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19 Best Places For Thanksgiving Vacation

USA Destinations for Thanksgiving

Looking for some outdoor adventure for your Thanksgiving Weekend? This blog is filled with great ideas for camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing/snowboarding, and relaxing this holiday weekend.

1 | Keystone, Colorado

Keystone or Breckenridge: Which resort is better for families and beginners?

If you’ve been itching all summer to get back on the slopes, Keystone, Colorado is a perfect Thanksgiving weekend destination. With Denver only an hour’s drive away, it’s easy to fit in 4 days of adventure on the slopes. We love Keystone resort for the gorgeous views at the top of the mountain and the great food and lodging in Keystone village. As a bonus, kids ski for free when you stay at the resort. Just be sure to get in line for the gondola early as the line can get long but the crowds seem to disperse when you are on the runs.

Related Blog: Complete Guide to Keystone Resort

2 | Durango, Colorado

Animas River Trail, Durango, Colorado, things to do

Another great Colorado destination is the mining town of Durango. Purgatory Resort may be open for skiing and snowboarding just in time for the long weekend. And if skiing isn’t what you had in mind for the Thanksgiving weekend, there’s much more to explore around Durango. Take a ride on the famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, drive the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton or Ouray, or check out the numerous hikes, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Related Blog: 30 Epic Things To Do In Durango

3 | Maui, Hawaii

The Grand Wailea, Maui
The Grand Wailea Resorts beachfront pools, Maui

If sunshine, nice restaurants, poolside drinks, and an excursion or two are what you are looking for over the Thanksgiving Weekend, then head to Maui. Some of our favorite things to do in Maui include driving the Road to Hana, whale watching, snorkeling Honolua Bay, and driving the west side of the island, finishing off with hiking the Waihe’e Ridge trail.

Related Blog: 18 Memorable Things To Do In Maui

4 | San Diego, California

Surfing Law Street, Pacific Beach, San Diego
Surfing Law Street in Pacific Beach, San Diego

Another great warm-weather destination is our hometown of San Diego. My favorite reason to head to San Diego is to surf. Thanksgiving weekend often brings great swell all along the California Coast. If you’re planning on surfing, be sure to bring a wetsuit. After a morning surf sess, we always head to one of these awesome coffee shops. There are so many rad areas in San Diego such as Gaslamp District, Little Italy, North Park, and Pacific Beach. Don’t forget there’s the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Belmont Park. Other outdoor adventures in San Diego include SUP Mission Bay, hiking Torrey Pines, or just hanging out and watching the sunset from the beach (Ocean Beach Pier or Coronado are our favs).

Related Blog: Ultimate Travel Guide to San Diego

5 | Kauai, Hawaii

While Maui is typically the best Hawaiian island for sunshine, our favorite island is Kauai. We love how quiet and green the north side of the Garden Isle is. It’s also the starting point to one of the most beautiful backpacking trips, The Kalalau Trail. We love the vibe of Hanalei Bay but we often go to Kauai and save a ton of money by camping here. Kauai’s resort lined south side has more sun and might be better for some well-earned relaxation this Thanksgiving weekend.

Related Blog: 5 Epic Days in Kauai

6 | Great Smoky Mountain National Park

For a scenic mountain getaway on the east coast this Thanksgiving weekend, head to the Great Smoky Mountains. I was a little shocked that the surrounding area of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is very touristy (seriously, think Las Vegas). If you want a nice hike that is less crowded, we loved Mount LeConte via Bullhead trailhead. You may also want to check out the

Related Blog: Best Hikes East Coast

7 | Florida Keys & Everglades


If sunshine and turquoise waters sound like a great way to spend a long weekend, then fly into Miami and in just an hours drive, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a tropical getaway. Plus, Florida is fully open for business, making it the perfect destination this Thanksgiving!

Related Blog: Florida Road Trip Itinerary

8 | Bentonville, Arkansas

I love the small-town feel of Bentonville, Arkansas. With a great mix of epic mountain biking trails, a beautifully paved greenway, artisan restaurants, and museums there’s plenty to explore in Arkansas this Thanksgiving weekend.

Related Blog: 16 Things To Do Bentonville

9 | Alta Resort, Utah

Alta Lodge room views
Alta Lodge room views

An even easier ski resort to get to this Thanksgiving Weekend is Alta and Snowbird. Fly into Salt Lake City and have Alta Shuttle take you directly to the Alta Lodge for an adrenaline packed weekend of fun. We loved the incredible views and food at Alta Lodge and the jacuzzi overlooking the slopes was a perfect way to end our days at Alta.

