Thanksgiving can be a fun time to plan an escape with your friends, family, or even as a solo trip. There are plenty of easy destinations that you can travel to from Washington DC. Whether you want to drive, take the train, or jump on a quick flight, there are a lot of options when it comes to Thanksgiving getaways near DC.
Best Thanksgiving Getaways Near Washington DC
Exploring new places during Thanksgiving can indeed be a wonderful way to gain perspective and gratitude. You can choose to embrace big city lights, small-town charm, or something in between with the help of our list of best Thanksgiving getaways near DC.
Here are our top recommendations for Thanksgiving getaways near DC:
1- Sea Island, Georgia
Distance from DC: 570 Miles
An 8 hour drive south of Washington, DC, lies the charming Sea Island, Georgia, a perfect destination for a Thanksgiving retreat. With its picturesque coastal scenery, this peaceful haven offers families a unique way to celebrate the holiday.
Sea Island’s beaches provide a serene backdrop for Thanksgiving activities. You can start your day with a refreshing walk along the shore, taking in the crisp sea breeze and maybe even collecting seashells. As the sun sets, a cozy beachside bonfire and marshmallow roasting make for unforgettable family moments.
For a memorable Thanksgiving meal, the island’s resorts host traditional feasts with all the trimmings. You can savor mouthwatering turkey and delicious Southern-style dishes without the hassle of cooking.
Beyond the beach, Sea Island offers golf courses, spas, and nature trails, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The kids can have a blast at the supervised children’s programs, leaving parents free to relax.
Getting Here: You can fly into Jacksonville or Savannah which both have non stop options from the DC area and then rent a car. Or you can drive.
2- Hamptons, New York
Distance from DC: 200 miles
The Hamptons, a 6 hour drive from Washington, DC, transforms into a cozy retreat during Thanksgiving. With its attractive villages and stunning coastline, it’s an ideal destination for families seeking a charming holiday experience.
Exploring the charming towns of East Hampton, Southampton, and Sag Harbor is a must. Stroll through their picturesque streets, adorned with autumn foliage and boutique shops. You’ll find unique gifts for your loved ones and perhaps some early holiday shopping.
Thanksgiving in the Hamptons means indulging in farm-to-table dining. Local restaurants serve up mouthwatering dishes made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. The traditional turkey feast gets a Hamptons twist with organic produce and artisanal flavors.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the scenic beauty of the Hamptons. Take family walks along the beautiful beaches or explore nearby nature reserves like Montauk Point State Park. It’s an opportunity for some quality family time while enjoying the crisp autumn air.
Many of the Hamptons’ luxury resorts and inns offer special Thanksgiving packages with activities for kids, spa treatments, and more. It’s a chance to relax and bond as a family.
Getting Here: There is a non stop flight from BWI to central Long Island, and from there you can take a ride share. You can also drive.
3- Asheville, North Carolina
Distance from DC: 462 miles
Asheville offers a Thanksgiving experience like no other. The vibrant fall foliage provides a breathtaking backdrop for your family celebrations.
Here, you can start your Thanksgiving morning with a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the colors of autumn paint the landscape. The crisp mountain air creates an unforgettable experience.
Asheville is known for its thriving arts scene, and you can immerse your family in it by visiting local galleries or even taking a craft class together. It’s a creative way to bond and discover the unique talents of the region.
For your Thanksgiving feast, indulge in farm-to-table cuisine at one of Asheville’s renowned restaurants. They offer mouthwatering dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, adding a touch of Southern flair to your holiday meal.
Afterward, explore the historic Biltmore Estate, which comes alive with festive decorations during Thanksgiving. Stroll through beautifully decorated rooms, and kids can participate in holiday-themed activities.
Getting Here: The drive to Asheville from DC depending on traffic is about 7 to 8 hours. There are also non stop flights available. However, if you want to enjoy some of the hikes in this area (weather permitting) you will want to have a car when visiting.
4- Williamsburg, Virginia
Distance from DC: 155 miles
Take a short drive from DC so that you can travel back in time to colonial America with a Thanksgiving getaway in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Williamsburg is a historic treasure trove, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to immerse your family in its rich past. You can begin your journey at Colonial Williamsburg, where costumed interpreters bring history to life. Kids can engage in hands-on activities like candle-dipping and historic games.
Thanksgiving in Williamsburg includes a grand feast at one of the colonial taverns. Enjoy a traditional meal featuring roast turkey and all the fixings, served in a historic setting that transports you to the 18th century.
