Thanksgiving is a festive time to be thankful for what you have and those you love. It is also coupled with many great traditions that should be shared with the whole family. If you are up to making a new tradition, however, then it’s time to start thinking about an annual Thanksgiving road trip.
There are so many exciting and fascinating destinations in the United States and so many great traditions to take part in that a road trip makes sense for the whole family. With the long weekend on your side to enjoy any of the best Thanksgiving time road trips outlined below, celebrate this national holiday in true American fashion.
Colorado Road Trip
Colorado is a great state that offers beautiful scenery and sheer cliffs you definitely won’t want to get too close to! With so many awe-inspiring, beautiful sites, it can be somewhat tricky to decide on a route and what to do, which is why we’ve put together a small list of our top choices:
Top Routes Through Colorado
For Switzerland-like views and a 25 mile stretch of natural beauty, head to the Million Dollar Highway. Autumn features beautiful colors, twists, turns, sheer cliff faces, and views of the San Juan Mountains. For a truly spectacular road trip you will remember forever, the Million Dollar Highway is the place to go.
Top Destinations to Explore in Colorado
Colorado has some incredible viewpoints to discover:
Garden of the Gods
Watch the golden light crest over these red peaks and see a sight not many have been lucky enough to enjoy.
For beautiful mountain views and a new tradition of hiking on Thanksgiving Day.
- Rocky Mountains
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Black Canyon
West Coast Road Trip
If you are located on the west coast or want to rent a car and see it for yourself first hand, there are many different options available. You won’t get the same experience for Thanksgiving as you would on the East coast, but with so many stunning national parks and world-class cities to explore, you are well within your right to make your own traditions.
Top Routes Through the West Coast
There are many stunning drives through the west coast due to how many national parks there are. A few of the best to experience includes:
- San Francisco to Utah
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Blue Ridge Parkway
Top Fall Activities to Enjoy on the West Coast
When you are on the west coast, there are only two main types of activities to focus on: visiting national parks and visiting the top cities in the area.
Explore the National Parks
- Death Valley
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Grand Canyon
- Monument Valley
- Arches National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Muir Woods National Monument
Top Cities to Explore on the West Coast
Northeast Road Trip
The northeast is something else during the autumn season, and though Thanksgiving will be the tail end of fall foliage, it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the stunning views or be at a loss for things to do.
Top Routes Through the Northeast
One of the best family road trips for Thanksgiving is definitely through the New England area. There are so many stunning roads to take and so many beautiful towns to explore:
- Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
- Route 100
- Acadia National Park Park Loop
- Shore of Dreams
Top Cities to Explore in the Northeast
Boston is a beautiful little town that is full of charm and history. Go for a hike with the family after that big Thanksgiving Meal on the Freedom Trail, or join the rest of Boston for Black Friday Shopping throughout the boutiques and great stores Boston has to offer.
Philadelphia is where the Liberty Bell calls home and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. It is a charming city with an old town that is something else. With so many great Thanksgiving-themed events going on, and the chance to switch a turkey dinner with an authentic Philly Sandwich, why wouldn’t you want to spend the weekend with your family here?
New York City
If there is one thing you need to experience when you are in New England, it is New York City’s infamous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Featuring massive balloons, over 8000 performers, acrobats, live music performances, celebrities, and more, this parade is a spectacle to behold. It takes place at 9 am on Thanksgiving Day, and ends at noon at the Macy’s Herald Square. With over 2.5 miles to find the perfect spot, you’ll be able to enjoy this New Yorker tradition for yourself.