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    Christmas Movies Set in New York City

    Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to snuggle up on the sofa, hot chocolate in hand, to watch your favourite festive films.
    There are so many incredible movies to get you in the mood for Christmas. One thing that many of them have in common is that they are set in New York City. This concrete jungle comes alive in the winter, with elaborate lights, beautiful trees and awe-inspiring holiday windows turning it into a winter wonderland.
    Here’s a list of our favourite movies set in the Big Apple that are bound to get you into the festive spirit.
     
    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

    Miracle on 34th Street has been beloved by fans for 70 years. It’s hard not to feel full of Christmas spirit when watching Kris Kringle bring the joy of Santa Claus to New York. This movie has won four Oscars and even inspired a Broadway play over the years!
    Location Spotting: Beginning during the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, this movie is set in Manhattan, and is specifically set on West 34th Street. Macy’s Department Store is still situated there to this day – allowing for the perfect photo op for fans of the film!
     
    Elf (2003)

    This movie may only have come out in 2003, but it has become a Christmas classic in that time. It is hard not to appreciate the beauty of New York during the holidays as you witness Buddy – raised by elves in the North Pole – discover the joy of Christmas in the city.
    Location Spotting: Dozens of exterior shots of NYC were used in the filming of Elf, but one of the most memorable is of Bethesda Fountain – which Santa’s sleigh narrowly misses when it crashes in Central Park.
     
    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

    The second film in the ‘Home Alone’ series, this movie shows New York from the eyes of 10-year old Kevin. It’s no wonder we feel a child-like excitement for Christmas when we watch it! Even though the focus of the movie is on Kevin outsmarting and out-pranking the Wet Bandits once again, some of the scenic shots of the Big Apple will take your breath away.
    Location Spotting: The heart-warming reunion between Kevin and his mother at the end of the movie takes place at the Rockefeller Centre. Would you like to make a Christmas wish there like Kevin does?
     
    Scrooged (1988)

    Did you know that ‘Scrooged’ is a modern adaption of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’? Bill Murray’s much-loved comedy is all about teaching inconsiderate Frank the true meaning of Christmas, with an ending that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
    Location Spotting: If you want to visit the spot where Dickens’ tale came to life, head to Park Avenue. It may look like many other office blocks in New York, but this is where Frank’s Christmas story began to unfold!
     
    When Harry Met Sally (1989)

    This hugely successful romcom is the ultimate ‘will they, won’t they’ love story. Whilst not strictly a Christmas movie, it’s hard not to feel festive when you see Harry and Sally carrying a Christmas tree together through New York. This is the perfect movie to watch with your other half on these longer, darker nights.
    Location Spotting: Get dropped off at Washington Square Park and walk through the arch, luggage in hand, to mimic Harry in the movie. Don’t forget to bring your favourite travel buddy so they can capture the perfect shot!
     
    Have these films got you feeling festive? Let us know which location you would like to visit first in the comments below!

     

    A beginner’s guide to Jamaica

    Jamaica is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. Not only does it boast pristine beaches and crystal waters, but it also comes with a side serving of laid-back reggae beats.
    Even more, away from the beaches, visitors will find a sublime mix of hidden waterfalls, banana plantations and soaring mountains. It’s the perfect mix of beach and party, with activities for both families and couples. Here’s everything you need to know about this paradise island.
    Things to do
    Jamaica has two sides. One day you will be relaxing on a quiet beach, and the next you‘ll be soaking up the spirited atmosphere. Jamaica is not short of options, no matter your holiday style. Here’s just a selection of what you can get up to.
    Feel the reggae beat

    Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae. In the capital of Kingston you’ll find the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the legendary singer.
    Eat delicious food

    We’ve blogged before about the mouth-watering local dishes available in Jamaica. But we are mentioning it again, as you need to make sure you stop by a beach shack for some jerk chicken.
    Relax on a beach on Negril