Beyond history, Williamsburg offers a range of family-friendly attractions, including Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where you can enjoy thrilling rides and holiday-themed entertainment.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Duke of Gloucester Street, lined with quaint shops and charming boutiques. It’s an excellent opportunity for holiday shopping and picking up unique gifts.
Your family can also explore the nearby Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield, completing the historical trifecta of the Historic Triangle.
Getting Here: This is an easy drive from Washington DC.
5- Lichfield County, Connecticut
Distance from DC: 337 miles
Litchfield County, with its quaint villages and rolling countryside, offers a peaceful escape from the city bustle.
One of the highlights of Thanksgiving in Litchfield County is visiting local farms to pick your own fresh produce. You can gather ingredients for your holiday feast, including apples, pumpkins, and farm-fresh vegetables. It’s a wonderful way for the family to get involved in the meal preparation.
The county is dotted with charming inns providing a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for your stay. Enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner prepared by skilled local chefs, featuring farm-to-table ingredients.
Litchfield County is also known for its cultural attractions. Visit historical sites and art galleries, or take a scenic drive to see covered bridges and historic landmarks.
For a delightful family activity, consider a leisurely hike in one of the many state parks or nature reserves. The crisp autumn air and scenic trails make for a memorable outdoor adventure.
Getting Here: Driving is the best option because public transportation to get to this small part of Connecticut is limited.
6- Traverse City, Michigan
Distance from DC: 759 miles
Traverse City, nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, is known for its stunning landscapes, making it a perfect backdrop for a family Thanksgiving. Begin your day with a scenic drive along the M-22, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the lake and colorful fall foliage.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, Traverse City offers hiking trails, orchards, and vineyards to explore. Traverse the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes, an adventure that rewards you with awe-inspiring vistas.
Thanksgiving in Traverse City means indulging in local culinary delights. The area is famous for its cherry orchards, so don’t miss the chance to taste cherry-inspired dishes. Many local restaurants serve up a traditional Thanksgiving feast with a unique twist, showcasing regional flavors.
The town also hosts a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, a fun run or walk for the whole family, offering a healthy start to the holiday.
Getting Here: You can drive, but it is a long drive, and will take about 12 hours. There are several non stop flights into Detroit and then you can rent a car. On occasion you may find a non stop flight into Traverse City itself.
7- Boston, Massachusetts
Distance from DC: 395 miles
Boston, steeped in American history, offers a unique Thanksgiving experience. Here you can explore the historic sites linked to the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving.
In Boston itself, take a leisurely walk along the Freedom Trail, passing by iconic landmarks like the Paul Revere House and Faneuil Hall. It’s a chance for the family to connect with the nation’s past.
For Thanksgiving dinner, savor a traditional New England feast at one of the city’s historic taverns or restaurants. Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are staples on the menu.
If you’re a sports-loving family, consider attending a Boston Bruins or Boston Celtics game, soaking in the city’s sports culture.
Boston’s museums, like the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium, offer engaging experiences for the entire family.
Getting Here: This is one of the best places to take the train to. Avoid the east coast Thanksgiving weekend traffic and enjoy a scenic train ride to Boston. Flights are also quick.
8- Orlando, Florida
Distance from DC: 853 miles
Orlando, known for its world-class theme parks, offers a Thanksgiving with a twist. Here, you can start your vacation with a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, where you can enjoy Thanksgiving-themed parades and festive decorations.
Universal Studios also hosts special events for the holiday season, including Grinchmas and the Holiday Parade. There is also Lego Land not too far away.
For a unique Thanksgiving feast, explore the diverse dining options in Orlando. You can find everything from traditional turkey dinners to international cuisine at the city’s many restaurants.
Orlando’s warm weather allows for outdoor activities even in November. Spend a day at one of the beautiful beaches nearby or take a boat tour in the serene Everglades.
The city also boasts world-class shopping so that you can start your holiday shopping early at outlets and malls. This is a great time for the whole family. Orlando can be crowded during late November so plan your reservations and bookings ahead of time.
Getting Here: It is about a 12 hour drive from Washington DC to Orlando. You can make a road trip out of it, and stop along the way. It is a quick and easy 2 hour non stop flight with many flight options and airlines offering non stop service from DC to Orlando. There is also an auto train that allows you to bring your car down to Orlando from DC.
9- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Distance from DC: 140 miles
Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of America, provides a unique Thanksgiving experience.
