The time of year is fast approaching when the smell of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie fills our homes, the guys crowd around the TV with the football on, and family time is paramount. But what if you'd prefer to escape the annual, traffic-jammed drive back home for something out of the ordinary this Thanksgiving? Forget about carving the turkey, throw down the apron, and set off on an alternative getaway at one of these incredible destinations!
1. The Big Island, Hawaii
How about swapping that football game for an unforgettable trek through rainforests and across incredible, volcanic landscapes? Due to it's proximity to the equator, the weather in Hawaii during fall remains warm and pleasant, making it an ideal escape from the hectic Thanksgiving celebrations back home. Those looking for peace and quiet, beaches and mountains, and stunning surroundings have found their perfect fall retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
"The Big Easy" provides a welcome respite from the traditional festive fall celebrations, with its eclectic mix of jazz and blues bands, French architecture, and rich history. Forget the Thanksgiving shopping list, and experience the buzzing nightlife of Bourbon Street, peruse local art at Jackson Square, and take a steamboat trip down the Mississippi River. Those still craving a festive treat can pop into one of the fabulous eateries in the French Corner for a local Cajun-inspired "turducken," which is a delicious, Thanksgiving turkey stuffed with duck and chicken!
3. Joshua Tree National Park, California
With vast desert landscapes, amazing adventure spots, and spectacular sunsets, Joshua Tree really is an outdoor enthusiast's dream come true. Step out of your comfort zone, and swap the madness of Black Friday for peaceful days surrounded by epic views. While vacationing in this serene oasis, make sure you stop by Keys View to enjoy sweeping panoramic vistas of the sprawling desert!
4. Costa Rica
Looking to trade in the fall foliage for some warm weather? Costa Rica is perfect for those looking for long stretches of sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and vibrant landscapes. With the possibility to take a thrilling zip-line tour high above the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, nobody in the group will be checking their phone for the latest touchdown back home! Moreover, with fewer tourists and cheaper flights than other times of the year, Thanksgiving in Costa Rica is sure to get your blood pumping.
5. Miami, Florida
Avoid slaving away in the kitchen this year and head to "the Magic City" to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime Thanksgiving dinner while cruising around the Biscayne Bay on a luxury yacht. Attractions include the surreal Italian Renaissance-style Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the fascinating Frost Science Museum, and the lively bars and restaurants in Miami Beach—ensuring this coastal retreat will be one to remember. Those who stick around for the weekend can even attend one of Elton John's last-ever concerts at the American Airlines Arena on Saturday at 8 p.m.!