    If it’s a relaxing beach that you’re after, we recommend the secluded area of Negril along Jamaica’s west coast. It boasts over four-miles of unspoilt white-sand beach, with protected marine-life minutes from the shore offering perfect diving opportunities.
    Duns River Falls

    This stunning waterfall is terraced by a natural staircase, and is a popular climbing spot. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to climb the natural staircase, though there is a man-made stairway nearby for people unable to climb the uneven surface.
    Get married

    Jamaica is a beautiful island and the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding. There are many resorts on the island that offer wedding packages, including seven Sandals Resorts. Whether it’s a hotel wedding or a ceremony by a cliffside, the wedding organisers in Jamaica will be able to arrange it for you.
    How to get there (and find your way around)
    There are three airports on Jamaica: Norman Manley International Airport, Sangster International Airport and Ian Fleming International Airport. Direct flights are available from the UK and will take roughly 10 hours. There are also smaller aerodromes in Kingston, Portland, Ocho Rios, the South Coast and Negril if you’re looking to see more than one part of the island. Luxury air-conditioned coaches also run regularly on popular routes.
    Where to stay
    Jamaica has an impressive range of accommodation options. Whether it’s a hotel, guesthouse or luxury villa you’re after, you’ll find it in Jamaica. Plus, some of the biggest hotel names in the world have locations in Jamaica, including Sandals, Hilton, Beaches, Couples and Moon Palace.
    Final tips
    ·         The currency on the island is the Jamaican Dollar (we can exchange this before you go!)
    ·         The weather is at its best between November and March
    ·         British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Jamaica (if they’re staying for under 90 days)

     

    Top 5 Activities - Extraordinary Abu Dhabi

    Abu Dhabi is known as a place of unparalleled luxury.
    As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, it is often called “The Arabian Jewel”, and for good reason. This former desert strip is known for its year-round blazing sunshine, and is now a glittering metropolis of opulent buildings, lush green parks and diverse multiculturalism. Abu Dhabi really is a must-visit destination for people who want an extraordinary holiday, and is home to a host of unique travel experiences that will make you want to return again and again.
    Here are our top five extraordinary things to do in in Abu Dhabi:
     
    Marvel at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

    As one of the largest in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque really is an architectural masterpiece. With a capacity of 41,000 worshippers, its beautiful white and gold exterior is enhanced by the sun and it is also home to one of the largest chandeliers in the world. Visiting this mosque is a travel bucket-list experience and it is open daily for visitors, with both entry and guided tours being free of charge. If you book an Abu Dhabi City Tour with Barrhead Travel, you will not only have the chance to visit this stunning mosque, but many other interesting stops along the way.
    Top Tip: Escape the afternoon heat by taking the 5pm ‘Sunset Tour’ and enjoy a cool breeze while you take photos of this exceptional work of art, transformed by nightfall and its unique lighting system.
     
    Get your adrenaline rush at the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    The prestigious Formula One championship is back for its ninth year from the 24th-26th November, returning to the famous Yas Marina Circuit.  The Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is the only hotel to span the track, and the only hotel in the world that does this! There is even a driving centre and school for aspiring racing drivers. The Grand Prix is one of the most important events to hit Abu Dhabi each year, and with acts like Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris and Pink announced for the race-day concerts, it is set to be an extraordinary event.
     
    Soak up the rays on Saadiyat Beach

    Set on the pristine shoreline of Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Beach is perfect for anyone looking for some quiet solitude away from the bustling city streets. Relax on a lounger and keep an eye out for dolphins or Hawksbill turtles in the crystal-clear water. This beach is kept perfect by a Dune Protection Zone, protecting the sandy white stretch and the wildlife that it holds so dear.
    Top Tip: Take part in the yoga classes offered on Saadiyat Beach for the ultimate relaxation retreat. If you would like an activity that will get your blood pumping, take part in the eco-friendly windsurfing and sailing options on offer.
     
