Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays to spend quality time with your loved ones, whether they are your close friends or family members. You want to share a meal with your parents, chat about times passed, discuss what you’re excited about for the upcoming year, and spread some cheer during the holiday season. There is nowhere better to do so than a warm and inviting resort town that offers outdoor activities, mouthwatering restaurants, cool shopping opportunities, luxurious accommodation options, and much more to keep you entertained!
But before you choose where to go, I want to make sure they have events happening this upcoming November and December. We have narrowed down a long list of cities and towns to one that we think is the best for outdoor activities, great weather, friendly people, and annual parties for Thanksgiving 2023.
Check out Scottsdale, AZ, a booming outdoor-centric city that offers cultural attractions, museums, mouth-watering eateries, cool cafes, hiking trails, and much more for you to enjoy. Head here any time of the year to have a vacation of a lifetime. And when you pair your holiday with Thanksgiving in Scottsdale, we guarantee you are going to have a weekend or week, you will never forget!
First thing is first — if you come to Scottsdale over Thanksgiving, you MUST go to the parade! Of course, you can stay at home and gaze at the bright light of your TV screen to see Macy’s Parade in NYC — but that isn’t really the same thing as getting dressed, getting in the spirit, and going outside to see a parade in person! Head to Fountain Hills for the state’s only parade to partake in fun, sip on some hot drinks and listen to live music. Kick off the holiday weekend with a bang!
Enjoy a Thanksgiving Meal
The next item that is a must-include on your Thanksgiving itinerary is enjoying a holiday meal with your loved ones. A Thanksgiving meal is filled with turkey, tons of sides, sweet cranberry sauce, and — last but not least — good vibes for the upcoming year! We recommend going to Zuzu to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal that combines traditional American food with a fine dining twist.
You can also go to Hearth ‘61 for a relaxed and moaning-like vibe that is great for a relaxing and serene holiday away from home.
If these restaurants are completely booked for the upcoming holiday, we also highly recommend going to the infamous The View Ballroom for an opulent evening with your partner. Date night has never been so good!
Thanksgiving in Scottsdale
Thanksgiving is a fun holiday to enjoy with your friends and family, but it is also the start of the Christmas season. The winter holidays offer cheer, presents, and snow — the perfect weather to curl up in front of a fire with your loved ones and bake cookies! But before the weather turns, you can partake in Thanksgiving in Scottsdale by going to the Holiday Lights at the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park.
The railroad park is great for kids during the day, as they can ride on a small carousel and caboose that winds throughout the acres and forests. However, this location truly comes alive with the addition of Christmas lights, Santa and all of his glory, a reindeer sleigh that brings holiday cheer right to your front doorstep, and Phoenix Zoo, offering a nighttime look at the large animals. For teens and older kids, whizz down the Polar Slide to get your heart racing!
Thanksgiving is all about eating and feasting — but that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard and forget your healthy lifestyle! Run or walk a morning 5k so you can feel better about the feast you will have later on in the day. Plus, running and walking in photos is one of the best ways for you to see all that this beautiful town has to offer, including the downtown area, Historic District, and charming neighborhoods. The Scottsdale Thanksgiving Holiday run called the Phoenix Turkey Trot, offers a 5k run and walk, a 10k run for the avid exercisers, and a 1-mile dash for those who are not too excited about spending an hour or so on a run. Just choose whatever you are comfortable with, lace up your sneakers, and off you go!
Enjoy a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal
There is nothing that screams ‘Thanksgiving’ more than a traditional turkey feast! Scottsdale is home to some of the best restaurants in the entire country, and this holiday fare is no different. Scottdale offers numerous eateries, cafes, and dessert shops that are open for business this holiday weekend. Head to Kitchen West for local Thanksgiving cuisine, Capital Grille for a beautiful American dinner, or Zuzu for a fine dining experience. The possibilities are endless!