Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, express gratitude, and create lasting memories. While iconic destinations like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago often steal the limelight, the United States is brimming with hidden gems waiting to be explored. This Thanksgiving, consider venturing off the beaten path to discover these seven captivating and lesser-known destinations that promise an unforgettable holiday.
Uncover these Hidden Gems this Thanksgiving Holiday
1. Moab, Utah
Moab is a hidden gem for those who love the outdoors and adventure, nestled down in the middle of red rock country. Thanksgiving in this desert beauty is unlike any other, thanks to its two well-known national parks, Arches and Canyonlands. Experience the vastness of the desert scenery in peace, hike among gravity-defying arches, and take in the breathtaking beauty of the sunrise over the canyons. Spend the night camping outside or select from a variety of distinctive lodging options nearby. Thanksgiving is the ideal time to spend in Moab, where you can fully appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
2. Asheville, North Carolina
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Asheville, North Carolina, a charming small town set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its vibrant arts scene, stunning mountain vistas, and farm-to-table dining, Asheville is an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and adventure. Take a leisurely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, see the famous Biltmore Estate, or savor a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at one of the city’s many inviting restaurants. For a fun Thanksgiving getaway, Asheville offers the ideal fusion of culture and scenery.
3. Taos, New Mexico
Step into a world of rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes in Taos, New Mexico. This small town is famous for the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest inhabited communities in North America. This Thanksgiving, take in the adobe architecture, sample authentic Southwestern food, and become fully immersed in the local art scene. Taos delivers a Thanksgiving full of cultural exploration and breathtaking scenery, whether you’re exploring the town’s historic area or going on outdoor excursions in the neighboring Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
4. Key West, Florida
A tropical Thanksgiving dinner in Key West, Florida, would be a welcome change from the typical turkey dinner. Together with immaculate beaches and an array of water activities, this island paradise has an appealingly relaxed vibe. On a visit to the iconic hidden gem, explore the distinctive coral reefs while snorkeling in the pristine seas. During the well-known Key West sunset festival at Mallory Square, savor fresh seafood while watching the sunset. Experience the joys of a subtropical paradise, adventure, and relaxation this Thanksgiving at Key West.
5. Bar Harbor, Maine
For a Thanksgiving holiday steeped in natural beauty and coastal charm, look no further than Bar Harbor, Maine. This picturesque town serves as the gateway to Acadia National Park, where you can embark on scenic hikes, spot diverse wildlife, and admire rugged coastal landscapes. On Thanksgiving Day, relish in a traditional feast with a side of fresh lobster, a Maine specialty. Eventually, take a stroll through the historic streets of Bar Harbor, enjoy the maritime culture, and savor the flavors of New England.
6. Mackinac Island, Michigan
On the car-free island of Mackinac, get away from the bustle of contemporary life. With its historic buildings, horse-drawn carriages, and Victorian architecture, this little island in Lake Huron provides a glimpse into the past. Thanksgiving on Mackinac Island means embracing a tranquil and distinctive holiday season. Discover the island’s breathtaking scenery, pay a visit to famous sites like Fort Mackinac, and revel in the peace that comes with being somewhere without cars.
7. Stowe, Vermont
For a quintessential New England Thanksgiving, head to Stowe, Vermont. This idyllic town is known for its charming village, stunning mountain scenery, and a range of outdoor activities, particularly in the winter months. Whether you’re skiing down the slopes of Stowe Mountain Resort, taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered landscape, or savoring a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at a local inn, Stowe offers a classic holiday experience that captures the essence of Vermont’s beauty and hospitality.
This Thanksgiving, consider venturing to one of these hidden gems in the United States. While the major cities offer their own allure, these lesser-known destinations promise a unique and unforgettable holiday experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the desert, cultural exploration in a historic town, or tranquility in a car-free paradise, these hidden gems have something special to offer every traveler. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and uncover the beauty and charm of these off-the-beaten-path Thanksgiving destinations.