    Participate in a once-in-a-lifetime Desert Safari

    If you want to go beyond the sparkling city lights of Abu Dhabi in search of some thrills, then a Desert Safari is perfect for you. Your trip into the unknown can include dune-bashing, sand-boarding, camel trekking (all under the watch of an expert guide) and even an overnight stay for the ultimate desert adventure experience.
    Top Tip: Take your trip into the desert in the evening and witness a spectacular sunset followed by a barbecue dinner around a campfire under the stars. This is one opportunity that you cannot have at home.
     
    Cool off with a splash at Yas Waterworld

    Yas Waterworld is not your average water park and has something for everyone, from thrill-seekers to families. Experience the Dawwama, an exhilarating six-person Tornado raft ride or see the park from the skies on the Bandit Bomber, featuring water and laser effects in an interactive adventure. With 43 incredible rides, you really are spoiled for choice!
    Top Tip: Stay until 10pm each Friday for DJs, lights and a Hydrojet show that needs to be seen to be believed.
     
    Which one of these incredible attractions would you love to visit first? Book now with Barrhead Travel and discover Abu Dhabi.

     

    10 rare animals you’ll only find on a visit to the Galapagos Islands

    If you travel the world to admire its natural beauty and discover rare wildlife, then the Galapagos Islands need to be on your bucket list. 
    The islands even gave Charles Darwin his inspiration for his Theory of Evolution. While exploring the islands he noticed that many animals were similar, but not exactly the same. His research gave birth to the concept of evolution and natural section that we know today. 
    Many of these animals still flourish, thanks to the islands’ isolated location and the lack of natural predators. Some of the animals feel so comfortable here that they don’t shy away when humans arrive on shore and you can easily get close enough for a picture. Here are 10 animals that you can expect to meet in Galapagos Island. 
    Galápagos Sea Lions

    When you arrive on these islands, it’s likely these playful creatures will greet you on the beach. Galapagos Sea Lions are very social creatures and often spotted sun-bathing on the sandy shores. They can be found on all the island within the Galapagos archipelago.  
    Galápagos Giant Tortoise

    The giant tortoise family might outlive every other vertebrate on earth, but they are not easy to find: they only exist on the Galapagos Islands and the Indian Ocean Islands. 
    The Galápagos tortoise is native to all seven Galapagos Islands, but there are variations. On islands with humid highlands, they are larger, with domed shells and short necks. On islands with dry lowlands, the tortoises are smaller, with saddleback shells and long necks. These differences contributed highly to Darwin’s theory of evolution when he visited the islands in 1835. 
    Marine Iguanas    

    Iguanas are associated with the Galapagos Islands, and they’re constantly popping up in promotional photos. While you can find Iguanas around the world, the Marine Iguana only exists in the Galapagos Islands. These lizards have the unique ability (among modern lizards) to forage in the sea. They mainly live in colonies on rocky shores. 
    Galapagos Penguins

    The Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin you can find in the northern hemisphere. It is also the second smallest specie of penguin, after the small penguin. You’ll spot them on the Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island, though smaller populations can be found across the archipelago.  
    Waved Albatross

    The Waved Albatross is one of two animals on this list to occasionally leave the islands. They split their time between South America and the Galapagos Islands: the first to hunt, and the second to breed. They fly this long journey thanks to their slender bodies and large wings, which creates a phenomenon known as dynamic soaring. You’ll see them launching off from high coastal cliffs, and effortless fly for miles. 
    Galapagos Hawk

    The Galapagos Hawk is one of the world’s rarest raptors, with an estimated population of just 150 breeding pairs. They are mostly seen on the main islands Isabela and Fernandina, but they are extinct on the islands Baltra, Daphne, Floreana, San Cristobal and Seymour.
    Galápagos Mockingbirds

    The Galápagos Mockingbird is one of four mockingbird species endemic to the Galápagos Islands, and all four are thought to share a common ancestor. The Galapagos Mockingbird is the most widespread of all the mockingbirds, and can be found on most of the islands. 
    Galápagos Green Turtle

