and US Airways and budget carriers JetBlue and Spirit — sign up for GoLastMinute’s emails to keep tabs on nationwide air sales.
With November’s daily high temperatures reaching the 70s, Jacksonville makes an attractive alternative to the chilly leaf-peeping destinations popular during the Thanksgiving season. Home to Florida’s youngest population, the city is the ideal place to socialize, eat and drink with a mix of people — not just retirees. From Jacksonville, it’s a short drive to a 22-mile coastline of beaches, and within an hour of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. and home to an imposing 17th century Spanish fortress. Between the historic sites, foodie stops and nightlife in this part of the Sunshine State, you’re guaranteed to have a whirlwind city break.
For some lively entertainment on Thanksgiving Day, head to Pete’s Bar in Neptune Beach for its annual holiday street party, starting at 9 a.m.
Get to Jacksonville in a jiffy — book a nonstop flight into Jacksonville International Airport from New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Nashville, Cincinnati or Charlotte. Major airlines including Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United offer regular service there.
A sophisticated West Coast choice, Vancouver boasts a modern skyline with a striking mountainous backdrop. With many nearby parks, trails, rivers and lakes, the city offers plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Get stunning views on the 230-foot-high Capilano Suspension Bridge over the Capilano River, or wander the historic streets of Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood.
As Canada’s own Thanksgiving takes place in October, you won’t find much in the way of turkey-focused celebrations. However, you won’t go hungry: Culinary specialties abound in this part of Canada, including B.C. sushi rolls, smoked salmon candy and West Coast oysters, not to mention great Chinese, Japanese and indigenous cuisine. You can thank the city’s ethnic and cultural diversity for its wide range of food choices. In fact, more than half of the city’s residents claim a first language other than English.
Though it’s a long flight for travelers coming from areas not on the West Coast, there are direct flights available from more than 25 American and Canadian cities into Vancouver International Airport. It’s served by legacy carriers including Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta and United. Sunwing Airlines, a low-cost airline, also services this air hub.
Keep tabs on airfares with last-minute fare alerts
Have another destination in mind for your Thanksgiving trip? Track low fares to the destination of your choice with GoLastMinute.com’s last-minute fare alerts.
Create alerts for up to five routes by doing a search on GoLastMinute.com in the “Compare Flight Deals” box and entering your email address to sign up. If we see there are other popular destinations from your departure city, we’ll show prices for those trips as well. Some of them may be even cheaper than your original destination.
We’ve delivered more than 50 million fare alerts since we launched the feature in February 2017, helping hundreds of thousands of travelers find the lowest fares to their destinations.
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