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Seren Morris

Best Cities to Visit for Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving is a great excuse to meet up with the whole family and celebrate one of the USA’s favorite holidays. Perhaps you’re planning on traveling to see family this year, or maybe your family is coming to you. Or, you’re going to make Thanksgiving special this year by going on a family vacation to a new city. Whatever your plans, we’ve put together a list of the best US destinations to visit over Thanksgiving. Considering the Thanksgiving events, fall activities and top attractions, these are the best cities to visit for Thanksgiving 2019...

  • New York City
  • Washington DC
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Los Angeles

Save on admission

Admission to top attractions across the US is included with Go City. You could save up to 65% on admission to attractions this Thanksgiving.

New York City

Image of Person, Traffic Light, Shoe, Glove, Festival, Image copyright Macy's.
NYC is one of the most magical cities to visit around the holidays. It has beautiful fall foliage, crisp weather and tons of fun seasonal activities to enjoy. Here are our top things to do in New York for Thanksgiving, but for more ideas, check out our guide to Thanksgiving in New York.
  • Macy’s Parade: Of course NYC is home to one of the biggest Thanksgiving parades in the country. Macy’s Parade is a popular New York tradition dating back to 1924, and it only gets bigger and better each year. Check out our guide to the Macy’s Parade for insider tips and tricks.
  • Radio City Christmas Spectacular: This iconic show is a must for anyone visiting New York around the holidays. See the talented Rockettes perform in this Christmas-themed show that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Plus, you can even meet a Rockette on the Radio City Stage Door Tour.
  • Rockefeller Tree Lighting: Another annual New York event, the Rockefeller Tree Lighting typically happens a few days after Thanksgiving, so it’s perfect for those enjoying an extended break. If you don’t get to see the tree lighting, you should still definitely make time for taking a Rockefeller Center tour.

Washington DC

Image of Grass, Lawn, Building, Housing, House, Villa, Portico, A great city to visit for Thanksgiving is Washington DC. It has tons of seasonal events plus historic attractions to help you celebrate the holiday. For more ideas, check out our guide to Thanksgiving in Washington DC.

  • George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation: Did you know that George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving holiday? You can visit his home at Mount Vernon in Washington DC. Learn all about this famous American landmark and the founding father that called it home.
  • Holiday Parade: The day after Thanksgiving, head to Reston Town Centre at 11 am for the Thanksgiving parade. There’ll be dancers, balloons, carriage rides, tree lighting and much more!
  • Seasons Greeting US Botanic Gardens: This annual festive display is a great event to visit during the holidays. The gardens will be full of seasonal displays based on a theme (this year’s has yet to be announced) that will inspire the whole family and get you into the holiday spirit.


Image of Outdoors, Person, Nature, Countryside, Hut, Rural, Handbag, Bicycle, Boston is a wonderful Thanksgiving destination for so many reasons. It has so many historic attractions, like the Plimoth Plantation, to help you learn about the holiday you’re celebrating. Plus its beautiful fall foliage will get you excited for the holidays. Check out our guide to Thanksgiving in Boston for more top tips.

  • Plimoth Plantation: Learn all about the pilgrims and the Native Americans at this authentic 17th-century New England settlement, the Plimoth Plantation. This is a great opportunity to visit and educational, but exciting attraction. What better time to visit than Thanksgiving? Read our guide to visiting the Plimoth Plantation before you go.
  • Fall Foliage at Arnold Arboretum: One of the best New England activities during fall is leaf-peeping! See the wonderfully warm, golden leaves at Boston’s Arnold Arboretum. It’s a great spot for some fall-themed Instagram shots, too!
  • Museums: Escape the Boston chill and visit some museums. No matter what you and your family are interested in, Boston has a museum for everyone. Two museums that should be on your Boston itinerary are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science.


Image of Person, Another East Coast location that you should consider visiting this holiday season is Philadelphia. Not only does it have historic, patriotic attractions, but it has great seasonal events too. Check out our guide to Thanksgiving in Philadelphia for more ideas.

  • Holiday Parade: Did you know that the Philadelphia Holiday Parade is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the USA? Floats, balloons, and dancers will journey down Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It’s sure to be a memorable holiday activity.
  • Holiday Market: The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market runs from early November through December until January 1, so if you’re visiting at all during the holidays, make sure you visit. There will be local artists selling unique gifts and holiday foods!
  • American heritage: Thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate American heritage. Take a visit to the Betsy Ross House to learn about the first American flag, its history, and its significance.

Los Angeles

Image of Finally, Los Angeles is an amazing place to visit for Thanksgiving. Though it may not have the same fall foliage as the East Coast, LA has some amazing holiday-themed events and attractions. If you’re thinking about heading to Los Angeles this November, read our helpful guide before you go.

  • Knott’s Merry Farm: Usually Knott’s Berry Farm, this family-friendly theme park takes on a holiday twist every year, (as well as Knott’s Scary Farm for Halloween). Kids and adults alike will love visiting this fun theme park, especially while it’s all decorated for the holidays.
  • LA Zoo Lights: One of LA’s most fun holiday activities is the LA Zoo Lights. You’ll get to see reindeer up close, participate in fun arts and crafts activities, and meet Santa. This is a great activity for kids, and a unique way to experience the zoo. Please note that while LA Zoo is included in the Go Los Angeles Pass, LA Zoo Lights tickets must be purchased separately.
  • Hollywood Christmas Parade: On December 1st, floats, performers, and celebs will gather for the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Expect live music, balloons, and lots of families celebrating the holiday season!

In summary

There are a few ideas for US destinations to visit for Thanksgiving. They are all great options, and you’re sure to find something to suit you and your family at each one.

Save on admission

Admission to top attractions across the US is included when you get a pass with Go City. You could save up to 65% on admission to attractions this Thanksgiving.

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