Top Solo Thanksgiving Trip Destinations

Here are a few cities to check out, plus some notable things to do if you’re homesick and solo on Thanksgiving. Each location has plenty of dining options sure to keep your ugly holiday-sweater-rocking-self stuffed, in addition to plenty of activities to keep you busy. Don’t forget that sometimes it’s refreshing to spend some quality time alone, and in the end, we’re sure these locations will help put you in the holiday spirit.


Boulder, Colorado


Located about 45 minutes outside of Denver, Boulder is definitely accessible by car, but if you don’t want to spend a fortune or drive, there are also options to get there via shuttle courtesy Green Ride and Super Shuttle. Once you’ve arrived at this charming mountain getaway, there are plenty of Thanksgiving dining options to keep your stomach happy, and there are a lot of fun non-food activities you can do too.


Take in Holiday Tradition with the Boulder Ballet

The holiday season means many things, but if you’re a ballet buff, chances are you’ll want to consider checking out this Boulder Ballet holiday classic, The Nutcracker, telling the magical and whimsical story of a young girl Clara and her beloved nutcracker. The show follows them on a fantastic adventure through fairy towns and faraway lands over one unforgettable Christmas night.


Enjoy Dude It’s Boulder

Known locally as “The Dairy,” this center bills itself as Boulder’s “catalyst for creativity since 1992,” with cultural offerings that include cinema, arts, dance, music, and — of course — theater. Dude It’s Boulder, written by Jane Shepard, a Boulder native, and award-winning playwright presents the life and times of Boulder over 10 decades with live music and 75 characters. So beloved is this show that it often sells out.


Explore Outdoors

Hit the trails, slopes, or both to take in the local fun. The scenic backdrop that surrounds the area beckons visitors who seek a trail to hike or a slope for a skiing adventure. Beer lovers can enjoy a mug of local suds from one of the 21 nearby breweries or shop wares crafted by local makers. And don’t forget to sample some chocolate while you’re out and about.


Where to Stay in Boulder

If you’re looking to be in the heart of all the action for your Thanksgiving adventures, consider finding a beautiful condo or apartment downtown Boulder. There are plenty of restaurants and waterholes in this hopping neighborhood. For a more relaxed vibe, look for a beautiful home in South Boulder. Laid-back living and quick access to trails and mountains will keep you away from the hustle and bustle and close to nature and relaxation. And if you want to be close to the best restaurants and live entertainment, The Hill is the spot for you. You’ll be right next to CU, so there is always something going on. Find lovely single-family Tudor-style homes in this area.

Favorite local spots: Get your day started off on the right foot with a cup of coffee from The Laughing Goat. They’ve got locations all over the city, so don’t worry about where you end up. They’ll have something close to you. Next, check out the hottest new spot in the city, Oak. This beautiful restaurant is serving up some elevated bar fare, modern takes on Americana classics like the Orange Glazed Duck Breast. And finally, for the best in tiki drinks, check out Jungle. Try a Dutch Kills with Genever, Falernum, Lemon, Apricot Brandy, and topped up with IPA.


Sedona, Arizona


Although Sedona is a two-hour drive from Phoenix and an hour outside Flagstaff, if you’re up for the drive, it is one scenic trip worth considering given the reward of breathtaking views along the way. Known as a retreat with many resorts and spas where visitors can get their rest and relaxation, Sedona also provides visitors with some pretty sweet treats and activities.


Visit Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

This former site of an artist’s community now plays host to over 50 unique shops and art galleries. Visitors can browse local artists’ wares, which are sometimes crafted on the premises, including bronze sculptures, weavings, and fine contemporary jewelry. The village also offers fine dining with a nod to the state’s local Southwestern roots.


Enjoy the Vines of Verde Valley

Located in the nearby red rock countryside, Verde Valley is a wine lover’s paradise. Verde, which means green, is a great way to describe this region because it provides a lush oasis in the desert with nearly 80% of it designated as a National Forest. The valley is home to the Verde River, the state’s only federally designated “Wild and Scenic River.” Verde Valley also consists of five vineyards and six tasting rooms, offering wine lovers the perfect excuse to sip and stroll on repeat.


Take a Jeep Tour

If it’s accessible to humans by car in Sedona, chances are you can probably take a tour of it in a Jeep Tour. Visitors to Sedona can expect to experience wineries, the Canyon, and countless other local draws from the vantage point of a local Jeep experience, with some lasting for an hour and others taking much longer. Don’t want to do the tour thing? Cool. You can also rent a Jeep and make your very own DIY tour.


Where to Stay in Sedona

If your solo Thanksgiving needs to be beautiful, Sedona is one of the top destinations for you to consider. Look for smaller, single-family homes in the western part of town, West Sedona. If you’re an avid golfer, The Village of Oak Creek is the spot for you. Look for condos and townhomes here. Nestled between two 18-hole courses, you’re sure to find something spectacular in this area. And finally, red rocks and gorgeous mountain views are thought of as a given in Oak Creek Canyon. If a little peace and quiet are what you want, this is the best consideration for you on the list. You’ll encounter great deals on some stunning homes this time of year in this area.

Favorite local spots: Check out Synergy for all your caffeinated beverage needs. For delicious steaks and chops, you can’t beat The Golden Goose. And to keep the party going, head over to Mooney’s Irish Pub.


Leavenworth, Washington


Have you ever dreamed of going to Germany without having to dust off your passport? If so, you’re in luck because Leavenworth is waiting for your arrival, with all the Bavarian delights one can hope for this side of the Atlantic. The self-proclaimed “Alps of Washington” prides itself in keeping it local. Whether it’s wine, chocolate, cheese, or goods and trinkets, Leavenworth is down to party Bavarian-style any time of the year.


