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Florida Thanksgiving Weekend Getaways

Ideas... whether you're going to Grandma's or taking a fall vacation!

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Whether you'll be traveling to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner or packing the family up for a fall vacation, here are some ideas for spending the holiday in Florida.

  • Fairbanks House B&B, Amelia Island has three- and four-night Thanksgiving Holiday Packages that include a daily gourmet breakfast, bedtime sweets and more. This will put you in town as the Centre Street Merchants kick off the holiday shopping season.

  • The Gaylord Palms Resort near Orlando is offering a Best of Florida Christmas Package that includes two nights of accommodations, two adult tickets to ICE!, one ICE! photo, family memories event, holiday bedtime stories and character tuck-ins for the kids, and shuttle to Walt Disney World theme parks and SeaWorld.

    The Gaylord Palms' restaurant Villa de Flora usually has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon until 10:00 p.m. It sells out early, so call 407-586-1114 soon for reservations. The Old Hickory Steakhouse usually opens at 4:30 for Thanksgiving dinner. Call 407-586-1600 for reservations.

  • Reflect on life's blessings while taking in the breathtaking beauty of the gardens and enjoying the Thanksgiving Day carillon recital at Historic Bok Sanctuary. Recitals are scheduled for 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. and are free with Sanctuary admission.
    | Bok Sanctuary Photo Tour |

  • Flamingo Gardens decorates the historic Wray Home for the holidays beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Guided tours run daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through January 1, 2013.

  • Tickets are on sale now for Pensacola's Winterfest! The downtown tours feature interactive displays of holiday scenes and characters. The popular annual event kicks off Thanksgiving weekend.

  • The Annual Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Festival will draw over 175 artists that will exhibit their unique creations on, when else... Saturday and Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend!

  • Here comes Santa Claus and millions of twinkling lights...
    • Disney World celebrates the holidays with special displays and millions of sparkling lights that brighten the theme parks and on-property resorts around Thanksgiving. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is held at the Magic Kingdom during select nights in November and December. The special-ticketed event is great fun for the entire family and features a special parade and sweet treats.
    • St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, decorates with millions of lights in the Nights of Lights grand celebration that kicks off the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 23) and runs through January 31, 2014.

Staying Home?

If you simply can't get away and you're spending Thanksgiving at home, here are a few tips from my fellow Guides at About.com that might help make preparations easier:
  • Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, About's Home Cooking Guide, gives you the tools to avoid panic and plan your meal in advance with Thanksgiving Recipes for Dummies. Enough said.

  • You’ll enjoy Thanksgiving more if you do some preparation ahead of time. Be ready for Thanksgiving by using this four-week Countdown to a Perfect Thanksgiving by About's Interior Decorating Guide, Coral Nafie.
What ever you do... have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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