New York City Expected to be Top Thanksgiving Destination

Thanksgiving Day Parade
Associated Press

Whether it’s for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to visit relatives or just to do a little drinking, New York City is expected to be the top U.S. travel destination this Thanksgiving, according to TripAdvisor. If you’re planning on being part of that in-crowd, here are some dining and entertainment options for you.

And if you’re heading home to New York City, here are new places for you to check out.

Thanksgiving Dinner

That same TripAdvisor report said that 16 percent of Americans will eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving, largely to avoid cooking. The Refinery Hotel’s Refinery Rooftop $25 continental breakfast comes paired with a view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At The Maritime Hotel’s La Bottega, chef Lucia Piscopo is putting an Italian spin on Thanksgiving dinner with dishes like sautéed Tuscan black kale and offers a vegetable lasagna.

Entertainment

Looking to get away from the relatives for a spell (or at least get everyone out of the house)? The New York Pass can get you into 80 attractions. It comes in one- ($85), two- ($130), three- ($160) or seven-day ($210) increments. If the options are overwhelming, make use of one of its itineraries, which are based on neighborhood or theme. The New York Pass also includes fast-track entry to 15 marquee sites.

Airport Dining

Not only are U.S. airports are continuing to increase their health dining options, they’re getting tastier too. Restaurants by OTG in Delta’s gates in LaGuardia Airport (concourses C and D) feature collaborations with famed New York chefs Michael White (Cotto), Andrew Carmellini (Victory Grill) and Anne Burrell (Vagabond Burger Bar). And if you’re traveling with kids, the iPads on every table should keep them occupied, at least until boarding time. Then, you might want to follow these tips for flying with kids.

And this May, Delta unveiled a revamped terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which features Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack and Blue Smoke on the Road. Terminal 2’s dining options are undergoing a similar overhaul. While renovations aren’t slated to be finished until next summer, some temporary eateries opened in September.

Events Worth Planning A Trip Around In 2013

Have you ever landed in a place to find out you arrived just after the town’s can’t-miss event of the year? Well, hopefully that won’t happen again this year. Gadling bloggers racked their brains to make sure our readers don’t overlook the best parties to be had throughout the world in 2013. Below are more than 60 music festivals, cultural events, pilgrimages and celebrations you should consider adding to your travel calendar this year – trust us, we’ve been there.

Above image: Throughout Asia, Lunar New Year is celebrated with lantern festivals, the most spectacular of which is possibly Pingxi. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

Kumbh Mela, a 55-day festival in India, is expected to draw more than 100 million people in 2013. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

January
January 7–27: Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah)
January 10–February 26: Kumbh Mela (Allahabad, India)
January 21: Presidential Inauguration (Washington, DC)
January 26–February 12: Carnival of Venice (Venice, Italy)
January 26–February 13: Battle of the Oranges (Ivrea, Italy)
During Busójárás in Hungary, visitors can expect folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
February
February 3: Super Bowl XLVII (New Orleans, Louisiana)
February 5–11: Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Japan)
February 7–12: Busójárás (Mohács, Hungary)
February 10: Chinese New Year/Tet (Worldwide)
February 9–12: Rio Carnival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
February 12: Mardi Gras (Worldwide)
February 14: Pingxi Lantern Festival (Taipei, Taiwan)
February 24: Lunar New Year (Worldwide)


Several cities in India and Nepal increase tourist volume during Holi, when people enjoy spring’s vibrant colors. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
March
March 1-14: Omizutori (Nara, Japan)
March 8–17: South by Southwest (Austin, Texas)
March 20–April 14: Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, DC)
March 27: Holi (Worldwide, especially India & Nepal)


Many Dutch people wear orange – the national color – and sell their secondhand items in a “free market” during Koninginnendag, a national holiday in the Netherlands. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
April
April 12–14 & April 19–21: Coachella (Indio, California)
April 11-14: Masters Golf Tournament (Augusta, Georgia)
April 13–15: Songkran Water Festival (Thailand)
April 17–28: TriBeCa Film Festival (New York, New York)
April 25–28: 5Point Film Festival (Carbondale, Colorado)
April 30: Koninginnendag or Queen’s Day (Netherlands)


Up to 50 men work together to carry their church’s patron saint around the main square in Cusco, Peru during Corpus Christi. [Photo credit: Blogger Libby Zay]
May
May 4: Kentucky Derby (Louisville, Kentucky)
May 15–16: Festival de Cannes (Cannes, France)
May 20: Corpus Christi (Worldwide)
May 23–26: Art Basel (Hong Kong)
May 24–27: Mountainfilm Film Festival (Telluride, Colorado)
May 25-28: Sasquatch Festival (Quincy, Washington)
May 26: Indianapolis 500 (Speedway, Indiana)

2013 marks the 100th anniversary for the Tour de France. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

