10 Fun Places to Experience American Thanksgiving

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Bucket List Worthy  

In many ways our neighbours to the south are just like us, but they also have some very interesting customs that differ from our own. Whereas in Canada we have Thanksgiving in early October, Americans celebrate it later on the fourth Thursday of November, and it marks the kick-off of the holiday season. It’s a great excuse to get away and experience American culture first-hand. Here are our top picks of places to travel this American Thanksgiving:

Plymouth – Experience American Thanksgiving where it all began, in the land of those trendsetting pilgrims who showed us that buckles aren’t just for belts and shoes. Slap on your capotain and make tracks for Massachusetts. │Find cheap flights to Boston.

Dallas Cowboys Dallas – Fish is on the menu at this year’s NFL Thanksgiving Classic. Head to Dallas and watch as the Cowboys attempt to squish the Miami Dolphins. Or, if you’re craving cheese this Thanksgiving, fly to Detroit and see the Lions take on the Green Bay Packers, or to Baltimore to witness the Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers.
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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade New York City – Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York tradition since the roaring 20’s, and going to see it in person is worthy of being on your bucket list. One of the hallmarks of the parade is the giant balloons that float above the crowds accompanying floats and marching bands along the parade route, and delight young and old alike. │Find cheap flights to New York

Las Vegas – While there’s never a dull moment in Vegas, the crowds do thin out nicely on Thanksgiving. Everything remains open, so there’s still tons to do and see, and you’ll have enough company to make it fun, but a little more room to move, and fewer traffic headaches. Restaurants also pull out all the stops with extra-special meals that are extraordinary even by over-the-top Las Vegas standards. │Find cheap flights to Las Vegas

Cincinnati The sitcom WKRP made Cincy famous and it is irrevocably tied to Thanksgiving due to the legendary “I thought Turkeys could fly” episode. While no turkeys will be harmed in the making of your trip (except perhaps the delicious one on your plate), Thanksgiving in Cincinnati will still be memorable. For more than a century, people have been braving the cold to run and walk in the Thanksgiving Day Run, and you can lace up and take a spin on the freshly opened US Bank Ice Rink. │Find cheap flights to Cincinnati

Boise – In Idaho you can have it all. Snowshoeing, nordic and alpine skiing in the inaccurately named Bogus Basin, oodles of winery tours and tastings in wine country, fine dining, glistening lights at Idaho Botanical Garden and more. To really get into the holiday spirit, make the short drive to Caldwell which becomes a Winter Wonderland during the holidays with a cavalcade of lights and ice sculptures. │Find cheap flights to Boise

Turkey – When you say “Thanksgiving” people immediately think “turkey”, and If you want to know what turkeys are really like, you have to see them in their natural habitat. You’d think in a country called Turkey they’d know a thing or two about Thanksgiving. And if you believe that, then you need to get out more, so why not start by flying to Turkey to see for yourself? │Find cheap flights to Turkey

Minneapolis – In modern American Thanksgiving tradition, after turkey comes shopping, and where better to dive into the fray than the Mall of America which, in addition to having a bombastic name, is the largest indoor shopping centre in America. Get your elbows up and join in the frenzy in pursuit of mind-boggling bargains on “Black Friday” which happens all over the United States.
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Denver – Thanksgiving is a great time to do some skiing and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, and Colorado is one of the best places for it at this time of year. But even if you don’t pine for epic powder there is a great deal to see and do in the Mile High City. Join in the countdown and witness the start of the Grand Illumination, browse chic boutiques, or be one of the first to visit the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum.
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Washington DC – One of America’s more unusual Thanksgiving traditions is the Presidential Turkey Pardon, a ceremony at the White House where the President of the United States grants clemency to a turkey that is then allowed to live rather than be destined for the dinner table. The holiday is a big deal in the capital and there are dozens of special attractions in the DC area during Thanksgiving such as candlelight tours at Mount Washington, two million pounds of ice sculptures at Gaylord National, and the Alexandria tree lighting ceremony. │Find cheap flights to Washington DC

American Thanksgiving is here, so now’s the time for an awesome getaway.

About the Author: Steph Spencer

Formerly the Editor of Let's Roll, now you're more likely to find Steph prowling the halls of incredible museums, hunting for historic landmarks, discovering mind-blowing science and literary attractions, tracking down the world’s largest whatchamacallit or attending wacky festivals. She is a freelance travel writer who explores the geeky side of travel on her blog A Nerd At Large, and dispenses random quirkiness on Google+ and as @ANerdAtLarge on Twitter.

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