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10 Top Thanksgiving Destinations

10 Top Thanksgiving Destinations


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As temperatures drop and fall foliage is in full bloom, Thanksgiving travelers are headed to warmer climates and locales with swaying palm trees. Fly.com has revealed the top five searched travel destinations for Thanksgiving.

See 10 Top Thanksgiving Destinations Slideshow

The study reveals many Americans are headed to warmer climates like Honolulu; Orlando, Fla.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to enjoy their Thanksgiving feasts. Data collected from more than 3 million Fly.com user searches reveals New York City is the top choice, where the average airfare of $349 has remained virtually unchanged since last year.

Low fall airfare is the force driving travelers to Honolulu, where fares are down 20 percent from last year. Travelers from California have been able to find flights to Hawaii for as little as $297 roundtrip, including taxes, and fares from the East Coast have been as low as $347 roundtrip, including taxes.

Rounding out the list are Las Vegas, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which were third, fourth, and fifth most popular, followed by Los Angeles, Cancun, Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas. All these cities, with the exception of Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, have seen increasing airfare this year.

"Savvy travelers know a good fare when they see one," said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager of Fly.com. "So it is not surprising to see that some Americans are traveling to destinations that take them away from past holiday traditions. More importantly, it is not too late to find a great deal on Thanksgiving travel."

Fly.com used data collected from more than 3 million user searches conducted between Aug. 16 and Sept. 27, 2012 and extracted domestic and international flights with departure dates Nov. 17 to Nov. 22 and return dates Nov. 23 to Dec. 1. Fly.com looked at the best airfare prices for each destination during the Thanksgiving travel period in 2011 and compared these with prices during the same timeframe in 2012.

Check out the 10 Top Thanksgiving Destinations slideshow to see how to celebrate Thanksgiving in these cities. From Thanksgiving parades and turkey trots to bountiful buffets, there is something for every traveler.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without a slice of classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. There is nothing better than a bite into that flaky crust and smooth pumpkin filling, full of those classic pumpkin spice flavours.

Classic pecan pie is another essential Thanksgiving dessert. Try this easy to follow recipe to get that flaky crust, smooth custard filling and pecan topping. For such a fancy pie, it is actually embarrassingly easy to make. Make it a day in advance (or several hours) to allow the filling to set.

Small batch mini pumpkin pies with a flaky crust, delicious pumpkin pie filling, and cinnamon whipped cream, are perfect for a small Thanksgiving crowd.

This braided lattice apple pie is packed with cinnamon apples tossed in a caramel sauce and sealed in a buttery, flaky pie crust with a braided lattice top. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Give traditional pecan pie a twist this holiday season by using finely chopped pecans to create a smooth topping on this chopped pecan pie with a smooth custard filling. This pie is also ridiculously easy to make.

Easy homemade apple hand pies/turnovers are the perfect fall treat -- stuffed with tender apples and cinnamon and wrapped in crispy, flakey, buttery crust.

Individual apple crisp are served in ramekins so that you and your guests can enjoy single-sized servings meaning you will get the crunchy corners of crumble all to yourself. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for maximum happiness.

Sweet and tart cranberry-apple cobbler with biscuits is packed with fresh fruit and a buttery biscuit topping. This holiday favourite is easy to make.

Decadent caramel pecan pie cheesecake bars with a graham cracker crust, cheesecake filling, and caramel pecan topping is perfect for Thanksgiving this fall.

This showstopping festive gingerbread bundt cake with maple cinnamon glaze and pecans is moist, soft, and fluffy, and packed with warm holiday spices.

This think and dense, yet surprisingly light, pumpkin pie bundt cake with cream cheese glaze is the perfect after dinner treat. It is warm from the mixture of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice blend, with a hearty drizzle of cream cheese glaze. The perfect pair.

Soft and fluffy sourdough cinnamon roll twist bread is buttery and layered with cinnamon sugar. Prep it the night before and freshly bake it right before serving for breakfast or dessert.

Soft and moist, small batch chocolate chip pumpkin bread is the easiest fall treat, packed with fall flavours of warm pumpkin spice, pumpkin, and chocolate.

Decadent and light, homemade healthier caramel apple fall cheesecake is made with a graham cracker crust, topped with caramel apples and caramel sauce. It's fall heaven.

Apple cardamom cake with caramel pecan butter frosting is the perfect fall cake and is made by combining all your favourite fall flavours together.

Soft and fluffy, pumpkin cinnamon rolls are packed with pumpkin, layered with pumpkin spice, and topped with cream cheese icing. Best fall treat ever.

