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Weekend trips to help you avoid Thanksgiving

It might be that you’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving, that Black Monday brings you out in hives or that you’re just not that big a fan of turkey. Well, whatever the reason you fancy taking a weekend trip to escape Thanksgiving, we’ve got you covered.

Ski in Solitude, Utah

Go cross-country skiing in Utah

Go cross-country skiing in Utah

With a name like ‘Solitude’, this ski destination couldn’t be more suited to getting away from the Thanksgiving crowds. Removed from the major cities and airports that can contribute to long holiday queues, Solitude is where Utah residents go to tackle ambitious runs like the Honeycomb Canyon, or just top-up their quota of Vitamin D.

If you still fancy a big blowout meal, The Inn at Solitude has an onsite restaurant with a world-class wine list and in addition to ski-to-door access, there are also hot tubs, saunas,and a snug Library Bar to help guests unwind.

Sunbathe in Kalaupapa, Hawaii

The towering sea cliffs of Molokai

The towering sea cliffs of Molokai

Considering Hawaii’s reputation as a tropical paradise, it’s difficult to imagine any of the islands as ‘unpopular’ but Molokai is the least-visited major island in the state. And, as a result, it’s a dream location for travellers hoping to avoid the mayhem of Black Monday.

Surrounded by sea on three sides and steep cliffs on the fourth, the Molokai town of Kalaupapa can only be accessed easily by mule or boat.

The trip is worth the extra effort, however, as the nearby National Park of Kalaupapa contains the lava tubes, caves and volcanic craters that Hawaii is famous for. In addition to a host of endangered species that you still struggle to see anywhere else in the USA.

Give yourself the best chance of seeing all the native flora and fauna this remote location has to offer by checking into the oceanfront Hale Napili.

Hike in Arcadia, California

The Cucamonga Peak viewpoint in California

The Cucamonga Peak viewpoint in California

Southern California is popular with hikers all year around and your best chance of getting some of the best-known trails to yourself is to make a trip over the holiday period. The number of visitors to Mt. Baldy, Sturtevant Falls, the Hollywood Sign and other well-known trails dramatically thin out over the Thanksgiving weekend.

In order to make the most of this seasonal lull and yet still enjoy some homemade holiday cooking, book a self-catered apartment at the Residence Inn Arcadia. When you’re not hiking the nearby trails, the Inn has its own swimming pool and tennis courts to help you burn off any residual Thanksgiving-induced cabin fever.

Wine Tasting in Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Willamette Valley vineyards in Oregon

The Willamette Valley vineyards in Oregon

The Willamette Valley shares a latitude with the Bordeaux region of France and while the state of Oregon hasn’t always been synonymous with high-quality pinot noirs, that’s all changing. Wine tourists will find grapes and gorgeous scenery aplenty here.

Visitors who base themselves in the nearby city of Portland will find the Willamette Valley vineyards make an easy day trip, via some of Oregon’s most enchanting scenery of green hills, orchards, wildflower fields and meadows. When you’ve finished exploring, retire to The Benson for a glass of your new favourite vintage.

Road trip in Fairbanks, Alaska

Drive down the Alaskan Highway

Drive down the Alaskan Highway

As the least-populated state in the USA, Alaska is always going to be a good choice for travellers hoping to avoid the holiday crowds. And what better way to create some alternative Thanksgiving memories than driving down the Alaskan Highway?

We’ve planned out the dream route, depending on whether you want to start north or south of the border, and included recommendations for what to see and where to stay en route.