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5 US destinations to see at Thanksgiving

19 November 2019 08:28

Start your own Thanksgiving tradition in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Start your own Thanksgiving tradition in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Get to grips with that most American of holidays through 5Ks, parades and train rides. Read on for our list of Thanksgiving inspiration.

1. Leavenworth, Washington

For Thanksgiving celebrations with a Bavarian twist, Leavenworth is a must. The Pacific West coast town turns on its festive lights and welcomes guests to its famous Christkindlmarkt for the first time in the last week of November. Expect German-inspired food and handmade arts & crafts across a market befitting medieval Europe at its best. Thanksgiving cooking classes offer a taste of seasonal specialities without the pressure of hosting.

2. Chicago, Illinois

America's second-largest Thanksgiving parade promises all the pizazz of New York, with the calm of a (slightly) smaller crowd. The Windy City is famed for its Lake Michigan location, and the weekend before 'Turkey Day' offers the perfect chance to enjoy fireworks by the water at the Magnificent Mile Lights Show. Head to Millennium Park for sweeping downtown views while you slip, slide and hopefully manage to skate at the city's most popular ice rink.

3. Madison, Wisconsin

Throw yourself into Thanksgiving like a local – more Americans take part in an organised run on the last Thursday of November than any other day of the year – and join Madison's Turkey Trot. The 5K run allows you to compare your time with 60,000 runners from the States, with poultry-themed outfits thrown in. Kick back at the end of your traditional run and dinner by taking in the views of Lake Mendota from the boutique Edgewater hotel.

4. Plymouth, Massachusetts

Brush up on your Thanksgiving knowledge at the site that inspired it all. In 1621, the Plymouth pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest often considered the very first feast of its kind. The Plimoth Plantation is a recreation of the village that stood near the site and allows visitors to hear from actors posing as its 17th-century inhabitants. Board the Turkey Day train at Cape Cod where you can take a 3-hour ride complete with 5-course meal and views of the craggy coastline.

5. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

This lesser-known southern gem shines brightest in November. Gatlinburg boasts more independent artists than anywhere else in the States, across an 8-mile "Arts and Crafts Loop". The town's Thanksgiving Craft Show is the perfect opportunity to pick up their unique work in time for Christmas. If you're looking for quality time with loved ones, log cabins lie on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can choose to gorge on grits or brave bear country.

Setting off to the States? Don't forget to get covered!

Don't forget your travel insurance before you cross the pond. At World First, we provide dedicated USA travel insurance, so you'll be fully covered for your Thanksgiving escape.