For a traditional Thanksgiving feast, explore the city’s famous restaurants. Many offer special holiday menus with classic dishes like roast turkey and stuffing.
Philadelphia’s museums, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute, offer engaging experiences for families. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the city’s murals and vibrant street art scene.
Philadelphia’s historic district, with its cobblestone streets and charming shops, is perfect for holiday shopping and exploring.
Getting Here: The easiest way would be to take the train as street parking for several days is challenging If you don’t mind paying for parking at your hotel then driving is also an easy option.
10- Cape May, New Jersey
Distance from DC: 193 miles
Cape May’s charming Victorian architecture and pristine beaches make it an ideal destination for a unique Thanksgiving retreat. Spend your mornings enjoying the serene ocean views and the sea breeze.
This coastal haven offers plenty of outdoor activities for the family. You can explore the Cape May Point State Park, known for its birdwatching opportunities and scenic trails.
For history buffs, a visit to the Emlen Physick Estate provides insight into the region’s past. The estate offers guided tours that shed light on Cape May’s Victorian era.
Cape May’s beautiful lighthouse, dating back to 1859, invites you to climb its 199 steps for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay.
Congress Hall, the country’s first seaside resort, is rich in history, having welcomed guests and provided family entertainment for almost 200 years.
We just really like the notion of celebrating Thanksgiving at a location like Congress Hall, which has such a rich history, charm, and mouthwatering dining options.
Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in the magnificent ballroom or reserve a seat at The Blue Pig Tavern to feast down on delicacies crafted with ingredients from the resort’s 62-acre Beach Plum Farm, which is just one mile away.
Getting Here: The best way is to drive from DC to Cape May. You can make a stop in Philadelphia on your way if you want to break up your drive.
11- Kennebunkport, Maine
Distance from DC: 519 miles
This is a coastal town between Boston and Portland. Kennebunkport’s rugged coastline can provide a stunning experience for your Thanksgiving retreat. Begin your day with a family hike along scenic trails, offering glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean and the changing leaves of the forest.
Take advantage of the autumn air by going on a scenic boat tour or a whale-watching excursion. It’s a chance to spot marine wildlife and appreciate the coastal splendor.
For history enthusiasts, Kennebunkport has historic sites like the Seashore Trolley Museum, where you can learn about the region’s transportation history.
Consider visiting one of the local farms for a unique Thanksgiving experience. You can often find special holiday events where you can interact with animals and learn about sustainable agriculture.
Hidden Pond is the ideal location for couples or groups of adults traveling without children. You already know it’s going to be a peaceful and delectable experience Hidden Pond is home to the award-winning and highly recognized restaurant.
Visit the treetop spa for a relaxing massage after delighting your taste buds with a Thanksgiving meal that includes fresh local oysters, lobster ravioli, turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, New England pot roast, pumpkin doughnuts, and pecan pie.
Getting Here: You can fly into Boston or take the train there and from there you will need to rent a car.
12- Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Distance from DC: 366 miles
Watch Hill, with its pristine beaches and scenic landscapes, invites families to immerse themselves in nature. You can spend your Thanksgiving morning hiking along picturesque trails or taking a leisurely bike ride to explore the area’s natural beauty.
The shoreline offers opportunities for water activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to building sandcastles on the beach. It’s a place where you can bond with your family while enjoying the tranquil ocean views.
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, consider a visit to the nearby Watch Hill Wildlife Refuge, where you can observe various bird species and immerse yourself in the coastal ecosystem.
For a touch of culture, explore the local art scene and galleries, where you can appreciate the work of talented regional artists.
Getting Here: You can fly into Providence or take the train to Westerly. From there you will need to rent a car or take a ride share. You can also drive.
13- Alexandria, Virginia
Distance from DC: 3 miles
Enjoy a fun staycation in the DC area. Alexandria is a fun option for a Thanksgiving retreat filled with historical intrigue. In addition to walking the charming streets you can also do a trip to Mount Vernon which was George Washington’s estate.
Alexandria’s waterfront, with its picturesque views of the Potomac River, provides a peaceful setting for reflection and family bonding. Discover the city’s rich maritime history at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, where you can explore galleries and artist studios.
Engage your family’s curiosity at the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, showcasing the innovative spirit of Americans throughout history.
Getting Here: Drive, Taxi, or Metro
14- Bluffton, South Carolina
Distance from DC: 564 miles
Discover the charming town of Bluffton, South Carolina, which is just north of Savannah, Georgia.A Thanksgiving getaway here embraces Lowcountry hospitality as well as natural beauty.
