Where to Go for Thanksgiving: A Guide to Vacation Rentals

We’ve made the case (more than once) not to come home for the holidays — and this year, that’s especially true for Thanksgiving, amid the ongoing pandemic. Instead, swap that annual trip to your in-laws for a stay at a vacation rental, whether you’re looking for an escape from your apartment for a few days, a bigger kitchen to cook a major meal, or a way to get together. you for an outdoor Thanksgiving feast.

It’s easy enough to search by location, number of guests, and price, but if you’re looking for places to go for Thanksgiving where you can cook dinner for a crowd or snuggle up with a pecan pie, you’ll find there’s no You don’t filter on rental sites for “gourmet cooking,” let alone “plenty of counter space” or “oven that can fit a 20-pound turkey.”

Still, there are rentals with amazing kitchens, you just need to know how to find them. Here are some pro tips for finding the perfect Thanksgiving rental.

This article was originally published in November 2017. It has been updated with new information.

Search on Google instead of the rental site

If a spacious, well-equipped kitchen is your top priority, start your search with Google. Type in your vacation rental platform of choice, whether it’s Airbnb, OneFineStay, or VRBO, along with where you’re going and a phrase like “huge kitchen,” “new appliances,” or “renovated kitchen.” Find these terms in the list, and it’s a good indicator that the kitchen is the one in which you can cook a big meal.

Scan the description for kitchen lingo

Once you find a candidate, look for details of the host or previous guests in the description and comments. Pay attention to appliance brands like Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Viking; Also keep an eye out for mentions of a dishwasher, a farmhouse sink, ample counter space, and, especially helpful on Thanksgiving, two ovens. The reviews will also give you a better idea of ​​what’s in the drawers and how the shelves are stored, such as knives, spices and non-stick pans, and more. Look for notes on sensitive smoke detectors and the condition (and quantity) of dishes. Airbnb even lets you search for reviews by keywords now. Gaps on any of these fronts are unlikely to be deal breakers, but it’s good to be aware of them and plan ahead.

ask the owner

Before booking on most sites, you can (and should) contact the owner with questions. If it’s not on the list, you’ll want to know how far is the nearest grocery store, wine store, or farmer’s market. San Francisco chef David Barzelay also recommends asking if there’s a roasting pan big enough for the turkey.

Know the red flags

While phrases like “newly remodeled” and “modern” are clues that the kitchen will be a great place to cook up a feast, others, like “rustic” and “comfortable,” can be warning signals that the preparing a big meal is going to be a challenge. Almost every chef we spoke to said to avoid homes with electric stoves, as they can be harder to cook than gas.

Rentals we love

Ready to find a rental? There are plenty of places to go on Thanksgiving, so we help you narrow it down. We’ve rounded up some of the best rentals that fit the bill, whether you’re getting rid of the vacation schedule or need a super-sized kitchen and a big dining table for the whole family.

Courtesy of Airbnb


Along with being clean and looking new, thanks to spotless stainless steel appliances, the kitchen in this downtown Denver home is also stocked with essentials like spices and cooking staples, so you don’t have to spend too much time (or money) on groceries. There’s tons of counter space, thanks to the island, which doubles as a breakfast bar. Elsewhere in the house you will find five bedrooms, a TV room, an outdoor dining area and a luxury bath in one of the many bathrooms.

This image may contain furniture, chair, interior, room, dining room, lamp, chandelier, hardwood, wood and table

Courtesy of Airbnb


Sure, the deep red dining room and five ultra-colorful bedrooms may catch your eye first, but it’s the kitchen photos that interest us. With a large fridge and freezer big enough to hold a turkey, a farmhouse sink for stacks of dishes (don’t worry, there’s a dishwasher), an island for extra counter space, and a microwave oven. gas, it has everything you need to whip up a masterful Thanksgiving meal. (As a bonus, there’s a breakfast nook just off the kitchen, providing the perfect table for the kids.) There’s also a large yard with a covered outdoor dining table and fire pit.

Image may contain: living room, bedroom, interior, furniture, interior design, floor, home decor, sofa, fireplace and carpet

Courtesy of Airbnb

Santa Fe

It’s always nice to find “the most stocked kitchen I’ve ever seen in an Airbnb” among previous guest reviews. Expect stainless steel counters, butcher’s island, stainless steel appliances, farmhouse sink, utensils and seasoning bases. There’s also a grill on the patio, as well as a covered dining area and an adobe fireplace in the backyard for cozy fires and evening s’mores. There is room for four between the two bedrooms in the house and plenty of space to spread out between the large living room (with its own fireplace), the dining room and the second patio.

Image may contain: furniture, shelf, interior, room, wood, interior design, cupboard and cupboard

Courtesy of Airbnb

South Kortright, New York

We’ve talked at length about our love for Table on Ten’s on-site Airbnbs, but the upstate New York restaurant recently expanded to a mud house on 23 private, tree-filled acres. The house has just one bedroom, so it’s ideal for couples looking to create their own Thanksgiving traditions by sitting in front of the wood-burning stove and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. As for the kitchen, the house comes with an amazingly equipped kitchen, with all the utensils, appliances (like a rice cooker and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and dishes (created by local potters and artisans ), which you would need for any meal. , big or small. If you don’t want to cook, we won’t blame you: Table on Ten is just eight minutes down the street.

Image may contain: interior, room, kitchen and wood

Courtesy of Airbnb

Goodlettsville, Tennessee

Located about 25 minutes north of Nashville, this two-bedroom cabin strikes the right balance of rustic and modern (i.e. decorative copper cookware but also new stainless steel appliances). Its open floor plan means the designated chef will not be cut off from the rest of the crew when cooking and will also have a view of the surrounding forest. Previous guests rave about the amount of counter space in the kitchen, which would be well stocked with all the basics you would need for daily meals.

While we haven’t stayed at all of the Airbnbs featured, unless otherwise noted, these listings are verified based on Superhost status, amenities, location, previous guest reviews, and decor.

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