Last Minute Travel: The Best Places In The U.S. To Spend Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most treasured holidays in the U.S. It's also perhaps the longest-standing American tradition. Although it was not nationally recognized until Lincoln's proclamation in 1863, the country celebrated it sporadically for many years. In 1777, all 13 colonies took part in the first unified day of Thanksgiving.[slideshow:91601]

Since then, the holiday has become synonymous with stress, traffic jams, crazy shopping, and overeating. If you are looking for a way to make these four days off from work exciting again, consider starting a new tradition – spend your time someplace where locals know how to celebrate the holiday and don't be a slave to the oven.

Make plans to meet the family at a weekend getaway in national parks, a cruise, or place where the low season is now. This will not only save you money, but also the trouble of dealing with huge crowds. Off the beaten path destinations also have fun parades, festivals, delicious turkey dinners, and plenty of activities.

Take advantage of the great excuse to travel in the last week of November. Whether it's spend the extra days outside the office in the wilderness, in a hidden gem in Tennessee, at sea for a week, in America's hometown, or skiing, you won't regret going away.

Click here for 15 of the Best Places in the U.S. to Spend Thanksgiving

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