We get it: sometimes the holidays can trigger a yearning to escape. Sure Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday, but who could argue that bickering with one’s extended family over just about any topic while you feast is a pleasant—though time-honored— tradition. Here’s the thing, though: turkey time doesn’t have to be contentious. You could always skip town…
If you would rather forgo the big dinner altogether in hopes of avoiding the inevitable red-or-blue disputes while you pass green beans, we have found the perfect retreats for you across the country. And the best part is that they all include the traditional trimmings of the special holiday, so you don’t have to miss out just because you’re not home for the holidays. For more Turkey Day escape plan inspiration, read on.
The Sagamore Resort, Adirondacks, New York
Holding court for over a century on picturesque Lake George in the Adirondacks, the 133-year old Sagamore Resort offers guests a Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course, hiking, tennis, and spa (as well as fishing and swimming during the summers). The resort kicks off a long-weekend with a Family Movie Night and campfire with s’mores on Thanksgiving Eve. On the big day, guests can watch the Macy’s Parade in the Rec Center or football at the pub, enjoy a holiday movie marathon, and then sit down to Thanksgiving dinner at La Bella Vita or a Thanksgiving buffet in the ballroom. The day after Thanksgiving, the resort has a Gingerbread House making, a mini golf invitational, and a tree lighting with Santa and Mrs Claus, including hot cocoa and hot toddys.
110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing, New York, thesagamore.com
Congress Hall, Cape May, New Jersey
America’s oldest seaside resort—opened in 1816 and celebrating its 200th anniversary this year—Congress Hall offers seasonal activities like gingerbread house building and hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet, as well as a sit-down meal, at its Blue Pig Tavern. For the long Thanksgiving weekend, guests can have breakfast with Santa, enjoy a live-theatrical performance of It’s a Wonderful Life during dinner, and take in carolers over a cup of hot cocoa during the Winter Wonderland concert series.
200 Congress Place, Cape May, New Jersey, caperesorts.com/hotels/capemay/congresshallADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Thanksgiving is a wildly popular holiday on on Kiawah Island, a private retreat known as the most luxurious of the small islands dotting the coastal South—over 40,000 visitors will descend over the weekend. The island goes all out over Thanksgiving, particularly at the Sanctuary, its five-star oceanfront hotel. Highlights include the Thanksgiving Feast buffet in the Sanctuary ballroom, Pumpkin Hockey, an early-morning 5K Turkey Trot fun run, and family sand sculpting. The weekend concludes with Kiawah Island Real Estate’s annual Party in the Park, featuring low-country food and drinks, face painting, games, and a performance by Darius Rucker. The morning after Thanksgiving, Santa arrives for a tree lighting ceremony, with extras like cookie and ornament decorating on offer.
One Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, South Carolina, kiawahresort.com
The Edgewater, Madison, Wisconsin
With cranberries a way of life in Wisconsin, Thanksgiving is done right at the Edgewater, a lakefront hotel in state capital and college town Madison. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, the giant Christmas tree arrives from a local farm and kicks off three days of decorations. On the big day, there’s a Thanksgiving brunch including local specialties like Amish turkey with bourbon cider glaze and leek mac and cheese made with three types of Wisconsin cheddar, and it all culminates on the day after Thanksgiving, when the Edgewater flips the switch on the tree and celebrates the seasonal opening of their ice rink. Santa pays a visit, as does University of Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger.
1001 Wisconsin Place, Madison, Wisconsin, theedgewater.com
Four Seasons Ko Olina, Hawaii
The Four Seasons Ko Olina offers guests a plethora of island-flavored Thanksgiving feasts, including a pan-Asian Thanksgiving buffet at La Hiki, a Thanksgiving brunch at Fish House, and Thanksgiving dinner at Noe, the resort’s Italian-meets-Hawaiian restaurant. On the day after Thanksgiving, the resort debuts its Moonlight Market, which features acclaimed Hawaiian artists and artisans, including lauhala weavers, shell jewelry designers, coconut weavers, and featured White House aloha-wear designer Jana Lam. That post-Thanksgiving night, the resort also introduces its La Hiki Asian Night Market Buffet, featuring crab claws and prime rib, authentic dim sun and adobo and a “build your own” ramen bar, giving guests an alternative to traditional holiday fare.
92-1001 Olani Street, Kapolei, Hawaii, fourseasons.com/oahu
St. Regis Aspen Resort, Colorado
At the St. Regis Aspen Resort, you can expect Thanksgiving-themed wine pairings and afternoon spent on the slopes or at the spa. At sundown, guests congregate by the front entrance for the ceremonial sundown champagne sabering while there are nightcaps and roasted s’mores at Shadow Mountain Lodge from 9 p.m. until midnight.
