Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year to get together with your friends and family and take a break from the fast pace of life. There is no better way to show your gratitude and appreciation for your loved ones than by planning a trip to somewhere nice! Discover the best places to spend Thanksgiving and get inspired for your next getaway.
Between the busy squares, famous landmarks, and exhilarating nightlife scene, a trip to New York City is always a good idea! But there is hardly any better time of the year to see the bright lights and famous streets come to life than in the fall. See how the leaves start to drop and the colors start to change with a walk through Central Park. Choose between thousands of restaurants serving international cuisine for a magical evening out with your family and dozens of coffee shops and cafes to grab a hot cup of coffee or pumpkin-spiced drinks as you soak up the bustling atmosphere in the city streets. If you and your loved ones would prefer to have a quiet home-cooked dinner in a peaceful setting, you can make your way over to Finger Lakes or Niagara Falls (where you may cross the border into Canada), to take in the breathtaking scenery of the East Coast and reconnect with nature. The options in New York are endless, which makes this one of the best places to spend Thanksgiving that is close to home.
While Germany might not have a holiday with the same name, they do celebrate Erntedankfest — a Christian harvest festival dedicated to giving “thanks” to God and those who are working in agriculture. This special holiday is celebrated with music, parades, and services in protestant and catholic churches (in the larger cities) which typically takes place are the start of October every year. It typically falls on the first Sunday of the month and takes place right after Oktoberfest — one of the most fascinating festivals in the world. People are encouraged to share their food and drinks with those who are in need. Major celebrations take place in Dusseldorf where locals get together with a live carnival, a major parade, church services, and plenty of beer! Whether you’re willing to experience Thanksgiving in a different way, or you want to stick to your traditions in a high-energy atmosphere, a trip to Dusseldorf will make for a fascinating Thanksgiving.
Germany might be known for hosting Erntedankfest, but this famous holiday is celebrated in other German-speaking countries as well. Austria and Switzerland host the same celebrations with parades, parties, and church services. A major difference between Erntedankfest and American Thanksgiving lies in the fact that Americans tend to eat Türkiye served with cranberry sauce, while Europeans roast roosters, chicken, hens, and geese. Traveling to Austria and Switzerland can give you a wonderful opportunity to expand your horizons and try new dishes for Thanksgiving. Not to mention you will be surrounded by breathtaking mountains, shimmering lakes, and sparkling waterfalls as Austria and Switzerland are known for their incredible natural beauty. Grand castles and extraordinary palaces are also commonplace and will make for excellent backgrounds for your family photos.
If you’re looking for the best places to spend Thanksgiving which are close to home, a trip to British Columbia can be a great option. Between the breathtaking views of the nearby mountains and the Pacific Ocean surrounding the city, Vancouver is a wonderful city to start with. Take advantage of the big city atmosphere with hundreds of restaurants to choose from before you venture out to explore Whistler, a famous ski destination that is not only known for its epic alpine terrains but is a wonderful place to go hiking or biking as the colors of yellow, red, and green spring to life. You can also make your way over to Pacific Rim National Park to go hiking amidst the colors or head on a sea kayaking tour around Tofino. Take the opportunity to go paddling in the Pacific Ocean and search for whales or walk through the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. You can also cross the provincial border into Alberta with a tour of the West Coast, home to Lake Louise and Banff National Park, two of the most famous attractions in Canada.
Chuseok, also known as Thanksgiving in South Korea, typically takes place in mid-September every year. It is one of the most important holidays in South Korea as this is a time for people to make their way back to their hometowns, get together with their families, and pay their respects to their ancestors. This special time of the year is celebrated with traditional Korean dishes (particularly rice dishes cakes known as “songpyeon”) and share gifts with their loved ones to express their gratitude and appreciation for the people in their life. Folk games and dancing, traditional clothing, and family get togethers are commonplace – just make sure you learn some South Korean greetings. If you want to get a taste of a different version of Thanksgiving, without missing out on your own, and try delicious new dishes and drinks, travel to South Korea to join the celebrations and festivities that take place in September.
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