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Thanksgiving Getaways

You’ve done the turkey with all the trimmings for so many years. Maybe it’s time to think outside the bird and plan a family getaway over Thanksgiving vacation.  

If you’re a traveler who loves wintertime activities, consider a trip to Canada’s Banff National Park, home to three major ski resorts. Whether you’re a novice or expert, you can enjoy a long weekend on the slopes against a backdrop of the spectacular Canadian Rockies. When you’re done for the day, check out the restaurants, galleries, and shops in Banff. The Banff Craft Beer Festival takes place November 23–25, offering samples from dozens of breweries, as well as food from the area’s best restaurants and pubs.

If your ideal Thanksgiving getaway leans more toward tropical weather, think about the Caribbean. The Bahamas is a great destination for a three- or four-day cruise or a long holiday weekend at a resort. Try watersports like snorkeling or parasailing or just relax on a beach of soft, powdery sand. In Nassau, the capital, you can soak up some history and culture, from the Changing of the Guard at Government House on November 24 to shopping for handmade crafts at an authentic marketplace held downtown on the weekend.

For history buffs, a long weekend in Boston should fit the bill. Take a walk along the Freedom Trail to see some of the sights associated with the American Revolution, like Paul Revere’s House and Old North Church. For a break from the sightseeing consider stopping for lunch at the Boston branch of Eataly, chef Mario Batali’s Italian marketplace. You’ll be less than an hour from Plymouth, site of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and home to Plimoth Plantation, where you can learn how the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors lived.

A Thanksgiving trip to Key West offers an opportunity to explore a different side of Florida. The southernmost city in the United States is a four-hour drive from Miami, along the scenic Overseas Highway. While you’re there, go sailing or snorkeling, enjoy fresh seafood and try some key lime pie. The area is also home to the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, and there are numerous opportunities for the whole family to swim with these engaging creatures. Other attractions include the house where Ernest Hemingway lived in the 1930s and the Dry Tortugas National Park, with its 19th-century fort. You’ll also be in time for the International Sand Art Competition, which takes place November 22–26. 

If you want a vacation that combines a Thanksgiving parade with holiday shopping, head to Chicago. The city’s parade takes place on November 23rd, Thanksgiving morning, complete with marching bands, floats, and giant balloons. On Friday, go shopping or just browse the stores along the Magnificent Mile. The Christkindlmarket, Chicago’s European-style outdoor market, will be open for the season with dozens of vendors selling food and holiday gifts. And the whole family will enjoy the Goodman Theatre’s 40th anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol.”

For help planning a Thanksgiving getaway, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793, locally 719-597-0004, or send us an email at

© Travel Leaders Group