For many people, the holidays are often more stressful than fun, prompting many to take to the roads and skies in search of destinations where fun can be had without any feelings of accompanying obligation. However, especially for Americans who have only a short four-day weekend with which to mark their gratitude at Thanksgiving every November, getting out of town is often more trouble than it’s worth. But if you don’t venture too far out of the way, Thanksgiving can be a great holiday to experience in a new location.
Niagara Falls is an ideal place to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Not only will it not include Aunt Sally’s Jello® mold, but it will include plenty of ease in a location that’s a cinch to get to and a cinch to enjoy. From the Winter Festival of Lights to the excellent food that isn’t turkey, here are three reasons to head to Niagara Falls to celebrate Thanksgiving this November.
1. The Winter Festival of Lights
The Winter Festival of Lights is one of Canada’s most impressive festivals, and it kicks off on November 21. Over a million people pass through the illumination between November and the end of January each year. Set along a three-mile route that includes portions of the Niagara Parks, tourist districts, and Dufferin Islands, the Winter Festival of Lights includes millions of lights, stunning lighted displays, and the world’s largest illuminated American-Canadian flag. There is no charge to drive or walk through the illumination, although donations are gratefully accepted to offset the cost. It’s certainly an experience that can’t be had on Thanksgiving in the United States.
2. There’s So Much More Than Turkey
Eating in the Niagara region is one of the highlights of any knowledgeable foodie tourist. The farm to table movement is alive and well in the Niagara area, which means there is plenty of local, delicious produce available for area chefs to work with — even in November. Regardless of what you like to eat, you can find an entirely new Thanksgiving menu to enjoy when you spend your last Thursday of November in Niagara. Skip the cranberry sauce, the dressing, and the turkey, and choose one of the area’s award-winning, farm-centered restaurants instead — many of which are located at area wineries, including:
- Riverbend Inn
- Trius Inn at Hildebrand
- Peller Estates Winery
- Ravine Vineyard
- And more!
3. No Pressure
Perhaps the greatest reason to travel to Niagara for your American Thanksgiving this year is due to the delightful lack of pressure you’ll experience throughout your stay. Whether you travel with family, a good friend, or alone, Niagara has a wealth of fun to offer, and none of it includes any expectations. Take in a show. Go to a movie. Eat poutine every day for lunch. Visit a giant indoor waterpark. Head to an arcade or casino. Wander among vineyards plump with grapes that will be harvested for icewine. Niagara is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the world around you.
Spend your American Thanksgiving holiday in one of the most beautiful and entertaining destinations in the world. Head to Niagara Falls, and find yourself truly giving thanks.