This year, escape from family and traditional Thanksgiving dinner and embrace holiday travel instead. We put together a list of Thanksgiving alternatives - unique destinations where you can meet new people, make new friends, and explore somewhere new.

1. New York, New York

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition for many people. Catch the action in person this year, and check out all of the holiday decorations on the parade route.

After you're done with a long day of shopping on Black Friday, there are plenty of amazing places to eat. Check out L'Artusi for amazing Italian tapas in the West Village. Grab some authentic Texas BBQ at Hill Country Barbecue Market. And enjoy an amazing view of the Brooklyn bridge while eating at Celestine.

2. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Escape the rain and head to Mexico for Thanksgiving this year. November is the beginning of the dry season here, so head outside and enjoy the sun and the city. It goes without saying that you'll visit Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel. Hands down, the best view of the city while eating is at Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar.

3. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Beat the winter crowds who will be flocking to Cabo this Christmas, and visit in November instead for less tourists and lower prices. Spend Thanksgiving on a beach, take a boat ride out to the Arch, or go on a whale watching excursion. Need an awesome place to stay? We recommend The Cape, a Thompson Hotel for it's sleel modern architecture and balconies overlooking the ocean.  

4. Phoenix, Arizona

If the weather at home is already too cold to get your fix of comfortably spending time outdoors, Arizona might be at the top of your list of travel destinations this November. The weather here is just starting to cool off, making the temperature more manageable than summer, and pleasantly mild for hikes and golfing. Before you trek out to the Grand Canyon, get a taste of the 1940's at one of Phoenix's best restaurants, Welcome Diner.

5. Reykjavik, Iceland

Those who enjoy cold weather and can’t get enough of it may want to travel to Iceland this Thanksgiving. November starts off the season for viewing the Northern Lights and one of the best places to see it is at Blue Lagoon. Check out IHeartReykjavik for the best tours in Iceland to see the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón Glacier and South Coast.

6. Motu Teta, Tahiti

Get as far away from family Thanksgiving as possible by escaping to this private island in the South Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the palm trees and crystal clear waters from your own sandy beach.

7. Plymouth, Massachusetts

Get a taste of traditional Thanksgiving dinner and 17th century life at a plantation in Plymouth, called Plimouth Plantation. Actors play the part of traditional pilgrims and give you a glimpse of what Thanksgiving was like hundreds of years ago.

8. Athens, Greece

Greece is a popular travel destination in the summer. Once things cool off, it is much less crowded, making November a better time for a more authentic Greek experience.

Besides the usual touristy spots, be sure to check some of the amazing lesser known Greek treasures. Meteora is a monastery built on top of a tall rock pillar. Once only accessible by frayed ropes, you can hike up via stone steps carved into the wall. Check out the Dikteon Cave, the place where Zeus hid from his dad for all of you greek mythology buffs.

9. Budapest, Hungary

November is the off-season for Hungary, so prices will be lower and places will be less crowded with tourists. Enjoy the city sights and start your Christmas experience early with the Christmas Fair and Christmas Market. Take a swim at Gellért Baths, a lavish spa that looks like it should only exist in movies. Plan to do a lot of shopping at the Ecseri Flea Market.

10. Whistler, Canada

Start ski season early in Whistler this Thanksgiving. Whistler Village is a cute mountain village where you can walk into shops and cafes and warm up with a coffee, before heading back out to the snow for skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. At night, Bearfoot Bistro has a fantastic menu and you can sample vodka in their unique ice room.


Break from family tradition this year and travel somewhere new for Thanksgiving. Make new friends wherever you choose to go with our Pen Pals App; you might be able to start a new tradition of traveling with your new friends. Don’t forget to send your family a postcard!