    The Galapagos Green Turtle is only subpopulation of sea turtles to nest in these islands. They do however migrate on occasion and can be found exploring the Pacific Ocean. It’s actually only the females that ever come in to shore though, in order to hatch their eggs. The males stay submerged in the warm waters for most of their lives. 
    Blue-Footed Booby

    The blue-footy booby is a marine bird that takes its name from the colour of its feet, and its clumsiness (booby is derived from the Spanish word bobo). They live across the subtropical Pacific Islands, but more than half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galápagos Islands. Young blue-footed boobies do not move very far from where they were born, leading to large congregations in dense colonies. 
    Darwin's Finches

    We can’t talk about the Galapagos Islands without mentioning the animal that gave Charles Darwin his eureka moment. Darwin’s Finches actually refers to 15 different species of small birds, each displaying a similar body type and colouring but with markedly different beaks. It is believed that the beaks evolved over many years as each bird adapted to their own food source – aka Darwin’s theory of Evolution. 
     

     

    10 places that look like Christmas cards

    Ever looked at a Christmas card of a snowy town and wondered if anywhere could really be that beautiful? Here are 10 places that look just like the places you have seen on the front of Christmas cards.
    1. Zermatt Valley and Matterhorn Peak at Dawn Switz

    2. Wetterhorn of Grindelwald in Winter

    3. St. Stephen's Basilica Square, Budapest

    4. Prague

    5.Lake Bled
     
    6. Niagara Falls

    7. Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City

    8. Boston
     
    9. Jungfrau ski resort under Eiger
     
    10. Reykjavik 
     

     

    11 things included in the price of an NCL Cruise

    Cruises offer amazing value for money. Not only do you get to visit several destinations in one holiday, but most of your costs are included in the upfront price. Your accommodation and transport are obviously included, but many cruise lines include flights, drinks packages, entertainment, excursions and food at the cost you pay when you book.
    NCL Cruises have always prided themselves on their selection of all-inclusive cruises. Recently, however, they have launched a new Premium All-Inclusive package that brings their value for money to a new level. Here’s what is included in the price.
    Included, always
    1.  Dining
    Whether you’re looking for an all you can eat buffet, pan-Asian dining or a casual spot for lunch, you definitely won’t go hungry. Each ship has up to three main dining rooms with daily changing menus and à la carte service (there’s also 24-hour room service).
    2.   Award-winning entertainment
    Enjoy Broadway shows, live music, comedy, dancing and much more when cruising with NCL. Norwegian Breakaway there is Rock of Ages, on Norwegian Escape it is After Midnight and on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic you can treat yourself to Cirque Dreams – a one-of-a-kind theatrical dining experience with world-class acrobats, aerialists, musicians, and a dash of audience participation.
    3.   Aqua Parks, sports and leisure facilities
    If you want to keep up your fitness regime while on holiday, you’ll enjoy the free access to sports and gym facilities. And if you want to relax by the pool or your children want a shot on the flumes? That’s included too.
    4.  Professional junior and youth programmes
    Holidays are about family-time, but parents need time to relax. Drop your children off at one of NCL’s complimentary youth programmes: Splash Academy and Entourage.   
    Included in a Premium All-Inclusive Cruise
    5.   Premium Beverages
    Whether it’s a refreshing orange juice with lunch, or a glass of wine over dinner; all drinks are included in the price when you book a Premium All-Inclusive Package.
    6.  Selected speciality coffees during mealtimes
    At the end of all your meals, unwind with a mug of NCL’s Lavazza speciality coffees.
    7.  Soft drinks and bottled water
    If you’re heading out on an excursion, remember to grab a bottle of water. One bottle of water per person per day is provided in your stateroom.
    8.  All tips related to all-inclusive services
    NCL staff do an amazing job at looking after the passengers, but there’s no need to tip. NCL have already taken care of that.
    Included extras for guests staying in The Haven by Norwegian® and Suites
    9.  Gourmet dining in global speciality restaurants...
    Treat yourself to some delectable cuisine in one of NCL’s speciality restaurants. Cagney’s Steakhouse, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, La Cucina, Margaritaville and Moderno Churrascaria are just a few of your options.
    10.  250 minutes free WiFi per Suite
    Upload your holiday snaps to Instagram or message your family back home with a complimentary 250 free minutes of WiFi.
    11. US $100 on-board spending money per Suite
    Spa? Casino? Shore excursion? Indulge yourself with $100 to spend as you want.
    What NCL All-Inclusive feature is your favourite?


