Every year we can expect to have plenty of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, all of that usually comes with a heaping side of cooking, cleaning and entertaining. But why bother with all the hassle on November 24 when you can book a vacation that will make the holiday even more memorable?
From a ski resort in Utah to the beaches of Anguilla, you can have your pumpkin pie and eat it, too, all without lifting a finger.
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, Washington, D.C.
Have an amazing meal while also giving thanks to service members and their families during Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City’s Service-Giving Brunch.
For each adult reservation to the brunch (carving station, kid-height buffet) in the Grand Ballroom, $10 will be donated to the National Military Family Association’s advocacy programs. And in the spirit of the season, five military families will be treated to the meal and overnight accommodations at the hotel.
Waldorf Astoria Park City
Take full advantage of its ski-in/ski-out setting while working up an appetite at this Four-Star property in Park City. After all, chef Ryker Brown has created the feast to end all Thanksgiving meals at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Powder.
On the big day, expect a spectacular buffet featuring smoked Utah trout with dill crème fraîche, braised short ribs with horseradish, roasted turkey, honey-clove glazed ham and tasty side dishes like apple stuffing with wild boar. Of course, there’s also dessert, and you can bet your favorite pie will be among the lineup.
When you’ve had your fill, relax in the spa, cuddle in your cozy room or hit the slopes again. As a bonus, if you book a stay during the holiday, you can try the exclusive Rossignol ski service from Ski Butlers, which won’t be available to other skiers until next year.
Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
What better way to work up an appetite than by taking a sunny hike through the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula? Every day, this Four-Star resort offers guided tours of the stunning area surrounding the property, and Thanksgiving is no different. Once you’ve finished your trek, sit down to one of the many celebrations at Terranea’s restaurants.
If you crave a no-fuss meal with a view, head to Nelson’s for the turkey sandwich extravaganza, a meal complete with sweet potato biscuits, cranberry sauce, herb stuffing, gravy and an individual pumpkin pie.
A more upscale spread can be had at Mar’sel, where you’ll find a four-course meal of holiday classics.
You can also gorge at the buffet in the Grand Ballroom, which comes complete with live music and more food stations than you could dream of.
Of course, if you really want to escape it all, simply order your Turkey Day meal from room service.
New York Hilton Midtown
One of the most beloved fall traditions is watching the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And what better way to see the 90th edition’s gigantic balloons, passing floats and massive crowds than by perching above the action?
This perfectly situated New York City hotel offers a prime parade position and special overnight packages to make sure you get a room with a view. There’s even a Thanksgiving breakfast planned, so you don’t have to bother putting on a coat to see the fun.
As for a proper meal later in the day, a host of high-end restaurants nearby make for a great holiday setting. At press time, places such as Five-Star Jean Georges and Forbes Travel Guide Recommended DB Bistro Moderne were still accepting Thanksgiving Day reservations.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
To ensure that the rest of your body is as pleased as your belly, why not visit “The Happiest Place on Earth” this year? Melt into the magic while enjoying the amenities of this family friendly Four-Star property.
While it’s pretty obvious what you might do before and after the feast with Mickey and company, the Thanksgiving fête proves just as satisfying. The special spreads at the resort’s Ravello and Capa feature delights like roasted turkey, winter vegetables and pumpkin bourbon custard.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, California
Mild weather is a vital ingredient for a top-notch Thanksgiving holiday, so go ahead and pencil in a visit to Newport Beach, California’s Five-Star The Resort at Pelican Hill.
Aside from the resort’s coastal beauty and unrivaled amenities (Five-Star spa, world-class golf), chef Jean-Pierre Dubray is preparing a full menu of holiday-themed meals on November 24, too, highlighted by a brunch buffet in the ballroom with live entertainment and children’s activities and a four-course California grill-themed dinner at Pelican Grill.
Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, West Indies, Anguilla
Just because you have chosen to tickle your toes in the white sands of Shoal Bay at the elegant Zemi Beach House, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. The best part? You can have dinner right by the water while live music complements the sound of gently rolling waves.
The Thanksgiving menu includes classic dishes such as turkey, ham, chestnut-sage stuffing and pumpkin pie, but also a few items with an island twist (think spaghetti squash with curried lentils and duck confit, cardamom meringue, and grilled radicchio with scallion pesto and blood orange).
The meal needn’t be the only highlight, either. Loosen up by lounging on the beach or by getting a spa treatment based on the ancient healing traditions of the Taino people at the Zemi Thai House Spa.
Gateway Canyons Resort, Gateway, Colorado
Celebrate Thanksgiving in one of the prettiest places in the West with a holiday package from Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Gateway Canyons Resort. The Western Colorado property’s seasonal deal includes daily breakfast for two, a resort credit you can use at the spa or on activities such as horseback riding, and a special seat at the Thanksgiving feast.
At the lavish dinner table, expect to binge on all the classics such as roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, as well as some seasonal and local specialties. Afterward, work off the pumpkin pie with a hike around the magical 6,000-acre property.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, North Carolina
This year, give yourself the gift of a stress-free, old school holiday in a classic mountainous setting. A Thanksgiving meal at this Four-Star country resort means unwinding with a formal dinner stuffed with traditional mainstays and treats like the garden kale salad with goat cheese fritters, Benton’s bacon and sourwood honey vinaigrette; pecan-crusted trout on top of caramelized sunchoke purée; and Madagascar vanilla crème brûlée with cranberry gingersnaps.
If you are really feeling the holiday cheer, indulge in the perfect finish to a lovely November getaway: The nearby Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village open Thanksgiving weekend as well.
The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville
There’s something especially delicious about Thanksgiving dinner in Dixie, and Nashville’s Five-Star The Hermitage Hotel certainly plans to deliver on that tradition again this year.
The grand hotel’s Four-Star Capitol Grille has a menu that has us salivating already. Deviled eggs are, of course, on deck for this lavish celebration, along with a molasses-glazed ham, baked Tennessee macaroni and cheese and other elevated takes on classics. Oh, did we forget to mention how the hotel is sweetening things even more with a grand dessert display?