With parades dating back to the early 1900s, community Turkey Trots, and block parties to help give back, there’s plenty to do this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re traveling home this year, skipping town to visit friends, or staying close by, cities across America throw all kinds of celebrations mixed with local traditions and tastes. Holiday markets, cooking classes, and prix fixe feasts abound on this most food-loving holiday, though some cities take their celebrations to the next level.
New York City sets the bar high with the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which attracts more than 40 million viewers nationwide. Every year at this time, the city is overrun by classic holiday sights, sounds, and smells, with the huge Christmas tree and skating rink at Rockefeller Center, beautifully decorated shop windows along Fifth Avenue, and signature sweets like Serendipity 3’s frozen hot chocolate. On the left coast, San Francisco’s Thanksgiving celebrations range from a charitable block party to an annual Turkey Trot, but all roads seem to lead to Ghirardelli Square for the annual tree lighting.
Traditions reign in Detroit, where America’s Thanksgiving Parade has been held since 1924. This year also marks the 72nd annual Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game, which will be against the undefeated Green Bay Packers. But for a true taste of history and tradition this Thanksgiving, there is no better destination than Plymouth, Mass. The Plimoth Plantation hosts special Thanksgiving Day meals that showcase authentic dishes eaten by the Pilgrims, while the town hosts an annual parade the weekend before to kick-start the season.
Whether you’re staying close to home or getting out of town this year, celebrating Thanksgiving in one of these 10 cities guarantees an authentic slice of all-American fun.