     

    How to spend a weekend in Berlin

    Berlin is one of Europe’s top city break destinations, and it’s not hard to understand why.
    There’s cosmopolitan bars, interesting history, beautiful architecture and tasty food. There’s no denying that there’s a lot to do in Berlin and it can be very difficult to fit it all in. If you’re only going for a weekend, here are our recommendations for making the most of it.
    Day 1 – Fernsehturm and exploring the city centre
    No trip to Berlin is complete without a trip to the top of the Fernsehturm. The queue for this gathers quickly so we recommend arriving early. If a line has already formed, your ticket will tell you what time to come back. Thankfully, the tower is beside many other well-known Berlin monuments that you can visit while you wait, or after you’ve been to the top. 
    Nearby is the Neptunbrunnen, a 19th Century water foundation depicting the God of Water, Neptune, and four women representing Prussia's main rivers. Look closely at the fountain, as you’ll spot some animals carved into the ornate display as well.
    Just over the river, you’ll find The Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island. The Berlin Cathedral is one of the most prominent buildings in the city and there’s a large grassy area outside if you feel like relaxing. If it’s culture you’re looking for, we recommend heading over to the north side of the island where many of the city’s most significant museums are located. The Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Pergamon Museum, and the Humboldt Forum will keep your mind captivated for a few hours. 
    After you’ve been to the top of the Fernsehturm, make sure you head along Unter den Linden towards the Brandenburg Gate. Take some snaps (and a selfie). Then move towards the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which is around the corner, and feel the quiet eeriness as you wander between the blocks.
    By now, you’ll probably want your bed. But if you’ve still got a bit of energy, stroll around the Großer Tiergarten (Berlin’s oldest and biggest park) which is across the road. 
    Day 2 - Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall and Jewish Museum
    When you leave your hotel, head south from the centre towards Checkpoint Charlie and the other WW2 attractions in this area. After you’ve stopped for a picture with the soldier guards, head inside the adjacent Wall Museum. Founded by human rights activists you’ll learn more about the wall, the events that led up to its construction and life after its fall. 
    Also in this area, you will find remnants of the wall itself. The most prominent is west of Checkpoint Charlie where a timeline gallery has been set up. Remember to stop for some currywurst at Curry by the Wall.
    Head further south now to the Jewish Museum. Aside from acting as a Holocaust Memorial, it also explores German-Jewish history in general. The history is massive and there’s plenty to see, so give yourself a few hours to explore.
    The Topography of Terror is also nearby and is well worth a visit to really understand the atrocities of WW2 and the Third Reich.
    Day 3 – East Side Gallery and evening drinks
    If your weekend in Berlin involves a third day, we recommend taking it easy. While it’s great to have a checklist of attractions, sometimes the best way to explore a city is to let your feet wander.
    The only main attraction left to see is the East Side Gallery. Here you’ll find another remaining section of the Wall, now covered in street art. Alongside it is a gift shop where you can get your passport stamped to prove you crossed the historical border between East and West Berlin.
    To finish your weekend, we recommend checking out some of Berlin’s excellent bars. Berghain is by far the most famous, but it is notoriously difficult to get in to. If you get knocked back (or if Techno isn’t your scene) we recommend a wander around Hackescher Markt Square. It’s nicely lit up at night and is lined with several bars. It’s a great place to head to if you’re not sure what you fancy, but want pretty scenery for your final night in this German mega-city.  
    If you’ve been to Berlin how would you split up one weekend?
     
