This blog post was updated on November 19, 2021.

Ah, Thanksgiving. Nice as it is to be with family and eat until your clothes pop, sometimes you just want to get away. Of course, with the rest of the country traveling at the same time, it’s not as easy as you might wish. But at least there are a few places you can visit to escape the kerfuffle of the day itself. Here are some ideas of where to go – pick one that’s within driving distance, and you won’t even have to face an airport.

Winnemucca, Nevada

Thanksgiving travel Winnemucca, Nevada

Winnemucca is the gateway to Nevada’s Black Rock desert and also happens to be one of the most remote places on the continent, perfect for Thanksgiving travel. It contains the largest mudflats in the world and is the site of the annual Burning Man festival. And even though you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re not completely cut off from civilization. Reno is a four-hour drive away, while Winnemucca has Amtrak connections to both San Francisco and Chicago. Fun fact: It’s also home to the first-ever  Pringles potato chips!

Quinault, Washington

Another national park and forest is the Quinault rainforest of the Olympic National Park, which has officially been recognized as the quietest place on the continent. But it’s easy to get to – five hours from Seattle – and you don’t have to travel far to get remote. There are several lodges and campsites around Lake Quinault, and the temperate rainforest fans out from around the lake, spreading across the Olympic peninsula. After a morning there, you won’t be surprised that this is prime territory for spotting Sasquatch.

Related: Essential Tips on What to Pack When You’re Traveling for Thanksgiving

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Thanksgiving travel Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde is one of the most remote of America’s national parks. Not only is it located in the middle of nowhere in Southwest Colorado, but it requires a 14-mile drive around hairpin bends and cliff sides to reach from the main road. The sunsets there are extraordinary, and with a campsite, restaurant, and a hotel – the Far View Lodge – on-site, there’s no need to come back down to reality until the holiday rush is over.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Thanksgiving travel Yellowstone

The southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is one of the most remote places in America. It’s the furthest distance from a road anywhere in the continental U.S. Similar to Yellowstone, it’s also surrounded by the Washakie and Teton wilderness areas.

Diomede, Alaska

Ok, so you’ll probably have to get on a plane for this one. But if you really want to escape, you could do worse than to head up to Alaska. And if what’s offered on the mainland isn’t remote enough for you, try making your way to Diomede. It’s a tiny town (we’re talking about a population of under 100) on an island that’s closer to Russia than it is to Alaska (25 miles off the coast of Alaska, but just two from Russia).

What other quiet places perfect for Thanksgiving travel do you know of? Let us know in the comments below!

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