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This Thanksgiving, you could spend a small fortune and tons of time hosting a holiday feast… or, you could treat your family to a relaxing beach getaway. The holiday season tends to be quieter on the California coast, making it a perfect time to visit and avoid the crowds. These beach towns are all beautiful places to spend your Turkey Day.


Coronado Ferry

Head south to San Diego for a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget. The historic Hotel Del Coronado serves an incredible Thanksgiving feast with stunning ocean views. You can also relax on one of the beaches, check out one of the Hornblower Cruises or have your dinner at the Grand Del Mar. Coronado also has a Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving day for anyone who likes to exercise before their big meal.

Morro Bay

Why not head to the peaceful shores of Morro Bay this year? You’ll find lots of options for hotels in Morro Bay in all price ranges. Most have a view of one of California’s most recognizable landmarks, Morro Rock. There are so many beach options in the area and a lot of hiking trails too. Consider getting outside this Turkey Day for a long beach walk or for a hike at Montana de Oro State Park or Morro Bay State Park.

Santa Monica

Sorrento Beach Santa Monica bryce sept16 (2)

If you have children (or you’re a kid at heart), Santa Monica might be the perfect place to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier will be open, offering the opportunity for a sunset ride on the big wheel. The cast at the Viceroy Santa Monica is also serving up a delicious buffet feast which will include turkey breast, ham and prime rib, ending with a delightful pumpkin cheesecake.

Santa Barbara

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Not only is Santa Barbara one of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s offering some tempting Thanksgiving options. The breathtaking Bacara Resort & Spa is the ultimate place to spend a luxurious vacation, and their Thanksgiving celebration begins with brunch. Every year they host a Champagne Brunch Buffet that begins at 10:30 am and also includes classic favorites like roasted turkey.

Monterey County

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Relax by the beaches of Monterey this year and leave the cooking to someone else. Head to Big Sur and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at the Big Sur River Inn Restaurant, or head to Mission Ranch Restaurant or Aubergine to have your feast.


Tamarack Beach Carlsbad BryceApr16 (6)

The Carlsbad area is full of festive holiday events, including a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party. Thanksgiving is a quiet time to visit, but that doesn’t mean it’s dull—local restaurants like Twenty20 are offering a special buffet dinner your whole family will enjoy. The day after Thanksgiving, head to Legoland and experience some holiday magic.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Pier

Start your Thanksgiving off on a healthy note by heading to Huntington Beach for the annual Causelife Turkey Wobble at 7 AM on the Pacific Coast Highway at Beach Boulevard. Then head to Old World for an all you can eat dinner, including all the traditional favorites along with a few German treats.

Restaurant space is scarce on Thanksgiving, so if you’re planning a trip, make your reservations ASAP by calling the restaurant or using OpenTable.