Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend in the Southeast

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is a wonderful time to enjoy gathering together with family and friends. It is also the busiest shopping weekend of the year and, although many festive events seem to be beginning earlier and earlier in November each year, Thanksgiving weekend traditionally marks the start of the Christmas holiday season. Here are some fun day-trips, special event outings and getaways to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the rest of the weekend.

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Relax While Someone Else Does the Cooking

The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation lobby

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

If your budget allows, plan an elegant Thanksgiving getaway at one of the top luxury resorts in the Southeast, where famous chefs prepare sumptuous Thanksgiving dinners and seasonal activities are planned for your entertainment. With equal appeal to couples looking for a romantic retreat and families in search of an ultra deluxe Thanksgiving getaway for all ages, these ​​​top all-season resorts offer plenty of great options. 

02 of 08

See the Holiday Lights

USA, Florida, Saint Augustine, 'Nights of Lights' Christmas celebration, Palm trees and Christmas lights

John Coletti/Getty Images

With Christmas only about a month away, Thanksgiving weekend is an ideal time to plan an outing or getaway to enjoy holiday decorations, twinkling lights, visits with Santa and more, especially if your next few weeks will be filled to the brim with school plays, office parties and social commitments.

03 of 08

Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Farm Everson, Washington,

Blake Kent/Design Pics/Getty Images

Setting out with family and friends to find the perfect Christmas tree is a seasonal tradition in the Southeast, where Christmas tree farms number close to 4000 with many offering Choose and Cut options. For families, couples and friends, this is a festive way to get into the spirit of the holiday festivities that await during the month ahead.

04 of 08

Shop for Sales and Bargains

The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday is traditionally the retail industry's busiest day of the year. Many of the popular outlet malls in the Southeast are scheduled to open at midnight at the end of Thanksgiving Day and remain open all day with extended shopping hours and special sales. While navigating the crowds may not always be tons of fun, Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to find some of the best bargains of the year.

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05 of 08

Enjoy a Holiday Parade

Mickey's A Very Merry Christmas Parade

Walt Disney World

From big cities to small towns, many festive parades kick off the holiday season during Thanksgiving weekend throughout the Southeast U.S. Also, several theme parks feature ongoing holiday parades as part of their holiday celebrations. 

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Escape to a Romantic Retreat

Even if you are planning to spend Thanksgiving Day with a gang of relatives, the rest of the weekend is a wonderful time for couples to escape to a romantic retreat for some quiet time together. Visit a cozy mountain resort, discover the coast off-season or explore one of the South's romantic cities.

07 of 08

Plan a Family Outing or Getaway

Photo courtesy of World of Coca-Cola.

World of Coca-Cola

The Southeast is brimming with history, diverse cultural offerings and abundant natural resources, providing many wonderful options for family day-trips and weekend getaways. Visit a museum, explore history or take a nature walk together for family fun for all ages.

08 of 08

Head for the Slopes

Not all, but several of the ski resorts in the Southeast plan to open either before or during Thanksgiving weekend, offering a great way to work off some of the extra pounds that Thanksgiving dinner inevitably adds. The weather has to cooperate, though, so be sure to check the latest information before making your final plans.

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