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Thanksgiving weekend is an exciting time to be in the Big Apple. Still, many city-dwellers choose to spend the holiday somewhere else, away from the crowds. If you are looking for a weekend getaway destinations near NYC where you can enjoy the colorful #fall #foliage and a slower pace of life, we have some suggestions.

These Thanksgiving getaways from NYC are all doable weekend trips, but if you decided to stay longer or even move permanently, we would totally understand.

best thanksgiving getaways from nyc

Here are our top 8 Thanksgiving getaways from NYC:

1. Albany


This historic town of just under 100,000 residents doesn't lack the grandeur of a bigger city yet still preserves its small-town charm. On the Thursday before Thanksgiving, you can join Albany's annual Troy Turkey Trot 5k. This holiday tradition dates back to 1916, when only six runners entered. Today, there are thousands.

In addition to the main race, the city offers several side events, such as a 1k-race for children and live street performances.

2. Riverhead


After spending a quiet Thanksgiving Thursday in your Riverhead vacation rental, your family can head to a holiday open house at the Hallockville Museum Farm, an event that features arts and crafts made by locals. If you are traveling with kids, they can ride the town's Polar Express trolley and meet Santa at a local North Pole the Saturday after the holiday.

Later, the kids can meet the elf himself and ask for Christmas presents. On the ride back, they can listen to a recorded narration of The Polar Express read by Liam Neeson.

best thanksgiving getaways from nyc

3. Syracuse


One cannot speak of Thanksgiving getaways from NYC without mentioning Syracuse. In Syracuse, you can attend numerous Thanksgiving events the city organizes from Thursday to Sunday. Start the morning in Schiller Park by joining a 1.3-mile turkey trot. This is a slow-paced fun run people of all ages can participate in.

The next day at noon, the World’s Smallest Christmas Parade held on Genesee Street marks the start of the Christmas season. A live performance of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will get your family into the Christmas spirit.

4. Ellicottville


Christmas festivities start early in the village of Ellicottville, too. Christmas carolers can be seen on the streets of Ellicottville the weekend after Thanksgiving. On Saturday morning, you and your kids can have breakfast with Santa Claus at the Village Center.

There is a similar event your kids can attend if you are considering making Staten Island your home and staying there for Thanksgiving, minus the small-town charm Ellicottville has. Moreover, Ellicottville offers horse and wagon rides and lots of fun games for the little ones. In the afternoon, they can go on a fire truck ride around town with Santa.

5. Windham


If you are craving the wide open spaces of the countryside, escape into the Catskill Mountains for a dream family holiday. This region is full of charming little towns, but if we had to choose one, it would be Windham in Greene County. Its panoramic views and waterfalls make Windham one of the most beautiful Thanksgiving getaways from NYC.

Here, you can ski at Windham Mountain or Hunter Mountain, hike to the Kaaterskill Falls – the state’s highest cascading waterfall, and visit the sanctuary of native plants at The Mountain Top Arboretum.

best thanksgiving getaways from nyc

6. Buffalo


The city of Buffalo is a perfect destination for newlyweds, retired couples, as well as families with kids. There are many communities in the Buffalo area, such as Lackawanna, with affordable vacation rentals. They are all within driving distance of Niagara Falls. Buffalo may be chilly this time of the year but it offers plenty of Thanksgiving fun and festivities.

For example, there's the world's largest disco you can visit on Saturday night at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

7. Cold Spring


Cold Spring is a small historic village on the Hudson River, only 50 miles from Manhattan. Escape to this quiet town upstate and spend Thanksgiving weekend enjoying the Hudson Valley's fall foliage, hiking the Breakneck Ridge Loop, and antique shopping on Main Street. Although the sculpture park Storm King Art Center isn't open on Thanksgiving Day, visitors can still see the exhibits any other day during the Thanksgiving weekend.

best thanksgiving getaways from nyc

8. Cooperstown


Thanksgiving weekend is the best time of the year to visit Cooperstown and enjoy its welcoming atmosphere. In addition to its amazing year-round local attractions, such as the ancient Native American burial mounds and education centers around the area and the Baseball Hall of Fame, there are some fun family events you can only attend around this holiday.

We recommend one that takes place on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving at the Farmers' Museum. Here, you can see how people celebrated Thanksgiving back in 1845, long before it became a national holiday.

Interesting Reads: Festivals and Events in New York City
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  • Sunday, November 10, 2019
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