     
     

     

    Staff Travel Diaries: Colorado

    Hi Kellie, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Barrhead Travel. 
    I have worked for Barrhead Travel for a little over 6 years now. I am a Travel Consultant who specialises in Worldwide Holidays. I am also the specialist for Sandals and Beaches resorts and promote weddings and honeymoons in their resorts. I was even the first member of staff to be married at a Sandals Resort! 
    What did you see when you were in Colorado? What would you recommend to people visiting?

    Where to start? Colorado caters to everyone. If you are into art and culture Denver ticks all the boxes. Fort Collins was my favourite though. Small town, friendly people and great atmosphere. We visited Ginger & Baker and had a walk through with owner Ginger whose vision for her restaurant/pie shop was amazing and I would love to go back and see the finished building. Breckenridge is fantastic for skiing and the town itself is lovely with great little places to eat. For the adrenaline chasers, Royal Gorge is the place to visit (but not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights).    
    Tell us a bit about the hotels you stayed in.

    AC Hotel in Denver is brand new and super central, plus the staff and food were amazing.
    The Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins: really central, and a little bit more traditional in design and decoration. 
    DoubleTree Breckenride Hotel: close to the slopes for skiing and close to resort centre.
    Royal Gorge Cabins: Without a doubt my favourite. Fairly new, modern and a fab home away from home with views that would take your breath away.
    Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs: central hotel with nice cocktail bar just off the lobby.
    What clothes would you recommend someone packs? 

    The weather is so changeable. Depending on the time of year pack sunscreen as well as hats and gloves. One day could be glorious sunshine and the next could be a snow storm.
    How did you get to Colorado? 

    I flew from Glasgow via Reykjavik with IcelandAir. First time flying with them and really enjoyed it. Connecting via Iceland is so easy and would 100% use them again.
    Any other tips for someone travelling to Colorado?

    Pack lip balm and hand cream as well as drinking loads of water. The high altitude really does affect your skin making it dry. Plenty of water to keep hydrated as it high and dry.  Especially the higher you go. Pack painkillers as the altitude can give you a bit of a headache.
     

     

    A foodie's guide to Antigua

    Antigua is known for being something of a tropical heaven, full of lush forestry, friendly locals and 365 beaches – one for every day of the year.
    But did you also know that this slice of Caribbean paradise is also a foodie’s haven? As an island built on sugar plantations and rum distilleries, it comes as no surprise that Antigua is full of culinary delights. The unique cuisine of Antigua is Caribbean fare with a European / American twist, and there are so many options to tickle your taste buds.
    Here are just a few of our top picks of the cuisine you need to try.
    Saltfish
    Traditionally eaten at home with your family at the weekend, this salt-cured white fish is normally eaten with onions, peppers, avocado and eggs. This can also include fungi, a cornmeal dish that is an Antiguan staple. Pairing well with the strongly-seasoned fish, this meal is the perfect way to start your day.
    TRY IT YOURSELF: ‘Suga Beez’ in St. Johns is known for its home-style Antiguan cuisine and a friendly welcome. With veggie options available, the locals are certainly living up to their welcoming reputation.
    Conch
    You can’t go to the Caribbean without experiencing the phenomenal seafood! If you are relaxing on an Antiguan beach and spot some spiral shells washed up on the shire, you have discovered conch. Similar to clams, conch meat is used in curries, chowder and many other delights.
    TRY IT YOURSELF: Hemmingway’s Caribbean Café, St Johns is raved about by visitors. Try the conch fritters for a true Antiguan foodie experience.
    Ducana
    The perfect side dish. Ducana consists of sweet potato and coconut. Wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed into a dumpling, ducana really is a flawless balance of spicy and sweet.
    TRY IT YOURSELF: Locals rave about The Quay, St Johns. While this is close to where the cruise ships docks, don’t write this place off as a tourist trap – their ducana is raved about as the best on the island.
    Jerk Chicken
    Although not strictly Antiguan, you cannot visit the Carribbean without sampling some of this classic comfort food. This Jamaican import is coated in spice and slow cooked over a fire for optimum flavour. Sample it yourself to discover just why it is so popular with the locals.
    TRY IT YOURSELF: Indulge your senses at Dennis Cocktail Bar and Restaurant. Eat this delicacy on the beach as the sun goes down for an Antiguan experience like no other.
    Which of these Antiguan cuisines would you like to try first? Let us know in the comments below!