Enjoy a Horse-Drawn Carriage or Sleigh Ride

What better way to kick off the holiday season than to cozy up under soft blankets and see the sights in a carriage or sleigh ride? There are dozens of ways to participate, including, breakfast and dinner routes, at nearby ranches and in nearby meadows, and of course, some offer warm cider by the fire to top it off.


Give Yourself a Spa Day

Holidays can be stressful, so why not consider booking yourself an afternoon at the spa to relieve the stress and help you feel like a million bucks in the process? While Leavenworth is known for its nod to the old country, its spa offerings are modern and up-to-date, including luxury treatments such as massages, facials, scrubs, and wraps.


Check out the Nutcracker Museum

You read that right. Leavenworth is so in love with all things Nutcracker that it even has a museum solely dedicated to the intricate wooden gadgets. The collection features figurines from all around the world and presents their rich history in a way that delights both children and adult visitors.


Where to Stay in Leavenworth

Leavenworth is full of great areas and options for you to choose from for your Thanksgiving shenanigans. Find deals on single-family homes and condos in this beautiful town. Looking for something a little quieter? Check out Chumstick, a small town just 10 minutes south of Leavenworth. You’ll have access to some beautiful cottage-style homes in this area. And for another fun option just 7 minutes down the road, the cute town of Peshastin is great if you’re looking for some alone time on your trip.

Favorite local spots: Argo Bar is the best game in town for coffee. Grab a pint and sausage at München Haus, a German-inspired joint that’s sure to keep a smile on your face. And your nightcap should happen at Pika Provisions.


Portland, Oregon


Thinking about keeping it weird this Turkey Day? The town known for just that is more than equipped to give visitors a great experience this time of year. While slightly larger and more well-known than the other locales on this list, Portland usually manages to keep a small vibe even as it incorporates big-city sophistication.


Enjoy Holiday Spirit Aboard the Portland Spirit

Want to skip the hotels and restaurants for dinner and hit the waters instead? Great news! The Portland Spirit can do just that. For two hours, a boat will take visitors along the Willamette River, providing great views of the city and the nearby Milwaukie Waterfront. Dinner is served buffet style and includes all the trimmings one can expect to find at a holiday table. Visitors are also treated to candle-lit tables and live piano music.


Dig the Vibe at Dig a Pony Thanksgiving

Ready to dance, get down, and maybe find a sweet treat? You just might want to see what’s going on at Dig a Pony Thanksgiving. The venue is a performing art and dance space that also offers drinks. In honor of Thanksgiving, guests at Dig A Pony are invited to enjoy dessert while they bop to the music because it plans on serving up some pie along with a side of funk.


Check Out the Holiday Tree Lighting and Beaverton Night Market

Portland will host its 35th annual holiday tree lighting from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the Pioneer Square Court House on November 29th. In addition to the brilliance of over 14,000 lights on a 75-foot Douglas fir, the town will host a holiday sing-along with hot chocolate on hand. Meanwhile, shoppers can bop over to the Beaverton Night Market Bazaar for souvenirs, arts, and crafts by nearly 30 vendors.


Where to Stay in Portland

For a bustling part of town loaded with live entertainment, local shops, and popular restaurants, consider basing out of the North and staying in the Mississippi neighborhood of Portland. This spot is also the LGBTQ+ capital of the city. Find great deals on apartments and condos in this area. For the hippest part of town, look for amazing luxury rental options in the Pearl District in the northwestern part of the city. Tons of shops and high-end boutiques to check out in this area.

Favorite local spots: Find the best coffee in the city at Case Study Coffee Roasters. Higgins takes care of your Thanksgiving dinner, and is acclaimed as the best Thanksgiving dinner in the city! And the Teardrop Lounge has got your after-dinner drink waiting for you.


Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Last but not least on this list is Jackson Hole. At over an hour’s drive from Yellowstone, Jackson Hole is part of a 50-mile valley surrounded by mountains that prides itself in historically progressive moves such as electing the first all-female town council in the country in 1920. In 1930, Snow King Resort was established, marking the first ski area in the state and one of the first in the United States.


Run For A Prize

Each Thanksgiving, runners, joggers, and even prancers gather in downtown Jackson Hole to kick off the town’s annual Turkey Trot 5K. The race, which starts and finishes in the downtown square, celebrates its 27th year in operations and for 2019 will collect non-perishables for the nearby Jackson Cupboard, a local soup kitchen.


Attend A Tree Lighting With the Locals

From 5:00 PM to 7:00m PM the Friday after Thanksgiving, Jackson Hole invites visitors and locals alike to come and enjoy the lighting of its town tree, to sing Christmas carols together, and to get into the holiday mood. Even non-believers can expect a sense of magic, as Santa enters the town square pulled by sleigh dogs.


Get Lost in Nature

The fun in Jackson Hole doesn’t stop at the town square. There are plenty of excursion-worthy stops outside the center city as well. Try a 12-minute ride in the Jackson Hole Tram if you want to see the surrounding area from high in the sky. Ski buffs can hit the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and for those who want to really get lost, taking in a guided wildlife tour is a sure bet.


Where to Stay in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is home to a ton of great towns for you to consider. Teton Village is quaint and slow-paced, offering great deals on single-family homes. There are also a ton of great resort options in the area. Find high-end condos and cabins in Jackson. There are a ton of other towns in the area, but Jackson is the largest of the communities. For deals during the Thanksgiving season, look to some of the other communities in the area.


Your Solo Trip Awaits!

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a hectic time of year. Leave the chaos behind, and venture out on your own this year. No matter what kind of atmosphere you’re in search of on your solo Thanksgiving getaway, VacationRenter has got you covered. Ready to start planning your solo Thanksgiving trip today? Let VacationRenter help you find the perfect vacation rental for your trip. Happy Turkey Day!