Related Blog: Guide To Alta Resort

10 | Grand Canyon, Arizona

Mile 6 Rim to River, Grand Canyon
Mile 6 just before reaching the Colorado River

What better way to burn off that Thanksgiving feast than by hiking the Grand Canyon. Depending on the weather, you can just hike part of the Grand Canyon or power out a day hike to the canyon floor and back.

Related Blog: How to Hike from South Rim to River to South Rim in One Day

11 | Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon 4 Day Itinerary Smith Rock
Smith Rock is an unique and iconic sight that you must see if you visit Bend

There’s so much outdoor adventure to explore in Bend and the surrounding area. Drive the Cascade Highway and do a hike. Don’t miss out on the views of Smith Rock. And our favorite, mountain biking at Phil’s Trailhead.

Related Blog: 4 Day Bend Oregon Itinerary

12 | Moab, Utah

Moab is a very popular Thanksgiving weekend destination. With great hiking, rock climbing, and off roading you’re sure to find an adventure that fits your style. Plus, Moab is a hub for Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse State Park.

Related Blog: Best Hikes in Arches National Park

13 | Joshua Tree & Death Valley, California

Artists Pallette, Death Valley
This is the magic of Death Valley

While California’s coastline is beautiful, and there is plenty of fun to be had in the Sierra Mountains, one of our favorite winter things to do in California is explore the deserts of Joshua Tree and Death Valley. Joshua Tree is fun for camping, rock climbing and hiking and I love the incredibly scenic views of Artist’s Paint Pots and Zabriskie Point. But my absolute favorite is camping and star gazing in either location.

Related Blog: Southern California Road Trip From Beaches to Mountains to Desert

14 | Seeley Lake, Montana

Ice fishing, Seeley Lake, Tamaracks Resort
Jiraiya’s first catch while ice fishing on Seeley Lake at Tamaracks Resort

For a totally different experience this Thanksgiving weekend, fly into Missoula and drive north an hour to Seeley Lake. We had the most amazing time staying at Tamaracks Resort ice fishing, fat biking, and snowmobiling. And if the snow is too thin for that don’t worry, there’s plenty of fishing, hiking, and relaxing to do in the Mission mountains.

Related Blog: 7 Things To Do In Seeley Lake This Winter

15 | Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Grand Teton to Yellowstone to Glacier National Parks Road Trip Grand Tetons

Jackson Hole is a great destination for Thanksgiving weekend. The ski crowds haven’t arrived and you can explore north up into Grand Teton National Park. Depending on the amount of snow you can hike or rent snowshoes to go explore the outdoor trails. We like to go west into Driggs, Idaho and visit Grand Targhee. After a day playing, head into Jackson Hole to enjoy the music, art galleries, boutiques, and great restaurants.

Related Blog: Road Trip Grand Teton to Glacier National Park

16 | Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

Spearfish Canyon Lodge
The Spearfish Canyon Lodge scenically located amongst the Black Hills of South Dakota

For a relaxing and romantic getaway this Thanksgiving, fly into Rapid City and spend your time exploring the Black Hills. Drive through Custer State Park and see the buffalo roaming. Hike at Sylvan Lake. See Mount Rushmore. Explore the Needles Highway. Spend at least one night at the Spearfish Lodge before finishing your Black Hills tour by stopping in Spearfish and Sturgis.

Related Blog: 25 Things To Do in the Black Hills of South Dakota

17 | Big Sur, California

McWay Falls in Big Sur on the California Coast

Escape the city this Thanksgiving weekend and head up Highway 1. The views of the coast are enough to take your breath away! Check out the quaint towns from Cambria to Carmel-by-the-Sea and enjoy the picturesque McWay falls or maybe explore the trails at Julia Pfeiffer State Park. There are a lot of nice surf breaks along the California Coastline. If you have time, extend the road trip further north and explore Mendocino.

Related Blog: Big Sur Road Trip

18 | St George, Utah

St George Narrows Climbing
Entering the St George Narrows to sport climb

St George is a great place to visit for Thanksgiving weekend. Last year we spent most of the winter in St George because there is so much to do nearby. All the area around St George is great for hiking and it’s a must that you spend at least half a day in Zion. Even if it snows there is still plenty to see in Zion in the Winter. We spend a lot of time in St George because the rock climbing is fabulous. Many people go love visiting nearby Hurricane for its world class MTB.

Related Blog: Best Hikes Zion

19 | Oahu

Olomana Ridge Trail, 10 Outdoor Adventures You Must do On Oahu

November is a great time to check out the North Shore of Hawaii. We absolutely love to surf Haleiwa and Chun’s Reef and then head over to Pipeline and watch the experts and pros shred. Be sure to check out our favorite hike, Olomana Ridge Trail and if you want to save money, do like we do and camp on Hawaii.

Related Blog: 10 Outdoor Adventures on Oahu

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