Move over pumpkin, there is a new loaf in town. Butternut squash "pumpkin" bread is moist and flavourful, and brings the pumpkin spice season to your home.

Molten chocolate lava cakes are rich and fudgy with a classic gooey chocolate center that flows out like lava. So simple and easy to make.

Perfect for the holidays, this super moist and tender, festive yogurt fruitcake is loaded with dried fruits and nuts for a burst of flavour in every bite.

No one will be able to resist this perfectly sweet and moist, glazed brown sugar bundt cake. Made with Greek yogurt for major decadence and richness.

Easy no crust burnt Basque cheesecake is the easiest one bowl recipe. It is perfectly caramelized on the top and edges and creamy yet firm on the inside.

Fudgy brownies are rich, sweet, moist, and decadent. Plus, they're easy to make in one bowl (meaning less cleanup!) and ready in about 30 minutes.


12 Unique Places to Spend Thanksgiving

Whether you’re flying solo, a party of 2 or traveling with relatives in tow, Thanksgiving is about making memories. We chose 12 unique spots guaranteed to serve up a stress-free experience.

Related To:

Motu Teta, Tahiti

Want to get as far away from your relatives as possible? We suggest booking Tahiti&rsquos Motu Teta, a private island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on the Rangiroa atoll. Activities include doing absolutely nothing (one of our favorite pastimes) or a more adventurous midnight lobster hunt. But don&rsquot get too attached to Mr. Crusty because your private staff will prepare and serve him as your Thanksgiving meal beachside.

Your Own Private Archipelago

Spend the day snorkeling, diving or just relaxing. Not even your Aunt Edna&rsquos bloodhound can find you on Motu Teta. Once your family sees the vacation photos surely they won&rsquot begrudge your escape.

Room for Two or More

Should you be guilted into bringing along any family, such as your children, you&rsquoll have enough room for up to 10. The island&rsquos accommodations include a private bungalow and a larger main villa, both with sweeping verandas. Otherwise, wash those relatives right out of your hair.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Those looking to kick it Old School will want to plan a visit to Plymouth, the town that symbolizes our national tradition of giving thanks and eating our faces off. Spend your day at Plimouth Plantation with role-playing pilgrims who reenact events from 17th-century life. The plantation is open from March to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Plantation Vacation

Casa Marina, Key West

As hosts of the International Sand Art Competition, Casa Marina launched a unique Thanksgiving tradition befitting of the quirky town that Ernest Hemingway once called home. Each year artists from all over the world create breathtaking sculptures right on the sandy shores of the Waldorf Astoria property.

Castles of Sand

Veteran sculptor Marianne van den Broek founded the competition, which unites artists from places such as Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. Guests of Casa Marina with beachfront balconies can watch the sculptures take shape all weekend long.

Key West’s Best

The Spa al Maré at Casa Marina will be open on Thanksgiving Day and for this we give thanks.

Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

The Thanksgiving Feast at the Farm is one of the coolest holiday excursions we uncovered. Located on the island of St. Kitts, Belle Mont Farm will host a farm-to-table dinner with over 90 percent of the meal&rsquos ingredients sourced directly from the farm. One- to four-bedroom cottages are available and the experience is all-inclusive.

Sing for Your Supper

Chef Tell

La Posada, Santa Fe

Not only do we like the idea of having someone else doing the cooking, but we also like the thought of spending our holiday in a place known for its peaceful surroundings. La Posada in Santa Fe is steps from the capital city&rsquos Historic Square and is partly housed in a structure dating back to the 1880s. Thanksgiving visitors can expect menu offerings with a southwestern flare.

Inn & Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe

Chef Marc Quinones creates incredibly tasty dishes for his guests at Luminaria all year using the freshest ingredients from Santa Fe&rsquos local farmers markets. Holiday guests can choose to indulge in brunch or a prix-fixe dinner in the inn&rsquos peaceful and serene dining room. With temperatures dropping, there could be snow on the ground just in time for your arrival.

New York’s Midtown Hilton

Forget sitting out in the cold! The New York Hilton Midtown has your ringside seat for all the action of the Macy&rsquos Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A Suite of Sweets

Bell Book & Candle

More than ever, people want to know where their food is sourced. Diners at the Bell Book & Candle need only to look up. Many of the vegetables, fruits and herbs served by Chef John Mooney are grown in hydroponic towers six stories up, on the rooftop of the West Village eatery. Not only will BBC be open on Thanksgiving, but locals can also order to-go meals.

Tower of Power

Minton’s

Talk about soul food. We love the idea of a collard green salad and roasted turkey marinated in sugar brine, served up with a side of live music. Located in Harlem, legendary Minton&rsquos recently experienced a rebirth and the venue was restored to its former glory.