Nestled along the May River, Bluffton offers a serene setting for a family retreat. Spend your mornings enjoying the waterfront views, perhaps with a peaceful boat ride or fishing excursion.
Explore the historic district, where you’ll find quaint streets lined with antebellum homes and art galleries. The artistic spirit of the town is evident, offering a chance to appreciate the local talent.
Bluffton’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade is a heartwarming event with a community feel. Join the locals in celebrating the holiday with festive floats and live music.
Venture to nearby Hilton Head Island for more outdoor adventures, like bike rides along the scenic trails or a day at the beach.
Getting Here: Fly to Savannah and rent a car. You can also drive here as it is about an 8 hour drive from Washington DC.
15- Manalapan, Florida
Distance From DC: 995 miles
Explore the hidden gem of Manalapan, Florida, for a Thanksgiving getaway that combines relaxation with natural beauty.
Manalapan is a serene destination for a peaceful holiday. Wake up to the soothing sound of ocean waves at a waterfront resort, offering private beach access for a tranquil start to your day.
Thanksgiving in Manalapan can be about unwinding on the pristine beaches, where you can bask in the sun, build sandcastles with the kids, or simply take in the breathtaking views.
For a dose of nature, visit nearby parks like the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, where you can observe a variety of wildlife and lush vegetation.
If you’re a golf enthusiast, Manalapan boasts world-class golf courses, offering a chance for a leisurely game with your family.
Consider indulging in spa treatments at one of the luxurious resorts, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate during your holiday.
Getting Here: The easiest way would be to fly into West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale airport.
16- New York City, NY
Distance from DC: 205 miles
NYC is always a great place to visit. During Thanksgiving the city is buzzing with festive events. Don’t forget to experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, a magical event that kicks off the holiday season.
Getting Here: The easiest way would be to take the train as parking can be very challenging during this time of year. If you don’t mind paying for overnight parking at your hotel then driving is also a good option.
17- Nashville, TN
Distance from DC: 665 miles
Nashville is the perfect place for music lovers. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music during the Thanksgiving holiday in this town. Depending on your luck you may experience a break from the cold weather as it is slightly warmer than Washington DC.
Nashville also has a vibrant dining scene. It is a popular destination with foodies because it has such a variety of restaurants.
Getting Here: The best way is to take a non stop flight from the DC area to Nashville. If you are feeling up to it, the drive to Nashville is about 10 hours from Washington DC.
18 – Charleston, South Carolina
Distance from DC: 530 miles
Charleston is an 8 hour drive from Washington DC and if you leave early enough you won’t hit much traffic. During the Thanksgiving weekend, the city has a vibrant holiday spirit. Also, the weather will be pleasant so that you can walk around and enjoy being outside. Usually, you should have sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s during this time of year.
This city is also famous for having a great dining scene. There are so many great restaurants and cafes that you can try. You can easily find a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at one of these amazing restaurants.
If you want to see the beach, head a little further east. Kiawah Island is a short drive from this charming city and has cute restaurants along the water. You can also enjoy golf here weather permitting.
Getting Here: Non stop flight or drive.
19 – Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Distance from DC: 173 miles
This is a lesser known destination, but it is a year round place to visit. In the summer, Deep Creek Lake has many options for hiking and outdoor activities like golf. During the winter months, there are options for skiing and snow tubing.
If you enjoy winter activities, then this is a great place to head for Thanksgiving.
Getting Here: Driving is the only option as there are no major airports near here and the drive is only 3 hours. Also you will want your car once you are here to explore the area.
20 – St. Michael’s, Maryland
Distance from DC: 79 miles
St. Michael’s in Maryland is in close proximity to Washington DC, but it feels a world away. The main street here is very charming and lined with stores and restaurants.
There are also several options when it comes to accomodations. Whether you prefer a luxury hotel or a charming bed and breakfast, you can easily find vacation rentals in this area of the Chesapeake Bay.
Getting Here: Driving is the only option as there is no convenient public transportation to get here easily.
Thanksgiving Getaways Near DC: Summary
If the rest of the family members are on board then use this long weekend to explore a new state or town off your bucket list. A short trip to a beautiful destination could be just what you need to relax for some time. Some driving destinations from DC include St. Michael’s, Asheville, Cape May, Charleston, Deep Creek Lake and The Hamptons. A quick flight will get you to Orlando, Traverse City, and Nashville. Give your family a treat by taking them to a brief escape as an early Christmas gift.