The Best Thanksgiving Road Trip Ideas

RV Lifestyle | Road Trip | get inspired


For most families, Thanksgiving means gathering around a huge table covered with different dishes, often with the presence of different family members from far-flung reaches of the country. 

Well, times change, and now there is a growing trend of people breaking away from traditional Thanksgiving celebrations for something far more memorable — a holiday road trip!

Why Take an RV Road Trip for Thanksgiving?

Taking an RV road trip for Thanksgiving can be a unique and enjoyable way to celebrate the holiday. There are several reasons why people choose to do this:

Flexibility: With an RV, you have the flexibility to choose your destination and change your plans on the fly. If you decide you want to spend Thanksgiving in a different location, you can easily drive there without the need for hotel reservations.

Quality Family Time: Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, and an RV trip allows you to spend plenty of family time together. You can play games, cook meals, and bond in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Scenic Routes: Many people choose RV road trips for the opportunity to travel through beautiful and scenic routes. Fall foliage, national parks, and picturesque landscapes can make the journey just as enjoyable as the destination.

Cost Savings: While an RV trip does come with upfront costs for renting or owning an RV, it can be cost-effective in the long run. You can save money on accommodation and dining expenses, as you have your own kitchen and sleeping quarters.

Exploration: An RV road trip can also be an opportunity to explore new places and create lasting memories. You can visit national parks, historic sites, small towns, and other destinations along the way.

Disconnecting: In an RV, you can disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself in nature and family time. It's a great way to unwind and focus on what truly matters during the holiday season.

Tradition: Some families make RV road trips for Thanksgiving a tradition, creating cherished memories that are passed down through generations.

Honestly, there might very well be no better way to spend Thanksgiving than in an RV, taking in the grandeur of nature's beauty wherever you happen to be. So, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions for the best RV trips for Thanksgiving!

The Best Thanksgiving Road Trip Ideas for RVers

Some of the places on this list of the best RV trips for Thanksgiving you might expect, while others could be places you've never heard of. Where should you go?

Whether somewhere new or somewhere tried and true, the destination is up to you! Here are our top Thanksgiving road trip ideas.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Of course, the Grand Canyon is on this list; how could it not be? It's a classic American destination all throughout the year, but an advantage of visiting for Thanksgiving is that it is no longer peak travel season.

With stunning vistas, fewer crowds, and crisp skies and air, Thanksgiving might just be the best time to visit the Grand Canyon in an RV and take it all in at your leisure. This is a great Thanksgiving destination for families looking for some adventure!

Tip: The South Rim's Trailer Village RV Park is the only RV campground open year-round, with hookups, at the Grand Canyon.

Miramar Beach, Florida

Sun, sand, and surf may not be a combination you ever associated with Thanksgiving, but after taking your RV to Miramar Beach in northern Florida, it may become your ideal way to mark the day going forward.

Whether you stay at Camping on the Gulf or 30A Luxury RV Resort, you'll be close to all the coastal action and white sand beaches on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico — even if that means doing very little at all! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to see the beautiful beaches and visit the charming town of Miramar.Tip: Need to do some Black Friday shopping? Then Silver Sands Premium Outlets is where you want to be. One hundred and ten designer and name-brand outlet stores await, and they're open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday!

Solvang, California

Known as "the Danish village," Solvang is a great alternative to the standard California itinerary for any road trip, but especially on Thanksgiving. There's free daytime parking for RVs everywhere in Solvang, so you don't have to rush to your RV campground before the fun begins.

Then again, since you'll be in the heart of California Wine Country, parking your RV first and letting others do the driving may be best!

Tip: Bring warm clothing options. Even though it’s California, it can get quite chilly in November, especially at night!

State Route 1 Road Trip, California

California's State Route 1 goes by many names, depending on where you are on it — Coast Highway, Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Shoreline Highway, etc. Starting about an hour north of San Diego and ending northeast of Sacramento, a holiday road trip along SR1 could be just what you need this Thanksgiving.

Tip: You have your pick of destinations along the way — will it be Laguna Beach, or across the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay?

Top of the Hill RV Resort, Texas

If you want to be on the road but don't want to go without turkey on Thanksgiving, consider a stay at the Top of the Hill RV Resort in Boerne, Texas. Top of the Hill Resort holds an annual "Turkey in a Trashcan" event, during which six turkeys are roasted in open-fire trash cans for the enjoyment of guests; it's sort of a potluck, though, so be sure to bring/prepare your own sides or additions to share!

Tip: Top of the Hill accepts reservations for RV camping, but you'll have to call to make plans.

First Landing State Park, Virginia

First Landing State Park is located on Cape Henry off the Chesapeake Bay. As it is right where the first colonists landed in 1607 before the establishment of the Jamestown colony, a holiday spent at First Landing State Park offers an unparalleled chance to get in touch with history.

Tip: Once you're finished with the meal, instead of napping you can head out on an eight-mile hike through the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a stunning destination for an RV road trip during Thanksgiving. The fall foliage in the Smokies is at its peak in November, creating a breathtaking backdrop for your holiday adventure. You can park your RV at one of the park's campgrounds or nearby RV parks. Enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, and the charm of nearby towns like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. For a unique Thanksgiving experience, consider having a picnic with your Thanksgiving meal amidst the scenic beauty of the park.

Tip: Be sure to check for campground availability, as some campgrounds may close for the season in November.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, with its historic city charm and mild November weather, makes for a fantastic Thanksgiving road trip destination in the Southeastern United States. Explore the city's historic district, stroll along cobblestone streets, and take in the beautiful architecture. For Thanksgiving dinner, you can dine at one of Savannah's renowned restaurants or enjoy a traditional Southern-style meal in your RV. The city's rich history and vibrant arts scene offer plenty of cultural attractions to explore during your stay.

Tip: Make a reservation if you plan to dine out on Thanksgiving, as restaurants can get busy.

Each of these destinations offers a unique experience for your Thanksgiving RV road trip, whether you're seeking natural beauty, coastal relaxation, historical significance, or cultural exploration. 

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Cruise America

When you're out on the road in an RV during Thanksgiving, you'll find you have a lot to be thankful for. You're embracing life, perhaps experiencing new places and meeting new people; what memories you'll be making! And, wherever you happen to find yourself on Turkey Day, Cruise America will be there right along with you.

With a fleet of modern RV rentals packed with amenities that are sure to satisfy your holiday vacation needs, you can rely on Cruise America. To see how Cruise America can help get you on the road for the best RV trips for Thanksgiving, visit today!