20 Wallet-Friendly Places to Spend Thanksgiving This Year

Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia.
Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. / SeanPavonePhoto/iStock via Getty Images

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from a cramped section of Midtown Manhattan sidewalk may be the quintessential Turkey Day experience, but a trip to the Big Apple during the holidays certainly isn’t the cheapest option.

If you’re looking to spend Thanksgiving away this year, there are plenty of festive cities that won’t put quite so much strain on your bank account. And after evaluating the 100 most populous U.S. cities across 20 metrics, WalletHub has determined that Atlanta, Georgia, is your overall best bet. Not only did it rank first for most Thanksgiving events and most holiday decorations shops per capita, it also came in third for highest giving ratio (which factored in volunteer opportunities, share of income donated to charity, and more) and best weather forecast. In short, Atlanta knows what Thanksgiving is all about and celebrates it with gusto.

When it comes to the winningest state, however, Florida takes the cake. Three of its cities—Orlando, Miami, and Tampa—finished in the top 10. If you’re mainly looking to gallivant about pumpkin patches, head to Miami: It has more patches per capita than any other city in the South. If Florida’s excessive humidity isn’t to your liking, Arizona might be your ideal Thanksgiving getaway. It has three rather hidden gems in the top 20: Scottsdale in third place, Gilbert in 11th, and Chandler in 17th.

The list also challenges the assumption that New England, known for its colonial history and enviable fall foliage, is an unbeatable region to visit for Thanksgiving. No New England city made the top 20, though Boston did take 32nd place.

You can see how the top 20 cities scored (out of 100 total points) below, and read more about the study here.

  1. Atlanta, Georgia // 71.05
  2. Orlando, Florida // 66.43
  3. Scottsdale, Arizona // 66.42
  4. Miami, Florida // 62.64
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina // 62.29
  6. Virginia Beach, Virginia // 61.64
  7. Las Vegas, Nevada // 60.37
  8. Tampa, Florida // 60.23
  9. Greensboro, North Carolina // 59.91
  10. Louisville, Kentucky // 59.88
  11. Gilbert, Arizona // 59.54
  12. Durham, North Carolina // 58.16
  13. Cincinnati, Ohio // 57.88
  14. Chesapeake, Virginia // 57.84
  15. San Jose, California // 57.48
  16. Oakland, California // 57.34
  17. Chandler, Arizona // 57.15
  18. St. Paul, Minnesota // 57.01
  19. Washington, D.C. // 56.70
  20. Irving, Texas // 56.56

H/T: WalletHub