Your friends are the family you choose, right? And there’s no better way to show your crew some straight-up gratitude than with an epic Friendsgiving getaway. A little bit of food and a whole lot of love, you guys!
If you’re ready to gobble ‘til you, you know, wobble, check out our top picks for where to spend Friendsgiving.
The gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a charming destination all year-round, but it really comes through if you visit in the fall. It’ll be cold enough to wear cozy sweaters, but warm enough to enjoy the area.
“Burn the bird” together with long hikes and horseback rides through picture-perfect trails. Or take the aerial tramway to Ober Gatlinburg (literally translated to “Over Gatlinburg”) for snow tubing, skiing, and an ice skating rink.
At night, cozy up in a log cabin or mountain chalet. And if you get chilly, the area is full of wineries, breweries, and distilleries that’ll warm you right up!
Best Friendsgiving City for: the outdoors-y crew
Key West, FL
Turkey and mangoes? Yay or nay? You might not get a traditional Thanksgiving feast in Key West, but here’s what you will get: warm weather, sunshine, and an unbeatable laid-back vibe.
It’s not super-touristy yet, that’s closer to Christmas, so you’ll get to enjoy a less-crowded version of the popular island. And if you’re a football fan, there’ll be plenty of bars in Old Town showing Thanksgiving’s classic games.
P.S.: if you have an extra couple of days in town, check out the other keys (we love Islamorada for the fishing!) or head up to Miami.
Best Friendsgiving City for: the Margaritaville besties
New York City, NY
We know it’s a cliche, but c’mon you guys. Thanksgiving in the Big Apple is a classic!
The highlight, of course, is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You’ve seen it from home, but there’s nothing like seeing the extravaganza live. The floats, marching bands, Broadway shows, and the massive balloons are nothing short of spectacular in person.
And of course, there’s plenty to do to get you into the holiday mood! Ice skating in Rockefeller Center is the ultimate calorie burn. Or catch the Rockettes and their famous show, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring Santa, the Nutcracker, and a live Nativity.
Best Friendsgiving City for: the tradition-loving crowd
Park City, UT
Beat the ski crowds by starting your season early! You and your pals will be among the first on the slopes, which open in early November.
It’s easy to get into the holiday spirit when you’re surrounded with snow, but that’s not all that’s going on in Park City. You can actually go to Utah Olympic Park, one of the venues for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and take a bobsled ride. Epic!
For your crew’s stay, the town has some pretty amazing resorts. Our favorite is Montage, which goes all-out with its holiday events. They have the traditional stuff, such as cookie decorating classes, putting together gingerbread houses, and a tree lighting ceremony. But they also have some unique events: check out turkey-themed archery lessons and “turkey bowling” for an unforgettable Friendsgiving.
Best Friendsgiving City for: pals who like powder
Santa Barbara, CA
If you want to get away from the cold during your Friendsgiving, check out the city known as “The American Riviera.” The mild, year-round Mediterranean climate will be a welcome relief if you guys need a break from your hoodies!
With over 110 miles of coastline, Santa Barbara is famous for its broad, sandy beaches. Want to get on the water before the big meal? Check their annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Paddle for exercise and fresh ocean air. If you prefer land workouts, join in on the Thanksgiving 4-Miler, a flat, fast course. You’ll work up your pumpkin pie appetite, for sure!
There are a number of notable vineyards nearby, so expect exceptional local wines at your Friendsgiving Dinner. Even better, schedule a wine-tasting (or two; who’s counting?
Best Friendsgiving City for: escaping the weather
Ready to fill up on stuffing and pie? Make your getaway even easier by shipping your luggage to your hotel or Airbnb with LugLess. For less than the average cost of a checked bag, we’ll take care of all the hassles. All you’ll have to worry about is the eternal debate: pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie!