This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese)
Even you are an avid traveler, there are always some hidden gems and destinations you haven’t been to. Based on our booking data at StudentUniverse, here are 7 of our top hidden gems students travel to for Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Destinations in the US
Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC
North Carolina’s Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known as the Research Triangle Park. When you think of research, you might think of California’s Silicon Valley, but the Triangle Research Park is one of the most prestigious research and development technology centers in the United States. There are several research centers here contributing to global scientific research.
North Carolina is located in the southeastern part of the US. The climate here is comfortable: it’s usually about 5° celsius (41° fahrenheit). Raleigh is the capital and the second-largest city in North Carolina. (Charlotte is the largest.) It’s also nicknamed the “City of Oaks” due to the many trees that have been planted around the city. There’s lots of nature to explore in Raleigh. Pullen Park is a favorite park for locals, with lakes and walking paths and even a carousel! Outdoor lovers will also want to check out the William B. Umstead State Park and the Neuse River Trail.
While you’re in thearea, be sure to check out both Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Duke University is a very beautiful neo-Gothic campus. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is Michael Jordan’s alma mater, so be sure to check out the basketball museum at the school. Luckily, because there are so many young people living in the Triangle Institute area, the whole city has a very youthful atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of museums, entertainment and restaurants just by walking around the city.
Before you leave, you have to try the BBQ. The South is famous for roast pork and other barbecue dishes. Try a family-style BBQ restaurant with grilled meat, pulled pork and North Carolina beer. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean turkey!
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, Louisiana is warm all year long. The average temperatures in November are about 10°-23°C (51°-73°F). If you want a hidden gem that’s quite warm for Thanksgiving, New Orleans is a good place to choose! Plus, since November is off-season for New Orleans, the hotel prices are usually a bit cheaper.
New Orleans was discovered by European explorers in the 18th-century. Since then, the influx and interweaving of various cultures have given New Orleans a very unique and distinct culture. If you love music and jazz, you can’t miss New Orleans! Many people call New Orleans the birthplace of modern jazz music.
You’ll find that the whole city is filled with music and dance. There’s also a strong French influence. Jackson Square, located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is modeled after the Place des Vosges in Paris, France. It’s magical to just wander through the streets and see street artists and musicians. If you haven’t fallen in love with New Orleans yet, you definitely will here!
Pittsburgh, PA is sometimes known as the “City of Batman,” because the Batman series were filmed here. Pittsburgh is located at the intersection of three rivers, so it’s also famous for the dozens of steel bridges that crisscross the landscape. While you’re in Pittsburgh, get the best view of the city by climbing up to the observation deck of Mt. Washington. From here, you can overlook the steel city and the rivers. If you want to ride to the top, you can take the Duquesne Incline, a wooden cable car completed in 1887.
Two world-famous universities are also located in Pittsburgh: the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Mellon University. The Cathedral of Learning, located in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh’s campus, is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere! There are dozens of classrooms in the Gothic-style building which are all decorated according to different ethnic styles. Take the elevator to the top floor for a panoramic view of Pittsburgh.
Be sure to spend a day exploring the downtown area. There’s tons of shopping and restaurants to eat at. Plus, take some time in nature at the Point State Park.
Thanksgiving Destinations in South America
Tired of Cancun? Here are some other places in South America you can explore!
Nassau, The Bahamas
Want to see a flamingo? Thinking of the best beaches to go snorkeling at to see fish and coral? Want to go scuba diving? Or maybe you just need a place to relax. The Bahamas have it all!
Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas. You can take a small plane to hop around and visit various islands or just relax on the pink sand beaches. Best of all, Chinese citizens do not need a visa to visit! People tend to say that it’s easiest to be happy in the Caribbean. If you need a break from stressful classes, this is your place to visit.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
If you love the beach, how can you miss San Juan? Thankfully, traveling from the US to Puerto Rico is just like traveling domestically. You don’t need to obtain any additional travel documents. If nothing else, the super dreamy fluorescent beaches and starry skies are two reasons to add San Juan to your list. You’ll have plenty of warm weather for a beach Thanksgiving!
While you’re here, you have to visit the bioluminescent beaches. It’s said that there are seven fluorescent seas in the world, and three of them are in Puerto Rico! The brightest one is Vieques Island beach. Keep in mind that the bioluminescent beaches are not as bright as they used to be due to the recent hurricanes. Cherish them when you go see them!
Thanksgiving Destinations in Europe
Maybe you’re still not sure where to go for Thanksgiving break. With a bit of careful planning, you can enjoy a magical Thanksgiving in Europe!
Vienna, Austria is a great choice for a Thanksgiving trip. It’s a small city that you can explore endlessly without getting too lost! There is less snow in Europe during Thanksgiving, so you can travel easily throughout the cities by train or just walking around.
If you like nature, be sure to spend some time taking a walk by the Danube and through the Vienna Woods. If you like music, visit the National Opera and the Vienna State Opera. And definitely take the time to see St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Schönbrunn Palace to take in some of Vienna’s incredible European scenery.
Zurich is a must-see European city. It’s the capital city of Switzerland with both a lake and mountains. Although it’s a small town, it’s a global hub for finance and a cultured city. Enjoy the snow-capped Alps for walking or skiing, or do some shopping on the famous BahnhofStrasse shopping street.
While you’re in Switzerland, be sure to try some traditional Swiss treats: warm up with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate and then fill up with some cheese fondue. The cheese fondue is a classic Swiss dish, and it’s nice and warm for chilly winter days.
Now that you have some ideas about where to go, search StudentUniverse for the cheapest tickets and start planning your adventure!