Happy Holidays

Last-minute travel ideas so you can avoid your family during Thanksgiving

Do you need a reason to not “go back home” for Thanksgiving? Perhaps you wish you could celebrate Thanksgiving with them, but interpersonal dynamics have made such visits impossible? Maybe you see your family often, and spending a long weekend together would simply be too long.

We get it—Thanksgiving isn’t fun for everybody, whatever the reason. How fortunate that the holiday also provides a long weekend of vacation possibilities, perfect for checking out a new destination, and perhaps enjoying the a turkey dinner with new friends.

Here are some suggestions for ways to get out of town during Thanksgiving Weekend :

White Party, Puerto Vallarta

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Jeffrey Sanker, the legendary promoter of White Party in Palm Springs, Calif., hosts White Party Puerto Vallarta during Thanksgiving weekend. There isn’t much turkey to be found on Thanksgiving in Puerto Vallarta, but at White Party expect lots of shirtless menfolk, wiggling around (play the moving image, above) and having a wonderful time. The big party weekend runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.

If you need a break from the circuit, Puerto Vallarta has some of the best cabaret clubs in the Americas, and there are lots of weekend pool parties at the area hotels. And did we mention that beautiful Puerto Vallarta beach?

Circuit Festival Miami

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Saying goodbye to White Party in Miami was sad, but alas, after 20+ years the famous Thanksgiving weekend AIDS fundraiser has finally fizzled out. From the ashes rises Circuit Festival Miami, a new party weekend during the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 28 through Dec. 2, with events at nightclubs throughout mainland Miami. The biggest party will be at the legendary Club Space, photo above, which is worth attending just to see the place. There is also a party on the beach, and those are always good. 

Fun fact: the organizers of Circuit Festival also host a famous party in Barcelona, Spain, as well as an event in Pattaya, Thailand

Thanksgiving at The Abbey, West Hollywood

The patio at The Abbey in West Hollywood, photo courtesy The Abbey

For anyone brought to Los Angeles for some reason during Thanksgiving, or locals who would like to find a nice place to enjoy dinner, go to The Abbey. That pillar of gay glamour in West Hollywood, Calif., serves a traditional three-course dinner on Thanksgiving for $27, which is absolutely the best deal in town. And their food is quite good.

Long before The Abbey became the sprawling nightclub it is today, where craft cocktails are served with a side of gogo-boy meat, it started out as a cute little coffee shop that had the best pastries and cakes ever. As they expanded into the world of gay bars, they kept that coffee shop within the property, and added a full kitchen that has made The Abbey a popular restaurant in its own right (love the Sunday brunch!). The bartenders are sexy and it is the place to see and be seen, but people really do come here for the food, too.

Wouldn’t it be fun to spend Thanksgiving with the West Hollywood glamouratti? Join them on Thursday, Nov. 28, even if only to see if the prettyboys put down those cocktails and actually eat.

Fun fact: The Abbey is not the only gay nightspot in the U.S. serving turkey and trimmings on the big day. Here are some more spots around the country:

Provincetown Thanksgiving

Back in 1621, members of the Wampanoag nation, in what is now Massachusetts, befriended Pilgrims at their colony of Plymouth, and gave the settlers some wild birds to eat as a celebration of the fall harvest. Those Wampanoags would probably regret being so welcoming if they knew how badly the settlers from Europe would treat the native nations of North America, but Thanksgiving in Cape Cod is nonetheless a special celebration, and many restaurants in Provincetown serve wonderful dinners. As a bonus, they have really good wine.

The party boys may vacate their summer houses after Labor Day, but true Provincetown aficionados will tell you, this is the time when the town is at its finest. The beaches and dunes are brisk and beautiful this time of year (photo above), perfect for a sunset stroll, and the streets are still filled with life as locals and visitors alike enjoy the restaurants and shops. Hundreds of Cape Cod residents gather each year in Provincetown for the lighting of the Pilgrim Monument holiday lights. and the town looks quaint and rustic, like a Hallmark Channel movie come to life.

Questions, comments, and photos of spectacular Thanksgiving parties may be sent to danrenzi@gaycities.com.

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