315 East Dean Street, Aspen, Colorado, stregisaspen.com
Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
Park City’s Montage Deer Valley offers a slew of family-focused events over Thanksgiving weekend. Take part in flag football on the grand lawn, learn archery at the resort’s annual turkey-themed Turkey Shoot lesson, enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet at Apex restaurant, and cap it off with a family photo overlooking the Wasatch Mountains. To celebrate the lead-up to Christmas, offerings include cookie decorating classes, holiday mug decorating, gingerbread house unveiling and their fifth Annual Christmas tree lighting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, including live entertainment, holiday cookies and a gourmet hot chocolate bar. Oh and skiing should be underway too.
9100 Marsac Avenue, PO Box 4680, Park City, Utah, montagehotels.com/deervalley
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Las Vegas’s the Park turns into a winter wonderland on the Monday before Thanksgiving, when its first-ever tree lighting ceremony will feature a 60-foot-tall Silver Tip Fir tree adorned with 3,000 holiday ornaments and 13,000 lights, plus 16-foot-tall Ornament Tunnels. After visiting Santa, listening to carolers, and taking a spin on the ice skating rink, guests can pop over to MGM Grand across the street to watch football at TAP Sports Bar with Turkey Sliders or a T-Day Plate with all the fixings, a special Thanksgiving day menu at Michael Mina Pub, or delicacies like oyster foie gras at Iron Chef Masaharu Moritmoto’s spot Morimoto.
3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, mgmgrand.com
Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
The 102-acre luxury resort in Rancho Palos Verdes offers a bevy of holiday events. The Friendsgiving package includes two passes to the spa or a round of golf at the Links, a bottle of ONEHOPE wine, and an in-room movie night with candy. Or choose from a three-course prix-fixe dinner at fine dining restaurant Mar’sel, live entertainment and a buffet in the ballroom, or a casual seaside turkey sandwich complete with pumpkin pie and other classics at Nelson’s before retreating to one of the four ocean-view pools with a cocktail.
100 Terranea Way,Rancho Palos Verdes, California, terranea.com
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Hawaii
A Hawaiian paradise for Disney-lovers of all ages, Aulani has plenty of special Thanksgiving offerings for those fleeing the mainland. Give thanks with seaside dining at Aulani’s restaurant Ama Ama, celebrate with a Hawaiian-style Harvest Feast, live music, and characters in the Kaiona Ballroom, indulge in a Thanksgiving buffet at Makahiki—including oysters, crab claws, green tip mussels, and a poke station—or just grab a quick turkey-lunch to-go before finding your inner kid at the resort’s Rainbow Reef snorkeling experience, one of its two water slides, on the lazy river, or by exploring its awe-inspiring collection (the island’s second largest) of original cultural artifacts.
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, Hawaii, www.disneyaulani.com
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
Located on 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, luxury retreat Blackberry Farm is an ideal place to spend the holidays, with a staggering list of events and offerings for the long weekend. There’s a welcome reception, a performance by composer Jonathan Wolff (best known for the Seinfeld theme song), family bingo, family trivia, a Turkey Trot 5K, a turkey fry tradition of peanut soup and angel biscuits for lunch on the lawn, teen game night, flag football, a holiday cocktail clinic, and, of course, special Thanksgiving dinners in the Barn and in the Dogwood, featuring Blackberry Farm’s renowned gourmet cuisine.
1471 West Millers Cove Road, Walland, Tennessee, blackberryfarm.com
Nantucket Hotel + Resort, Nantuck
Nantucket’s only all-season destination resort, the Nantucket’s traditional Thanksgiving buffet for 250 people is renowned on the island. It’s held in the 1926 Grand Ballroom, complete with all the trimmings prepared by executive chef Josh Schoen and featuring antique fire truck rides for the family. Guests at the hotel can also do the famous Nantucket Annual Cold Turkey Plunge, in which hundreds of people dress up before jumping into the icy waters off Children’s Beach. After the Turkey Plunge, there’s “hot cocktail hour” in the heated outdoor hot tub.
77 Easton Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts, thenantuckethotel.com
Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C.
Holiday traditions are huge at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C., which kicks off its annual festivities on Thanksgiving Day with a Mayflower event that brings together police, firefighters, EMTs, and public servants working on the day to enjoy a holiday feast. The event takes place on a 53-foot Mayflower Truck, which is parked directly in front of the hotel and outfitted in fine linens; hotel staff, guests, and volunteers dress in Thanksgiving-inspired costumes to serve meals. For hungry guests, the hotel offers brunch at Seasons Restaurant, including a room filled with nearly 30 Thanksgiving pastries and desserts, or a three-course menu at Bourbon Steak that includes heritage turkey, pecan pie doughnuts with a whiskey pecan glaze, and signature dishes such as Michael’s lobster pot pie and Hudson Valley foie gras.
