Top Cities to Spend Thanksgiving Alone

Celebrating Thanksgiving alone is a total bummer: it's basically the opposite of what every cheesy classic holiday movie says we should be doing on the day that we break bread and express our gratitude for good things in our lives.

Sometimes though, celebrating Thanksgiving (or other holidays) alone happens. Whatever reason you find yourself on your own for this year's Thanksgiving, that doesn't mean your day has to be a lonely, sad affair. Here are some of the best cities where being alone on Thanksgiving can open opportunities for wonderful new experiences.

Spend the Day with 3.5 Million New Friends in New York City

New York City, and the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, can give solo Thanksgiving celebrants a chance to feel the exact opposite of alone. Somewhere between 3 and 3.5 million people are expected to line the streets of the parade route this year, to watch thousands of cheerleaders, performers, and volunteers walk by – never mind the dozens of huge floats. It's hard to feel lonely when Snoopy goes floating by.

Enjoy an Alternative T-Day Menu in New Orleans

If New Orleans has become known for any one thing (and it's really hard to narrow it down), it might be food. Beignets, Po'Boys, Cracklin' Nachos, and... Turducken? Yep: the Big Easy is credited with the invention of the deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey dish. If you're craving a poultry overload, top New Orelans restaurants like Lüke, Muriel's, and Tivoli & Lee will be happy to serve you, even if you're solo (though you should still try and snag a reservation!).

Learn & Experience Native Culture in Santa Fe

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While many people picture stereotypical pilgrim and New England Native American dinner as part of Thanksgiving imagery, Santa Fe stays true to their Southwestern roots. Each year, they host the annual three-day Winter Indian Market, with more than 200 artists featured, as well as music and native dance groups. You can then choose to enjoy a solo Thanksgiving dinner that rests heavily on the flavors of red and green chiles.

Treat Yo Self in Santa Barbara

If you missed annual Parks & Rec Treat Yo Self Day back in October, make up for it on Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara. Many of the cities are serving delicious dinners where you can book a table to yourself, and most are served with delicious central California wine. You can then take a solo stroll on the beach and pretend it's summer again.

Skip Thanksgiving Altogether in Vancouver

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, so if you want nothing to do with celebrating T-Day solo, slip north of the border to Vancouver, British Columbia. Here are five things you should know about the city as you plan your trip, unusual attractions you could visit on November 24th before enjoying dinner at one of the best new restaurants in the city, followed by drinks at one of these unique bars. Then, you can do your Black Friday shopping at one of these spots. Actually, Vancouver might be the best city to "celebrate" Thanksgiving solo in yet.

Valerie Stimac is a roaming writer celebrating Thanksgiving in Prague. You can find her writing on Travel + Leisure, AFAR, and Roads & Kingdoms, as well as her blog, Valerie & Valise.