Jazz Hands

Wynn Las Vegas

The City of Sin is better known for over-the-top decadence, so it may come as a surprise that Steve Wynn, proprietor of the Wynn Las Vegas, takes a special interest in vegetarian and vegan options on all of his menus. He also has included a low-calorie menu at all of his restaurants as well.

Win-Wynn

Hotel Zamora

The Hotel Zamora is the first brand-spanking-new hotel to be built in St. Pete Beach, Florida, in 20 years. The Mediterranean-inspired property features a private marina and new 360-degree rooftop lounge with stunning oceanfront views. We suggest ordering up a Thanksgiving picnic basket from the resort&rsquos award-winning restaurant Castile and have it served poolside.


For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections ofMashed Potatoes Recipes andRoasted Potatoes Recipes, and ourHow to Make Potatoes guide, as well ourBest Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.


Thanksgiving menu ideas from Michelin star chefs

When looking for the best Thanksgiving recipes, at FDL HQ we like to reach for the stars, literally.

Take your Thanksgiving dinner this year to another level with recipes from Michelin star chefs who show you their expert tricks and tips to execute your best Thanksgiving dinner yet.

We’ve already shared with you some of our favourite Thanksgiving recipes, including this ultimate roast turkey recipe, but if turkey isn't your thing, we’ve got other main dish recipes from Michelin chefs that will be spectacular substitutes on your Thanksgiving menu.

From the perfect roast chicken by Gordon Ramsay, to pork belly with the most impressive crackling from Marco Pierre White, these Michelin chefs make it easy for you to recreate world class cooking at home.

Serve your game or pork with Heston Blumenthal’s roast potatoes, or go instead for mashed potatoes with legendary Joël Robuchon’s 'world's best' pommes de terre recipe.

For dessert, make it right with your best version of apple, pecan or pumpkin pie with ChefStep’s professional step by step video of the most buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust.

Or, close your Michelin star Thanksgiving dinner with a dessert that it deserves with a clear pumpkin pie inspired by the famous pie at Grant Achatz’s restaurant Alinea.

These Michelin star chefs’ recipes are here to save your Thanksgiving dinner. Check them out and get cooking.


10 Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’ve love looking at all the amazing recipes out there. I’ve been browsing online looking for some of the most delicious Thanksgiving recipes and thought it would be fun to share a collection of my favorites.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread – Sunny Side Up In San Diego

Three No Bake Thanksgiving Appetizers – Kitchen Simplicity

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites – Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Sweet Potato Casserole – Skinny Taste

Apple Cranberry Stuffing – Oh Sweet Basil

Heavenly Mashed Potatoes – Spoon Fork Bacon

Perfect Roast Turkey – Martha Stewart

Drunken Pumpkin Pie – Sacramento Street

Pumpkin Praline Truffle – Bakers Royale

About Tesa Nicolanti

Tésa (pronounced Taysa) is a work-at-home mom who enjoys blogging while raising her family in Detroit, MI. In between naps, Tésa enjoys writing about family life, giving back, food, tech, and travel.


Top 10 Thanksgiving getaways for Canadians

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Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it seems a large number of Canadians will be travelling to New York City to gobble their turkey.

The Big Apple has been named the most popular destination for Canadian travelers over the Thanksgiving long weekend, by Hotwire.com.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Monday, October 14th – and it seems the allure of Broadway, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Times Square is just too tempting for Canucks to ignore.

It’s the second year in a row that New York City has nabbed the top spot, while Chicago (last year’s number eight) and Minneapolis (last year’s number six) climbed their way up to second and third, respectively.

In fact, American cities dominate the list – with six of the top ten travel destinations located stateside.


Yukon Gold Potatoes

You can make these recipes with Yukon Gold potatoes or your standard baking potatoes.

1. Classic Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

This is the recipe that my family always serves on Thanksgiving. These potatoes are creamy and cheesy. One reason why we keep coming back to this recipe is that it can be prepared a day in advance and then reheated.

2. Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are basically a baked potato and mashed potatoes combined. The skin gets nice and crispy while the potato inside is light and mashed. Add brie, as I did, or add in your favorite cheeses.

3. Roasted Garlic, Parmesan, Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

This mashed potato recipe has bold flavors thanks to the addition of roasted garlic and brown butter. Adding brown butter will give any potato recipe a flavor boost.

4. Irish Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Onions

This recipe for a deconstructed Colcannon is made by topping mashed red bliss potatoes with sauteed kale and onion.

5. Blue Cheese Potatoes Au Gratin

Blue cheese, cream, and cream cheese make these potatoes very rich.

6. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

An easy way to lighten up a mashed potato recipe is to add in some cauliflower.


9 Incredible Places To Celebrate Thanksgiving If You Don&rsquot Want To Stay Home

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest (and most expensive) times of year to travel, and while going home can be nice, we&rsquore exploring different options this year. From relaxing beach getaways to historic destinations, we&rsquore about to spice Thanksgiving up.

Feel like a kid without being totally surrounded by your family when you spend Thanksgiving at Disneyland. The world-class chefs at the Disneyland Hotel will prepare an all-you-can-eat feast worthy of giving thanks featuring Thanksgiving classics and a variety of starters and desserts. When you&rsquore ready to start digesting, venture down to the park (since it&rsquos open year-round) and hit your favorite rides. But maybe avoid the spinning tea cups&hellip

From politics to your relationship status, Thanksgiving with the family is always a gamble, but you&rsquore guaranteed to hit the jackpot by spending Thanksgiving in Vegas. Visiting during the off-peak season means you&rsquore sure to find great deals on hotels and resorts. Come Thanksgiving day, dine at some of the world&rsquos nicest restaurants and burn off the calories by shopping luxury goods on Black Friday.

Whether you want to hit the slopes or just enjoy a book by the fire, the charming mountain village of Keystone is the ideal winter wonderland destination for the long weekend. For a unique Thanksgiving meal, book a reservation for a dinner sleigh ride or take a cozy gondola to the mountaintop for a four-course fondue fiesta. Boasting the longest ski day in Colorado, Keystone&rsquos slopes stay open until 8 p.m. and are even open on Thanksgiving Day, so you can sneak in a few runs before the feast and give yourself a well-deserved extra serving of mashed potatoes at dinner.

Sometimes a healthy break from family during the holidays is a good thing, and if you&rsquore not going to be home helping set the table, you might as well pick a beautiful destination to supplement the inevitable guilt trips. Spend your days hiking through exotic rainforests, traversing active volcanoes, snorkeling with sea life, or just lounging on the beach like a seal, with the seals on Hawaii&rsquos Big Island. Rates for accommodations typically taper off by this time of the year, so you can score a great deal and still enjoy your Thanksgiving meal at your beautiful resort&rsquos restaurant. Aloha, family!

A hot spot for bachelorette parties and girl trips is probably the last place you&rsquod think to spend your Day of Thanks, but Miami just might surprise you. With off-peak season in full swing, you can snag reduced rates for luxury accommodations and some much-needed R&R poolside without having to fight for a chair. Whether walking along Ocean Avenue or just lounging on the beach, satisfy your Turkey Day appetite at some of the city&rsquos best restaurants (just be sure to make that reservation in advance). We&rsquore thankful for many things, and a beach Thanksgiving is definitely one of them.

Sure, we love Bourbon Street, but New Orleans has so much more to offer than daiquiris and brutal hangovers. The city&rsquos culture revolves around food (hello, beignets, étouffée, and gumbo!), and what could be a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by eating a Turducken in the city where it was created? Literally spice up your Turkey Day and celebrate as the Cajuns do&mdashover a Turducken and jazz. When you&rsquore ready to move your food around, take a stroll through the Garden District to see some of the city&rsquos historic mansions and iconic architecture.

Trade your family history for real history and spend Thanksgiving where it all began. The Berkeley Plantation (AKA the site of the first Thanksgiving) celebrates the holiday with historical reenactments, parades, craft vendors, and, yes, plenty of food. Other historic locations across the city offer full Thanksgiving spreads for dinner so you can have a traditional meal, even if the settlers didn&rsquot.

With its crisp fall weather, vibrant foliage, and charming restaurants and markets, the Hudson Valley is the scenic Thanksgiving you didn&rsquot know you needed. Local restaurants will be open on Turkey Day and serving full feasts made with fresh ingredients sourced just a few miles away. On Thanksgiving Eve (AKA the biggest party day of the year), local resort Shamrock House celebrates accordingly with leather jackets and hairspray at their 80s-themed dance party. After the festivities, carve out some time in your trip to visit a few wineries while you&rsquore there, the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine-producing region in the country after all.

There&rsquos typically a direct correlation of alcohol consumption to family time, and given the choice, we&rsquod rather be drinking in stress-free wine country. Santa Barbara&rsquos beautiful Santa Ynez Valley is dotted with wineries and local restaurants that are happy to provide you the anxiety-free holiday you deserve. While the city doesn&rsquot have a Thanksgiving parade, you can still get your animal fix at the zoo during its &ldquoPumpkin Smash&rdquo event where you can watch animals play with pumpkins.


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