June
June 13–16: Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee)
June 13–16: Art Basel (Basel, Switzerland)
June 14–16: Food & Wine Classic (Aspen, Colorado)
June 21: St. John’s Night (Poznan, Poland)
June 24: Inti Raymi (Cusco, Peru)
June 28–30: Comfest (Columbus, Ohio)
June 29–July 21: Tour de France (France)

The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Visit Istanbul, Turkey, at this time and see a festival-like atmosphere when pious Muslims break their fasts with lively iftar feasts at night. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
July
July 6–14: San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)
July 9–August 2: Ramadan (Worldwide)
July 12–14: Pitchfork (Chicago, Illinois)
July 17: Gion Festival Parade (Kyoto, Japan)
July 18–21: International Comic Con (San Diego, California)
July 19–22: Artscape (Baltimore, Maryland)
July 24–28: Fete de Bayonne (Bayonne, France)

Festival-goers get their picture taken at a photo booth during Foo Fest, an arts and culture festival held annually in Providence, Rhode Island. [Photo credit: Flickr user AS220]
August
August 2–4: Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois)
August 10: Foo Fest (Providence, Rhode Island)
August 26–September 2: Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, Nevada)
August 31–September 2: Bumbershoot (Seattle, Washington)


More than six million people head to Munich, Germany, for beer-related festivities during the 16-day Oktoberfest. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
September
September 5–15: Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada)
September 13–15: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (Telluride, Colorado)
September 21–October 6: Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany)

Around 750 hot air balloons are launched during the nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. [Photo credit: Flickr user Randy Pertiet]

October
October 4–6 & 11–13: Austin City Limits (Austin, Texas)
October 5–13: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
October 10–14: United States Sailboat Show (Annapolis, Maryland)


During Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), family and friends get together to remember loved ones they have lost. Although practiced throughout Mexico, many festivals take place in the United States, such as this festival at La Villita in San Antonio, Texas. [Photo credit: Blogger Libby Zay]
November
November 1–2: Dia de los Muertos (Worldwide, especially Mexico)
November 3: Diwali (Worldwide)
November 8–10: Fun Fun Fun Fest (Austin, Texas)
November 11: Cologne Carnival (Cologne, Germany)
November 28: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York, New York)
TBA: Punkin Chunkin (Long Neck, Delaware)

The colorful holiday of Junkanoo is the most elaborate festivals of the Bahamian islands. [Photo credit: Flickr user MissChatter]
December
December 2–3: Chichibu Yomatsuri (Chichibu City, Japan)
December 5–8: Art Basel (Miami, Florida)
December 26–January 1: Junkanoo (Bahamas)

So, what did we miss? Let us know what travel-worthy events you’re thinking about journeying to in the coming year in the comments below.

Top 10 New York hotels to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. Where will you be? If your plans take you to New York for the big event, you’d better start planning! The parade is equally about precision as it is the holidays — to know where to sit, stand, and see everything makes all the difference.

HotelsCombined.com compiled a list of the Top 10 hotels along the parade route that offer the best views of giant balloons, one-of-a-kind floats, Broadway musicals and marching bands. And of course, we can’t forget about Santa. The holiday season officially kicks off when the jolly one makes his way to Herald Square. Make your list, check it twice, and head to one of these hotels for the best viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

1. Marriott Hotel Marquis New York City — The premier Times Square hotel is currently offering a “Thanksgiving Parade Package” for four which includes a special buffet breakfast and access Minskoff Theater for unparalleled views as the Parade as it makes it way down 7th Avenue.

2. Mandarin Oriental Hotel New York City — The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is currently offering a “I Love a Parade Package” which includes accommodation, a signature Thanksgiving-themed welcome amenity and exclusive access to the Mandarin Ballroom where you’ll have panoramic views of the Parade.

3. Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square New York City — The Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square has a “Thanksgiving Parade View Package 2010” which includes an overnight stay in a parade view suite plus full breakfast for up to four people, parking for one car per day, welcome amenity upon arrival and 15% discount off of the hotel’s Thanksgiving buffet on Thanksgiving Day.4. Wellington Hotel New York City — The Wellington Hotel is offering a “Thanksgiving Package” including accommodation, full American breakfast and shopping and sightseeing discounts.

5. Renaissance Hotel Times Square New York City — Situated at Two Times Squares 714 7th Avenue at West 48th Street, the Renaissance Hotel Times Square is one of the top places to preview the parade.

6. Trump International Hotel New York CityThe Trump International Hotel on One Central Park West is a prime location with the Parade passing by the hotel. There is also a Parade party in front of the hotel’s five star restaurant, Jean Georges.

7. Park Central Hotel New York City — The Parade will pass directly in front of the Park Central Hotel on 870 7th Avenue, allowing guests to view the festivities from the comfort of their hotel rooms. Request a room with a parade view and you’ll see the entire event unfold before your eyes.

