How do you Thanksgiving?

12 vacation home features to suit your holiday style

Published October 2020


Everyone has a role when it comes to a group vacation: there’s the planner, the photo taker, the go-with-the-flow-er and, inevitably, the overpacker (you know who you are). And doesn’t that same philosophy apply to the holidays? On Thanksgiving morning, what’s your go-to role? Maybe you’re first to rise for a 5K, directing the culinary show in the kitchen, or settling in to watch football on the couch.

There’s no right or wrong answer, and just because the table may be smaller this year, that doesn’t mean you have to change your routine—odds are someone’s counting on you to keep things consistent. So in the spirit of holiday tradition, we mapped out 12 vacation rental features to match the common personalities and jobs that are part of Thanksgiving. Just be sure to give thanks to whoever does the dishes.

large dining table and stone fireplace inside Black Butte, Oregon vacation home

Black Butte Ranch Aspen Lodge in Black Butte, Oregon

For The Tablescaper

From styling centerpieces to making place cards, a lot goes into a well-trimmed table. When looking for your ideal vacation rental with Thanksgiving decor in mind, make sure it has a dining room with these features to provide you the proper canvas to create your masterpiece:

  • Large dining table: For larger friend and family groups, a 12-person dining table, like the one at Black Butte Ranch Aspen Lodge in Black Butte, Oregon, is a must to ensure everyone has ample room to eat and share stories—even after pie plates are cleared.
  • Natural light: If you plan to eat on the early side, before the tabletop candles are lit, natural light is a priceless accessory. Just look at how floor-to-ceiling windows brighten up the table at the Elegant East Hampton Estate in East Hampton, New York.
  • Buffet table: Overcrowded tables are a Thanksgiving staple, so hutches or buffet tables—like the setup at the Moore House in Sea Ranch, California—are a smart way to ensure dishes can be passed family-style and stay close by for second helpings.
cozy reading nook and large library of Vail vacation rental

Lupine Drive Luxury in Vail, Colorado

For The Lounger

We’ve all heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so there’s no shame in being the person who excuses themselves from kitchen duty. But how to occupy your time? Whether you take a sweatpant-forward approach to lounging or like to play a game or two, here are a few vacation rental amenities to make it extra fun, and keep you nearby if extra hands are needed:

  • Reading nooks: For those who prefer to go analog, look for vacation rentals with a place to cozy up with a good book, like Lupine Drive Luxury in Vail, Colorado, where there are floor-to-ceiling bookcases and armchairs aplenty.
  • Yard games: If a friendly round of ping pong or cornhole sounds relaxing to you, seek out a vacation home with outdoor games, like the next-level Desert Escape in Scottsdale, Arizona—which has all of the above and a putting green.
  • Theater room: Thanksgiving is already an indulgent holiday, so if you have the chance to upgrade from watching football on a comfy sofa to a true in-home theater, why not? Many Vacasa vacation homes, like Mountain High Cinema in Sevierville, Tennessee, deliver the movie-going experience right at home.
large kitchen with double oven inside vacation home in Anacortes, WA

Fidalgo Island Waterfront Stunner in Anacortes, Washington

For The Chef

It’s usually the biggest job, but it’s also the most appreciated—because Thanksgiving is all about the meal. So, as the chef, make sure your chosen vacation rental is set up for culinary success with the following appliances and perks:

  • Double oven: Pies and turkeys can bake harmoniously when you’re equipped with double ovens that allow for unique temperature sets and timers, as seen at the Fidalgo Island Waterfront Stunner in Anacortes, Washington.
  • Fridge space: A cooler often comes into play on Thanksgiving when fridge space gets tight, but that won’t be necessary if you book a place similar to The Double Eagle in Garden City, Utah, where the only thing rivaling fridge space is counter space.
  • Open floor plan: Just because you’re in charge of the menu doesn’t mean you won’t need a crew of sous chefs, so look for a vacation home with an open floor plan that keeps people within earshot. At Mountain Hound Lodge in Greenwood, Maine, the bar top is a perfect place for helpers to trim green beans.
home gym with gorgeous views inside vacation rental in North Bend, Oregon

The Bridge and Balcony in North Bend, Oregon

For The Go-Getter

Though Turkey Trots and 5Ks are mostly canceled this year, every family still has at least one person who rallies the group for a morning calorie burn. It’s often a thankless job, greeted with sleepy eyerolls, but booking a vacation home with one or more of these features makes the task that much easier:

  • Home gym: Work up a sweat from the comfort of your rental (and maybe even with a view) by booking a home with on-site facilities like The Bridge and Balcony in North Bend, Oregon.
  • Waterfront location: Waterfront vacation rentals often come with scenic paths for running, or easy access to kayak launches like the Lake Joy Waterfront Retreat in Carnation, Washington—boats included!
  • Ski-in/ski-out: Hitting the slopes is a great way to prepare for turkey and mashed potatoes, especially when the mountain is right outside your vacation rental, like at the Beaver Dam Grandeur in Vail, Colorado. Though this year, be sure to check a ski resort’s pandemic protocols prior to booking your vacation.

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