     

    Top 5 American cities to visit for Thanksgiving

    Did you know that more Americans celebrate Thanksgiving every year than Christmas?
    A national holiday since 1864, Thanksgiving is a day full of food, family and most importantly, giving thanks for all the positive things in your life. While it is traditional to celebrate the holiday at home with your loved ones, you can experience countless different traditions by travelling around the United States.
    Here’s our top choices for where to spend your Thanksgiving break – from the traditional, to the historical, to the down-right wacky!
     
    Waikiki, Hawaii
     
    For a tranquil getaway, opt for some sun and take off to Hawaii. While the rest of America is wearing jumpers and scarves, you will be having a ball in Waikiki resting on a hot beach, paddling in crystal clear waters and enjoying the gentle ocean breeze. If you don’t want to miss out on the traditional meal, head to one of the beachfront restaurants for an incredible Thanksgiving buffet with your loved ones.
    AFTER THE FEAST: Burn off those extra calories by taking part in Waikiki’s ‘Turkey Trot’, a 10km fun run with over 4000 participants each year. Alternatively, show off your artistic talents by taking part in one of the many Christmas themed sand-sculpture competition.
     
    New York City, New York
     
    New York is probably the most well-known place that you can celebrate the holiday in a traditional sense. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is one of the most famous and is broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving morning every year, featuring marching bands, novelty balloons and a giant turkey float. After your front-row view of the parade, take the pressure off cooking a huge meal and dine out at one of The Big Apple’s thousands of restaurants – although some fixed-price menus will be pricy, the quality of the cuisine will always be sublime.
    AFTER THE FEAST: Every shop in New York will primed and ready for Black Friday the next day, so celebrate the end of the holiday in style and shop til’ you drop.
     
    Plymouth, Massachusetts
     
    Although a small coastal town rather than a city, Plymouth is where the Thanksgiving tradition began. After watching the annual parade, spend your day at the incomparable Plimoth Plantation. Once a colonist’s village and now a living history museum, interact with Pilgrim actors and Native interpreters to learn the fascinating history of America’s biggest holiday. Join others from around the world to indulge in a traditional New England dinner, featuring native turkey, and giblet gravy. This is a once-in-a lifetime event, and tickets sell fast every year.
     
    AFTER THE FEAST: Experience everything America’s hometown has to offer. Enjoy concerts celebrating America’s military history and rich history, or – if you have any room left – sample yet more delicious delights at the Harvest Market and New England Food Festival.
     
    San Francisco, California
     
    Thanksgiving is the perfect time to discover The City by the Bay. Many tourist attractions remain open over the holiday, but if you want to celebrate like a local, spend the day on the water. Our recommendation? Take in a sunset cruise around the California coastline after your meal. For an incredible alternative activity, join the ‘Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz’ in the early hours of the morning, featuring traditional dancing, singing and other performances.
    AFTER THE FEAST: Make sure you stick around for the unmissable Macy’s ‘Annual Tree Lighting Festival’ in Union Square the next day. Choir performances and a special visit from Santa make for the perfect family day out.
     
    New Orleans, Louisiana
     
    For all-American festivities with a twist, head to the Deep South. New Orleans enjoy their own parade in the form of the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade - the most alternative part of your Thanksgiving will be the cuisine. Try some New Orleans classics including deep-fried turkey and the aptly-named ‘Turducken’. Consisting of a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey, this delicacy is a meat-lover’s paradise.
    AFTER THE FEAST: Hang around in New Orleans to experience the spectacular ‘Celebration of the Oaks’ the next day. Join 165,000 others in City Park for breath-taking light displays throughout the 25-acre grounds.
     
     Where would you love to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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