8. The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel New York CityThe Manhattan at Times Square Hotel — formerly Sheraton Manhattan at Times Square — is an ideal base with a view of the parade.

9. The Michelangelo Hotel New York City — Situated on 152 West at 51st Street, guests can appreciate the views of the city from the Michelangelo Hotel as the parade makes it way down 7th Avenue.

10. The Bryant Park Hotel New York City — Located on 40 West at 40th Street, The Bryant Park Hotel faces Bryant Park with a view of 6th Avenue in New York City. Request one of the 50 rooms that have a view of the Parade.

How honest and trusting are New Yorkers?: The unattended fruit stand test

How honest are people in New York City? What happens when a vendor leaves his fruit stand unattended for at least thirty minutes after the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade? Gadling knows because Gadling was there.

Not long after watching the last gigantic helium balloon and Santa Claus travel on down 7th Avenue with his hearty “Ho! Ho! Hos from our vantage point on 57th Street across from Carnegie Music Hall, we headed towards Broadway. A fruit stand had our name on it. The smooth skinned ripe mangoes and persimmons called out to us “Buy.” The bananas bought there earlier by this Gadling writer’s husband after he found a spot to park the car had already been eaten.

The vendor, however, was nowhere in sight. Not to the left, not to the right. The only witness to his existence were the rows of fruit–the packages of strawberries and blueberries, the bananas bagged in four to a bunch, the piles of apples, glossy and unblemished in the company of tropical fruits looking as if they had been just picked. A beautiful stand with beautiful prices– the best ever.

But no vendor. “He said he’d be here,” said the Gadling husband, who grabbed a plastic bag to gather some bounty and await the vendor’s return.

A man stopped for two bananas. “How much?” At four for $1, he handed the Gadling husband 50 cents.

“I’m not the vendor,” Gadling husband said, “but, I’ll give him the money when he gets back.”

“How much for the mangoes?” a woman asked holding up two.

“Three dollars.” With the sign clearly marked at $1.50 a piece, the math wasn’t hard. “I’m not the vendor, though,” Gadling husband said. “If you want, I’ll give him the money when he gets back.”

She handed over the three dollars and headed off with her mangoes.

Still no vendor.

Gadling husband decided to go get the car and come back. Hopefully, by that time, so would the vendor. He handed the $3.50 and the bag of fruit to this Gadling writer.

This Gadling writer began to wonder if this was a Candid Camera stunt to see just how honest she was. Would she leave with the money and the bag of fruit or stay around for heaven knows how long? How honest was she anyway?

The vendor was still AWOL. There was a man with his son in a stroller though. “Where’s the vendor?” he asked.

“Don’t know,” said this Gadling writer. “We’ve been here awhile.” Craning her neck to look around the stand and across the street, she added, “I don’t even know what he looks like.”

“He’s a Pakistani or something. He’s here every day. Nice guy. Do you want a banana?” the man asked his son. He didn’t give the banana to his son, though, but continued to wait.

And wait

And wait.

A woman came with her dog to join the man, the son, and this Gadling writer who, along with her daughter, wondered if they would ever be able to leave this fruit stand.

“Where’s the vendor?” asked the woman, picking up a package of strawberries.

“He’s gone somewhere,” said this Gadling writer. “I haven’t seen him.”

“I bet he’s getting change. He does that sometimes.”

The man left with his son saying, “I’ll have to come back.”

“Happy Thanksgiving,” everyone said.

Still no vendor, but no husband either. Where was that car parked anyway?

“Nice dog.”

The woman smiled.

Then, about the time the idea of tucking the money under a bunch of bananas seemed like a brilliant idea, a youngish man–a nice looking youngish man with lush black hair and a wonderful smile came running up.

The vendor.

Yes, there is an escape from this Manhattan street corner.

“My husband sold some fruit for you. Two bananas and two mangoes,” this Gadling writer said. “He’s the big guy who was here before,”

“Thanks, so much,” he said, tucking the money in his jacket pocket.

As this Gadling writer paid him what was owed for the fruit in the bag, he added two bananas into the bounty.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” everyone said about the time this Gadling writer’s husband pulled the car around the corner.

If you ever wonder just how honest people can be in New York City, consider this. Fruit stand vendors, at least this one anyway, can leave a stand unattended to go get change and know that his customers are watching his back.

In the half hour that Gadling waited at this stand, dozens of people passed by and no one looked as if he or she planned to take a swipe at the fruit.

**If you click on the first photo, you’ll see that it’s a video of people passing buy another fruit stand in Manhattan.

If you click on the photo by Ed Yourdon, you’ll find out information about the person behind the hand–a snippet of the life of the fruit vendor in Yourdon’s Manhattan neighborhood.