Celebrate in New York City
Scott Cornell/shutterstock Surely the Big Apple is a leading destination for your Thanksgiving vacation, and with good reason. If you’ve never seen the big parade in person, it’s time. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is full of giant balloons of your favorite cartoon characters, high-kicking Rockettes, celebrity appearances, and so much more will get you in the holiday spirit. Another great option if you’re in NYC is to take part in Feeding NYC. Two days before Thanksgiving, the charity volunteer program delivers holiday feasts to more than 35,000 New York City families in need. Then check out the popular Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, which features 150 of the city’s most famous landmarks recreated in leaves and bark. Here are 16 insider secrets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade you’ll want to read.
Wine and dine in Santa Barbara
Carolin Sunshine/shutterstock If you want that laid-back beach vibe but with elevated cuisine, this is the city to go for your Thanksgiving vacation. The Kimpton Canary, steps away from the city’s beaches, bistros, and world-class shopping, is the perfect place to take in the view while dipping in the rooftop pool. Downtown Santa Barbara takes advantage of nearby wine country with various wineries and tasting rooms that, together, form the Urban Wine Trail. Start your day at the Funk Zone’s Santa Barbara Wine Collective for a generous wine pour during your tasting. Then get on the trail and taste to your heart’s desire. All that sipping will surely work up an appetite, so make sure to grab a late lunch at Lucky Penny for a low-key atmosphere that’s equal parts pizzeria and coffeehouse. Sit on the patio if weather permits—which in Santa Barbara it always does! Maybe all that activity has you exhausted on Thanksgiving Day, in which case, simply head to Kimpton Canary’s spectacular restaurant Finch & Fork for a three-course Thanksgiving dinner. If you want to get back out and enjoy this beautiful beach city, rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals to work up an appetite, then head to the Wine Cask—a local favorite featuring a sensational Thanksgiving menu. If you stay through the weekend, you have to go to the Salt Cave. It’s the largest underground crystal salt cave in North America. Take a yoga class, book a massage, and while you’re at it, get a facial. It’s vacation after all. Need a brunch option? Sit on the patio at Scarlett Begonia and order up some lemon ricotta pancakes. Here are 6 more fall vacation destinations.