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Kick off the holiday season with an indulgent Thanksgiving vacation.
By Kim Ayling | October 29 2020
This year, take the stress out of the holiday season by gathering your loved ones together for a well-deserved Thanksgiving getaway in one of America’s most beautiful fall destinations.
Originating as a celebration of a successful harvest, Thanksgiving has now merged into a holiday dedicated to spending time with loved ones – and enjoying good food. Although celebrating Thanksgiving may feel at odds during a year like no other, for many of us, we still have plenty to be thankful for, especially as we head into the most cheerful time of the year.
Our top picks of US-based festive getaways promise the height of relaxation, as well as a completely authentic Thanksgiving experience, with roast turkey and pumpkin pie that is every bit as good as you would enjoy at home. However, if you do plan on staying home, make sure to check Elite Traveler’s guide to laying the perfect Thanksgiving table.
Nestled within the snow-capped peaks of Utah, Montage Deer Valley is the perfect spot to kick off the festive season. The mountain retreat has a jam-packed itinerary across Thanksgiving weekend, including a family-style feast. For a more intimate Thanksgiving experience, guests can make use of the in-room dining options.
Additional themed activities include cookie and ornament decorating, and s’mores and hot apple cider on the patio, guaranteeing fun for the whole family. In true Thanksgiving tradition, live football will of course be shown. With lodge-style suites offering views across the Wasatch mountain range, complete with cozy open fires, Montage Deer Valley promises a home-away-from-home Thanksgiving getaway.
Suites from $845 per night; Thanksgiving meal and activities priced additionally.
If you fancy something a bit different during the season of gratitude, head to Mexico for a Thanksgiving celebration like no other. Auberge Resorts Collection’s two Los Cabos premises have teamed up with Mads Refslund (the renowned chef behind Noma) to offer a limited series of exclusive dining opportunities across Thanksgiving week.
On November 26, guests at both Chileno Bay Resort & Residences and Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection will have the unique opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal personally curated and prepared by chef Refslund, served in the privacy of their villa. To accompany the world-class food, a master sommelier will select a wine pairing that showcases the best of the Baja Peninsula, also known as the Napa Valley of Mexico.
Private Thanksgiving dining experiences from $7,500 for 10 guests.
Tucked away in the heart of Tennessee, at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm promises an authentic all-American Thanksgiving getaway. The farm’s extensive holiday itinerary includes a wide range of activities catered for the whole family, such as bingo, a Turkey Trot and flag football, as well as a host of gourmet culinary offerings.
Alongside a lovingly tended vegetable garden and roaming cattle, the farm’s 9,200 acres of pastoral land is also home to a creamery, bakery, and a brewery, ensuring that the food at Blackberry Farm is some of the freshest available with a menu that reflects the seasonal produce on offer. A Thanksgiving spent at Blackberry Farm promises to hold true to the holiday’s origins of celebrating the land and your loved ones – with a touch of added luxury.
Like most American cities, New York has reduced the scale of its famous Thanksgiving celebrations this year, with a televised broadcast only. However, as one of the most festive locations in the country, NYC will undoubtedly make a special spot for a low-key Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
No matter what time of year you visit the city, The Mark on the exclusive Upper East Side promises an unrivaled level of luxury – but as with most New York hotels, it truly comes into its own during the holiday season. To ease the stress of cooking, indulge in a private dining experience at The Mark, where renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will cook up a gourmet feast for you and your loved ones, promising a once in a lifetime Thanksgiving getaway.
The Mark Three-Bedroom Terrace Suite from $25,000 per night.
For a truly authentic Thanksgiving vacation, head to Virginia, which is hailed as the site of the “First Thanksgiving” held by the pilgrims in the 17th century to celebrate the first harvest in the New World. Although Thanksgiving celebrations have evolved and modernized in the last 400 years, the state of Virginia still holds true to its roots with traditional events during fall.
While this years’ festivities will be toned down due to Covid-19, you and your family can still enjoy an authentic Thanksgiving getaway in the home of the celebration. For an added touch of luxury, stay at The Jefferson Hotel, famed for its extravagant holiday offerings and first-class hospitality.
Suites from $475 per night.
As with any destination on the New England coast, Thanksgiving is a big deal on Rhode Island, attracting a crowd of city dwellers hoping to escape to the seaside for the holidays. For an impressively up-market celebration on the island, head to Ocean House, where a Thanksgiving feast is being served up at its five-star restaurant, COAST.
Offering a gourmet twist on traditional fixings, COAST’s Thanksgiving menu celebrates the fruits of the ocean including delicacies such as scallops and caviar. For a more informal, but equally delicious celebration, Ocean House is also serving its yearly Thanksgiving family-style buffet in the hotel ballroom.
COAST Thanksgiving menu from $125 per person.
Steeped in history, Cape Cod is regarded as the birthplace of modern America, making it the perfect destination for a Thanksgiving getaway. Centuries ago, the Mayflower ship, which is known to have carried the first pilgrim settlers, landed at the tip of Cape Cod, in what is now Provincetown, before carrying on to Plymouth.
Just 45 minutes from the Mayflower’s first landing point, you will find Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, which is seen as the place to stay on Cape Cod by those in the know. With views across the stunning Atlantic Ocean and delightfully welcoming accommodations, Wequassett Resort will be serving up a Thanksgiving meal to remember in its award-winning restaurant.
Accommodation from $475 per night; Thanksgiving menu priced additionally.
Although the east coast is regarded as the home of Thanksgiving, the west is equally as inviting for a fall getaway. Northern California’s Lake Tahoe is known as one of the most stunning natural destinations in the state, particularly during fall when the surrounding forest is at its most magnificent.
This Thanksgiving, book in at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe where you can celebrate the bounty of fall with an indulgent Thanksgiving feast, served up in the hotel’s Manzanita restaurant. With the resort’s ski season kicking off in mid-November, combine your Thanksgiving celebrations at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe with a trip down the powdery slopes of North California.
Thanksgiving menu from $135 per person.