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Great Thanksgiving Getaway Destinations

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Posted on November 02, 2021

Thanksgiving in America is one of the best holidays, not only because of what it represents (family, food, faith and football) but also because so many people can carve out a four-day holiday weekend.

The event was informally celebrated from the time of George Washington until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday, recognizing the harvest feast held between the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621.

So many of the images now center on family around the dinner table at home with the big turkey sitting center stage, but what about those couples and families that see it as a chance for a Thanksgiving holiday getaway?

family clicking glasses over thanksgiving dinner

Many timeshare owners can schedule a full vacation week over the holiday, but the flexibility of today’s points-based ownership programs means travelers can create a great Thanksgiving getaway over the long weekend.

For those owners who have fixed week timeshare ownership, research your exchange company to see if you can exchange your week for a trip to a destination holding special Thanksgiving events. The points-based programs developed by exchange providers make this even easier.

As always, you can buy a timeshare and secure your trip every year.

Upcoming Thanksgiving Events

Let’s check out some of the events being held over Thanksgiving in places known for timeshares.


Great Smoky Mountains

Timeshare owners in Gatlinburg and eastern Tennessee are in luck with the Thanksgiving Arts & Craft Show starting Tuesday November 23 and running through Sunday. Head to the Gatlinburg Convention Center for amazing hand-made quilts, pottery, jewelry and artwork that you won’t see back home.

There’s so much to do in the area, from exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the outdoor adventures at Ober Gatlinburg. Timeshare resorts are in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and the surrounding communities.    


It wouldn’t be a holiday unless the theme parks had some sort of themed display or event. But for a unique experience apart from the parks, try the Night of a Million Lights at the Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee.

The event debuted last year and features an amazing collection of light shows, holiday light decorations and a holiday marketplace. And the best part – proceeds support the non-profit group Give Kids The World, an 89-acre resort complex which provides critically ill children with vacations for them and their families at no cost.

For theme park fans, Disney continues its 50th Anniversary celebrations with the Disney Very Merriest After Hours event as the parks, including Universal and SeaWorld, turn their attention to the holiday season with parades and themed decor.

Orlando timeshares in the area? Of course!

New Orleans 

gardened terrace in New Orleans

For those wondering where the infamous Turducken was born, you can thank New Orleans. This chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey certainly adds variety to the traditional bird dish, and holidaymakers can sample it at a number of local establishments.

Check out the Celebration in the Oaks at City Park the day after Thanksgiving, then the Bayou Classic football game on Saturday. For Buffalo Bills football fans, you can holiday in the Big Easy since you are playing the Saints in New Orleans on Thanksgiving night. Take a look at the several timeshare properties located in New Orleans.

New York City 

big balloon character in macys paradeHow can anyone pass on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and winds around the edge of Central Park before heading down 6th Avenue to 34th Street. Held annually since 1924, the sight of ballooned characters and marching bands is a Thanksgiving Day institution and a buck-list event for many families.

Several New York City timeshare resorts are located on Manhattan, so check with your program or resort to see if you can still get a last-minute booking. 


If you are in the colonial vibe but can’t make it to New England, try Williamsburg. The nearby English settlement at Jamestown predated Plymouth by about 13 years, so even though its northern neighbor gets the credit for the holiday (and rightly so), Jamestown and the historic Williamsburg township are a great option.

Jamestown is only seven miles from Williamsburg, so you can easily explore both places from a Williamsburg timeshare resort.

At Williamsburg, the colonial center of town is open to explore the historic buildings, shops and taverns. The first Thanksgiving proclamation took place on Thursday, November 26, 1789, when President George Washington declared a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer.” You can hear a reenactment of Washington’s proclamation on Wednesday, November 24 in the Hennage Auditorium.  

Keep in mind that Jamestown is not open on Thanksgiving Day, but the following Saturday features live demonstrations depicting early life in the colony as well as an educational presentation about the life of the Powhatan by Daniel Firehawk Abbott of the Nanticoke people from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.        

Coastal Massachusetts