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington D.C., fourseasons.com/washington
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, California
Located half an hour north of San Diego, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa is throwing their first-ever 5K Turkey Trot this year, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Later in the day, guests can enjoy a feast over live music at the resort’s signature restaurant Veladora, where executive chef Jarrod Moiles has prepared a buffet with both classic favorites and gourmet alternatives, including roasted pumpkin bisque, chilled seafood, mac and cheese with herb bread crumbs, slow roasted turkey breast, chorizo, and herb stuffing.
5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, California, ranchovalencia.com
Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island
Set on 40 acres in Newport, Rhode Island, Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, provides guests with a classic New England Thanksgiving. Chef Lou Rossi—an alum of NYC’s three-Michelin-starred Per Se—showcases the local harvest with appetizers like Native littleneck clams, Matunuck oysters and chilled white shrimp, plus herb roasted Helger’s Farm turkey with sage gravy and cranberry sauce, and a selection of pies, pastries and tarts. The hotel also features a spa, the Retreat at Castle Hill by Farmaesthetics, and has a selection of romantic and rustic rooms and cottages available by the beach, overlooking the harbor, and on its namesake hill.
590 Ocean Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island, castlehillinn.com
Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, Riverside, California
Riverside, California’s Mission Inn Restaurant is renowned for its yearly Festival of Lights, which starts previewing on Thanksgiving Day and features fresh-falling (faux) snow, a fireworks show, and over 400 light up, animated figures, as well as Dickens carolers to start off the holiday season. For the big day itself, the hotel’s Grand Parisian Ballroom features bottomless mimosas; a seafood display of snow crab, mussels, Gulf shrimp, smoked fish, mussels, ceviche; carving stations featuring prime rib and ham; an assortment of farmer’s market vegetables and salads; seasonal fruits; cheeses; and charcuterie; plus morning favorites such as eggs benedicts, Belgian waffles and buttermilk pancakes, an omelet station, and a dessert display including a copious selection of tarts, pies, cakes. Just try buttoning your pants after that.
3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California, missioninn.com
Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Hawaii
Spend Thanksgiving at Maui’s Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, which is located on 54 acres adjacent to the sacred Honokahua Preservation Site, which is transformed into a holiday retreat with sparkling lights, sweet treats, and special events. Included on the itinerary: a Thanksgiving Buffet Feast at the Terrace (with live music and Keiki hula for Kids), a four course Thanksgiving dinner at the Banyan Tree, or a three-course Thanksgiving Dinner at the Alaloa Lounge, fun holiday treats like the Thanksgiving on a bun burger, a traditional pumpkin pie shake with spiced pumpkin gelato and pie dough crumble, a hot cider station and even special feast of thanks cocktails.
1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii, ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
In the center of Los Angeles and a heartbeat from Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, and West Hollywood, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offers guests who stay over the holiday a third night free, while their modern Italian restaurant Culina will include a special Thanksgiving menu. Meanwhile, Jeff Leatham—the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris and the man responsible for that hotel’s world-renowned floral decorations—is returning to the hotel, where he began his career, to design its lobby floral installations for the holidays (and beyond).
300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, California, fourseasons.com/losangeles
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami, Florida
The iconic Miami Beach hotel goes all-out—in signature, over-the-top Miami style—for several Thanksgiving options at its celebrity-chef driven restaurants. Football cabana packages are available for those who want to enjoy the game poolside, while traditional dinners include family-style Thanksgiving at StripSteak by Michael Mina featuring a slow-roasted turkey, or a Thanksgiving buffet at Vida—including a rotisserie, charcuterie, imported cheeses, giblet gravy, sage gnocchi, and mushroom truffle jus corn bread, plus a dessert station including crème brûlée, cakes and pies, and spiced carrot cake with toffee crunch. Guests who want to celebrate Thanksgiving on the beach can pick up a special housemade turkey burger flavored with cranberry mostarda and truffled turkey gravy on offer at Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina before walking down to the waterfront.
4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, fontainebleau.com
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
San Diego’s famed Hotel del Coronado does Thanksgiving by the Pacific the right way. Every year the hotel hosts a lavish feast in the ballroom—and this year is no exception. Attendees can expect an indulgent feast with all of the traditional trimmings of Thanksgiving, with live music and an ocean front view to boot. What more could you ask for?
1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, California, hoteldel.com