1) Lake Placid, NY
Lake Placid isn’t just picturesque, idyllic, and peaceful (hence the name!); it’s also a lot of fun around the holidays. Fish, hike, bike, or camp in the area, or visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum (the Winter Olympics were held here in 1932 and 1980). While snow isn’t a given, it is a possibility here this time of year, so pack your winter coat and gloves!.
2) Park City, UT
It’s not exactly a tiny town, but Park City still boasts all the appeal of a town half its size—and the Utah city is where it’s at come Thanksgiving time. Take a bobsled ride, enjoy window shopping, or curl up by the fire at one of the town’s amazing resorts.
3) Grapevine, TX
It may be known as the “Christmas Capital of Texas,” but it’s also a heck of a lot of fun around Thanksgiving. Grapevine offers beautiful holiday decorations and a Light Show Spectacular for kids of all ages.
4) Portsmouth, NH
Learn the history of this working seaport, explore the local boutiques, or visit Strawbery Banke Museum, which covers 300 years of American history on ten acres. Don’t forget a lobster dinner while you’re in town!
5) Key West, FL
How does a tropical paradise sound for Thanksgiving this year? The temperatures have settled down so it’s balmy and lovely this time of year. Go diving and snorkeling, kayaking, swim with the dolphins, or just walk around and enjoy the ambience of this charming town.
6) Santa Barbara, CA
Known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is a stunning destination! With pretty beaches, mountains, and nearby vineyards (yes, please!), it has everything you need for a relaxing, romantic weekend getaway, any time of year.
7) Greenbriar Valley, WV
This scenic valley has plenty to offer every member of the family: Cavern tours, historic attractions, museums, and antiquing. If you’re in the mood for pampering yourself, stay at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs for the ultimate luxury experience. They’ve been welcoming guests to this mountain retreat since 1778.
8) Fredericksburg, TX
Don’t discount it based on size: There’s always something going on in this town with German roots. Visit the local distilleries and breweries, check out one of the more than a dozen art galleries, or tour (and do a tasting!) at one of the nearby 100 wineries in the Hill Country.
9) Savannah, GA
This beautiful coastal town is delightful in fall when the sultry summer temperatures have faded. There’s plenty of hospitality, too, amid the history of this southern lady. Visit Old Fort Jackson, window shop one of the many boutiques or art galleries, and stroll through the historic Bonaventure Cemetery.
10) Pawhuska, OK
You’ve probably used one or two of Pioneer Woman’s recipes for holiday meals in the past. Why not trek to her hometown for a truly tasty Thanksgiving? While you’re there, check out The Pioneer Woman Mercantile and stay at The Boarding House (a cowboy-luxury hotel!). There’s also beautiful wildlife nearby at the the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and Osage Hills State Park.
11) Winterset, Iowa
Winterset is the Covered Bridge Capital of Iowa. Meander through the countryside to see these historic gems (which inspired the book and movie, The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep), and don’t miss the Iowa Quilt Museum. The town’s other claim to fame is being the birthplace of John Wayne, with the only museum in the world here dedicated to this Hollywood icon.
12) Kennebunkport, ME
Maine is gorgeous in the summer, but it’s even better in the fall and early winter. The weather’s still mild, and it’s far less crowded– so you won’t have to wait in line for another lobster roll or cup of chowder! Kennebunkport has tons of cute shops lining the walkable downtown area, or drive by the Bush estate and beautiful St. Ann’s Historic Church. No visit’s complete without a stroll on lovely Goose Rocks beach. For a cozy stay, book a room at the charming Inn at English Meadows Inn, just a few blocks from the center of everything.
13) Laurel, MS
What better time to experience the small-town setting of HGTV’s Home Town in real life than during the holiday season? Take a stroll downtown, on charming brick streets beneath string lights, stopping at storefronts, including show hosts Erin and Ben Napier’s Laurel Mercantile, for Small Business Saturday (held the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year).
14) Galena, IL
With its perfectly preserved 19th-century buildings, this Midwestern hamlet looks as if it’s frozen in time. About 85 percent of the town is a national historic district. Fall brings an explosion of colors to the surrounding rolling hills and valleys. Visit the historic attractions, browse one-of-a-kind boutiques on Main Street, and save enough time for a stop at the local watering hole, Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
15) Leavenworth, WA
Known for its iconic holiday celebrations, this West Coast town kicks off the festivities Thanksgiving weekend with Christkindlmarkt, a Bavarian-style Christmas Market. Visit the town’s distilleries and breweries or the wineries and cideries, or check out the shopping full of unique boutiques full of cuckoo clocks, music boxes, beer steins and other Bavarian treasures.
16) Gatlinburg, TN
Situated on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this small Southern destination is a picturesque place to celebrate your favorite fall holiday. Hole up in a cozy log cabin, chalet, or historic bed and breakfast. Burn off that turkey and stuffing by hiking to waterfalls, horseback-riding through wooded trails, or taking the aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg for ice skating, skiing, or snow tubing. Finally, cheers to another year of gratitude at one of the area wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
17) Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Plantation, a re-creation of the original 17th Century colony, is the ultimate Thanksgiving destination. Walk around the English Village, the Plimoth Grist Mill, the Wampanoag Homesite, and more. You’ll have a new appreciation for our history.
18) Estes Park, CO
If you’re thankful for nature, why not spend Thanksgiving in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park? There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than the grandeur of these mountains. If hiking’s not your thing, there’s also fishing, wildlife watching tours, and an aerial tramway.
19) Williamsburg, VA
This area has more than four centuries of history to explore! In the greater Williamsburg region, you’ll find colonial-era town of Williamsburg, the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown, and the Historic Jamestowne. Plenty of great eateries and wineries abound in the region as well.
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