Turkey with all the trimmings may be the traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it's not the only way. This year, ditch the turkey in favor a quick getaway over the four-day weekend.
Just like the Pilgrims sailed to the New World, you can set sail for adventure. Thankfully, though, yours will be a much more luxurious ship with significantly better accommodations. Often known as "weekend cruises," three or four-night trips allow you to spend the long weekend sailing in style, but get you back to the office or school by Monday or Tuesday.
From on-shore activities to on-board entertainment, a cruise offers something for everyone in your travel party. Plus, with all-you-can-eat buffets and fancy dinners, you won't miss the Thanksgiving meal at all.
Bed and Breakfast
If you're looking to celebrate Thanksgiving in a cozy, family-like setting without actually spending time with your own family, try a bed and breakfast getaway. The quaint intimacy of a bed and breakfast is ideal for a romantic Thanksgiving weekend, and there's a good chance you'll be served a traditional, home-cooked holiday meal, too. Start your Christmas shopping over the weekend at the local shops and markets in the area of your accommodations.
Kick off the holiday season with a weekend of snow-filled fun. November is still early for some ski seasons, so it's a great time to score some great deals. And just because you're spending the weekend on the slopes, that doesn't mean that you have to forgo all Thanksgiving traditions. Many resorts offer Thanksgiving packages that include a traditional meal.
With rides, shows and other attractions, a theme park is a destination that both young and old can enjoy. This year, instead of gathering with your family around the dining room table, make family memories together at a theme park.
Most parks in the U.S. are already closed for the season by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, so you'll have to pick a southern or warm weather destination. Thanksgiving weekend is often an extremely busy time at the Florida parks, but if you can arrive Monday or Tuesday or stay until Sunday, you might be able to enjoy a few days at the parks without navigating super-thick crowds. Even if you have to go on the highest-traffic days, however, a theme park Thanksgiving can be a lot of fun, especially since the crowds are usually in happy holiday spirits.
For the outdoorsy folks, a weekend at a National Park can be the perfect setting for a Thanksgiving trip. Pitch your tent or rent a cabin for the nights, and spend the days hiking, exploring and wildlife watching. After dusk, enjoy a campfire under the stars.
By late fall, some parks have limited services open, so consult the calendar of the park of your choice before finalizing your plans.
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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